Indian-American politician and former US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley has urged citizens to re-elect President Donald Trump in the upcoming presidential elections. On the first night of the Republican National Convention (RNC), she slammed the Democratic Party for making it “fashionable” to call America a “racist” country.
Haley’s speech came one week after California Senator Kamala Harris made history becoming the first Black and Indian-American woman to be chosen for a major party’s presidential ticket.
In her speech, Haley recounted how states like her native South Carolina have risen up from racist violence.
“America is not a racist country. This is personal for me. I am the proud daughter of Indian immigrants. My parents never gave in to grievance and hate. My father wore a turban. I was a brown girl in a black and white world,” Haley said.
She called America “a story that is a work in progress.”
Haley took the audience back to the 2015 shooting of nine Bible study attendees by a white man at a historic Black church in Charleston, South Carolina. The state did not erupt into the kind of violence seen after the recent #BlackLivesMatter protests following the murder of George Floyd and most recently, the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
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As Haley spoke, protesters spilled into the streets in Kenosha. Republicans are framing them as the kind of “chaos” that a Democratic win will unleash across America’s cities.
In her address, she also tore into Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s campaign plans, describing in detail what she called a “radical left” future fuelled by “anarchy”, “riots” and “cancel culture”.
Taken together, both Harris and Haley’s presence at their parties’ convention speaks to the steady rise of Indian-Americans in US politics.
Haley was the first Indian-American to serve in the US cabinet when Trump appointed her as the Permanent Representative to the UN.
A star of the Republican Party, she left the post at the end of 2018 and has been active in politics. There has been speculation about her running for president in 2024.