New York: A CNN anchor was on Sunday reprimanded for assuming that Indian-American national spelling champion Ananya Vinay is “used to using” Sanskrit due to her heritage.
California resident Ananya Vinay (12) was being interviewed by CNN anchors Alisyn Camerota and Chris Cuomo following her win at the prestigious Scripps National Spelling Bee on June 02.
The sixth-grader had correctly spelled the word ‘marocain’ and became the 13th consecutive winner from the Indian-American community at the annual spelling bee championship.
Towards the end of the interview, Camerota asked Vinay to spell ‘covfefe’, the word recently used by President Donald Trump in one of his tweets that took the social media by storm with people guessing what the US leader could have meant by that word.
Like a true spelling bee participant, Vinay asked the definition of ‘covfefe’ and its language of origin, to which the anchors responded “gibberish”.
Vinay, sincerely tried to guess the spelling of the word, asked if there were any alternate pronunciation for it. She finally spelled it ‘cofefe’.
Camerota then told Vinay the correct spelling was ‘covfefe’ and added, “It’s a nonsense word. So, we’re not sure that its root is actually in Sanskrit, which is what you’re probably, uh, used to using, so, I don’t know. Anyway.”
Camerota’s comment has not gone down well with social media users who described her statement a “racist”.
CNN guesses the U.S. national spelling bee winner is ‘used to using’ Sanskrit. If she were Jewish would u say ‘your real language Hebrew’ ? https://t.co/x4EDTNE6fh
— Susan Benesch (@SusanBenesch) June 4, 2017
Did she really just say Sanskrit? Folks out here extra comfortable saying any ole thing. pic.twitter.com/MGaQNML04S
— deray mckesson (@deray) June 4, 2017
[email protected] An Indian-American who wins the national spelling bee is not used to seeing Sanskrit just because she’s an Indian.
— Varsha Venkat…. (@varshaoforange) June 4, 2017
@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
Really @CNN “Sanskrit?”
Pile on the ignorance & racism #ScrippsNationalSpellingBee champions experience every year. Ananya deserves better https://t.co/zBnqXEbrjK
— Sara K. Ahmed (@SaraKAhmed) June 4, 2017
@CNN Both should be fired for insulting Ananya Vinay and belittling her accomplishment. Outward racism to a 12-year old student. For shame! https://t.co/MU4ryOhWvr
— Rebecca Waysek (@MissWaysizzle) June 4, 2017
Dear @CNN, Ananya is used to using English letters because she’s from Fresno, CA. You need to check your casual racism. https://t.co/y4QElsaLz7
— Patricia (@Patricia_DSC) June 4, 2017
Source: Zee News