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Desi Twitter erupts with jokes, praise and criticism over Kamala Harris

"Kamala Harris about to Bole chudiyan, bole kangna y’all into some handcuffs," one person wrote on Twitter.
Image: Kamala Harris, Shyamala Harris
Kamala Harris stands supported by her mother Shyamala in an undated photo.Courtesy Biden Harris Campaign

Sen. Kamala Harris is officially the Democratic vice presidential pick, and Desi Twitter — the space in which young South Asians share memes, TikToks and relatable experiences — has strong feelings about it.

Harris, D-Calif., is the first Black American and Asian American to be on a major party’s presidential ticket, and while some are applauding the representation, others are pointing to issues like her past record on policing and incarceration.

First up, there were jokes about Desi parents using her VP nomination as the new standard for their kids.

People also highlighted the fact her South Asian roots are often left out.

Others took a more critical stance.

The senator, who is half-Tamil, half-Jamaican, began leaning into her Indian American roots last year during her own Democratic presidential bid. Some South Asians are happy to see someone of similar roots represented on such a massive political scale.

But her tough-on-crime history and support for policing have turned off other voters and alienated some progressive South Asians.

Some young South Asian Americans are reckoning with indications of their own communities’ anti-Blackness in the wake of recent Black Lives Matter protests, and some are questioning how the senator’s rise will impact the often-derogatory way in which South Asians talk about Black people.

Others say that while celebrating representation is good, displays like making masala dosa with Mindy Kaling shouldn’t distract from what they see as Harris' questionable policy positions.

CORRECTION (Aug. 12, 2020, 7:25 p.m. ET): An earlier version of this article misspelled the last name of an actress who made masala dosa with Harris. She is Mindy Kaling, not Kailing.