NAACP leader Talbert Swan had a message for former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley when she announced her candidacy for president last week: You’re a disgrace to your race.
“NIMRATA RANDHAWA HALEY Say your real name @NikkiHaley,” Swan tweeted. “Are you afraid the White folks you’re kowtowing to won’t vote for someone named Nimrata?” You not only want to erase the history of Black people to satisfy racists, you want to erase your own. You’re a disgrace,” he said.
He’s not the only one.
“Nikki Nimrata Haley shamefully [is] using her Indian heritage to launder white supremacy and GOP talking points,” wrote MSNBC progressive Wajahat Ali, later adding: “Looks like Haley is trying to use White grievance and hate to pave a lily-white road to the White House.”
Since Haley formally launched her campaign, social media sites have been full of these attacks, including the debunked claim she “changed her name” to hide her identity.
“First, let’s point out ‘Nikki’ is the name on my birth certificate. I’ve been called ‘Nikki’ all my life,” the former U.N. Ambassador told NHJournal after a meet-and-greet with the New Hampshire Federation of Republican Women in Manchester. She called the attacks “crazy,” and a sign of how worried Democrats are about her ability to reach voters of color.
“And if a Republican did that to a Democrat, what would happen? Absolute outrage,” Haley added. “But they cannot stand the fact that a minority, conservative female would be Republican.”
New Hampshire state Sen. Daryl Abbas (R-Salem) knows what Haley is going through.
As a member of the New Hampshire House during the last biennium, Abbas gave an impassioned speech on behalf of legislation banning race-based curricula and content, like Critical Race Theory, from Granite State schools and other government agencies. Abbas used his own family as an example: His Italian Catholic mother, Egyptian Muslim father, Irish wife, and multi-racial son.
“If it were true, as Critical Race Theory insists, that White people are inherently racist, my family wouldn’t exist,” Abbas said. “And I’m not going to allow anyone to teach my son that his mother is racist because she’s White, but his father isn’t because he’s not.”
In response, Granite State progressives pulled a page from the same playbook being used against Haley.
“Rep. Abbas you are a disgrace to all Arabs. Do you deny systemic racism that plagues our community? Or is your power so far up your ass that dedication to a party will allow you to throw your people under the bus?” asked Asma Elhuni of the far-Left activist group Rights and Democracy NH.
Asked about the attacks on Haley, Abbas said everyone should be offended, not just Republicans.
“This mindset that, based on your political views, you’re abandoning your race — that can be racist,” Abbas said. “When I hear that ‘loyal to your race’ stuff, I think about how many people of Middle Eastern descent I know who are Republicans and race just doesn’t come up. To them, I’m just ‘Daryl.’”
The attacks on Haley from Democrats and left-leaning media outlets have been particularly personal rather than based on policy disagreements.
In a Politico article headlined “Nikki Haley’s Complicated Racial Dance,” Milan Vaishnav of the left-leaning Carnegie Endowment for International Peace claimed Haley has an “on-again, off-again” relationship with her race. And MSNBC’s Ali took his attacks to the next level by explicitly labeling Haley a racial “token.”
New Hampshire state GOP Vice Chair Ryan Terrell has heard it before. When Gov. Chris Sununu nominated him to serve on the state Board of Education, the Democrat-controlled Executive Council rejected Terrell — the first Black nominee to the board in a generation. Then-councilor Andru Volinksy, who also ran for governor in the 2020 Democratic primary, dismissed Terrell’s nomination as “tokenism” and “demeaning.” Volinsky was later forced to apologize under pressure from the NAACP, and a GOP-controlled council approved Terrell’s nomination in 2021.
“On the left, a person’s race is only validated by adherence to their woke orthodoxy of allowable opinions,” Terrell said of the attacks on Haley. “She’s using her race and story as an example of the limitless potential that people of all backgrounds share by living in America.”
Terrell said it is time to call Democrats out for these attacks.
“At best they’re hypocrites, at worse race-provocateurs. Unlike the left, Nikki and I aren’t asking for special treatment due to our race. We’re showing by example that race doesn’t determine your potential for success, your merit does,” Terrell said.
“The second I show up, the Democrats’ heads’ explode, so the attacks are going to continue,” Haley said. “They’re not going to stop until we call them out every single time.”