When 12-year-old Ananya Vinay won the Scripps National Spelling Bee in the US, she made Indians around the world very proud.
Ananya and another Indian-American Rohan Rajeev faced each other in the final round last week at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Centre in Maryland. Ananya won on the word "marocain", a fabric.
Naturally, television channels started interviewing her. But when international news channel CNN decided to interview the 12-year-old, you didn't have to think twice before knowing that this reeks of racism.
So CNN first asked her how to spell 'covfefe'.
Now, for those of you who were living under a rock for the last month or so, US President Donald Trump accidentally sent out a tweet on Easter where he typed "negative press covfefe" instead of "negative press coverage".
CNN anchors, Alisyn Camerota and Chris Cuomo asked her what "covfefe" was. The anchor then topped it up with a shockingly racial comment.
The CNN anchor then explained to the National Spelling Bee contest winner that the covfefe was a "nonsense word". Didn't end there. She then said:
"...It is a nonsense word but we're not sure that its root is in Sanskrit which is probably what you're used to..."
'Covfefe' is a nonsense word but we're not sure that its root is in Sanskrit — which is probably what you're used to.Alisyn Camerota
There are so many things wrong with the statement above that we'll need a minute to organise our thoughts.
First of all, nobody speaks Sanskrit anymore — just like Latin.
It is bad enough that Indians all over the world are sick and tired of explaining how and why they don't "speak Indian" or "speak Hindu", but for a journalist to display such kind of ignorance is just racist.
While Camerota seemed just as chirpy after making the racist statement, Cuomo looked shocked, and tactfully changed to the subject to Ananya's achievements.
Twitter was also furious at Camerota's comment:
@CNN's reporters' default reactions to Ananya Vinay were racism and disrespect, when they easily could have just congratulated her. How sad.— ʍαℓiทi (@HeyMaliniK) June 4, 2017
Dear CNN anchor, this wasn't okay.
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