Presidential hopeful Nikki Haley found herself at the center of an online firestorm after writing a post that implied her reservations about the idea of Kamala Harris becoming President of the United States. Here’s the full story.
The comments, posted on Sunday, August 27, ignited a heated debate and led to accusations of racism and political opportunism.
Comments on the President
Haley wrote, “Everyone in America can see Joe Biden’s decline and have concerns about his ability to serve a second term.”
Vote for Biden Is Vote for Harris
“They know a vote for Joe Biden is a vote for Kamala Harris. The media needs to stop protecting Biden and tell America the truth,” she added.
The Post Drew Criticism and Support
The post immediately drew responses from various corners of social media, with one of the most prominent critics being writer Jemele Hill from The Atlantic.
Was Haley Being Racist?
Hill accused Haley of playing on racial fears, suggesting that Haley’s words were rooted in an appeal to racists who might be uncomfortable with a multiracial woman potentially becoming the president.
Black Woman President
Hill commented, “So part of the reason racism is such a terrible sickness in this country is because politicians like this know they can rally a certain base with the fear of OH MY GOD A BLACK WOMAN MIGHT BE PRESIDENT IF YOU DON’T VOTE FOR ME.”
Feelings of Hatred
Hill went on to express concern that such rhetoric could incite hatred from certain sections of the population.
“Then we want to act all surprised when the most hateful part of the base decides they need to act out on their feelings of hatred,” she added.
Haley Is a South Asian Descent
However, Haley’s own background, being of South Asian descent, led to a nuanced discussion online.
The Diverse Backgrounds
Journalist Andrew Neil highlighted the diverse backgrounds of both Harris and Haley, suggesting that the criticism based solely on race might not fully apply.
What’s Race Got to Do With It?
Neil wrote, “Nikki Haley’s parents were immigrant Sikhs from Punjab, India. Kamala Harris’ mother was an immigrant Tamil Indian (who became a distinguished biologist). I fail to see what race has to do with Ms. Haley’s remark.”
She Didn’t Mention Race
As the debate continued, some people defended Haley, arguing that she hadn’t explicitly mentioned race in her post.
Can’t Say It About White Men
Hill responded by suggesting that if the vice president were a white man, then Haley likely wouldn’t have made the same comments.
She Knows What She’s Doing
Hill wrote, “If the vice president had been a white guy named Tim Harris then Haley likely wouldn’t have made the comments at all. She knows what she’s doing and it’s sick.”
This Isn’t the First Time
Haley’s criticisms of Vice President Harris are not new.
She has consistently expressed her opposition to Harris potentially becoming president.
Cannot Have Harris as President
In an interview with Maria Bartiromo, Haley voiced her concerns about Harris’s potential presidency, stating, “My concern is we cannot have Kamala Harris as president. We can’t change this.”
Need for New Generation of Leaders
She further emphasized the need for a new generation of leaders to appeal to a broad range of voters, including Republicans, independents, suburban women, Hispanics, and the Asian community.
The Public Shared Their Thoughts
Several commenters expressed their thoughts on the incident.
One wrote, “If the truth hurts, call it racism.”
If You Don’t Want Harris, You’re Racist?
Another commented, “So if I do not want Harris as president, it is because I am a racist? Doesn’t it have to do with her poor diplomatic skills and pathetic leadership skills?
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / michelmond. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.