With all due respect, Nikki Haley, an Indian American — her parents are from the country where Christopher Columbus thought he had landed — former governor of South Carolina, and former Ambassador to the United Nations soul appears hijacked by ambition.
At least it seems that her commonsense has become compromised perhaps to sell copies of her book, With All Due Respect, and a desire to win the Republican nomination in 2024.
Following a successful tenure as governor of South Carolina, where she oversaw the removal of the Confederate flag, Haley served with distinction in her role as President Donald J. Trump’s appointee as the Ambassador to the United Nations.
When Haley resigned from her ambassador’s post, the sky could not hold her unlimited potential. She shone brightly in Republican Party circles. The 2024 nomination looked like hers for the taking and with Kamala Harris’ withdrawal from the 2020 Democratic Primaries, making her perhaps the first woman with Indian American heritage, elected president in history.
The clear path to the nomination all changed when Haley determined although she was a rising star among Republicans, she could not gain the favor of the Trump wing of the Republican Party without passing a Trump purity test.
The solution to this dilemma is simple. One can merely allow the hijacking of one’s soul by the enormous personal ego of the 45th President. Nothing the Trump base loves more than attending a Trump rally is bathing in the delusional afterglow of adoration given to the second coming of the “Chosen One” foretold in religious text.
A few weeks ago, Haley gave an interview where she explained that President Donald Trump had been chosen by God to lead America at this time. Few out of the Trumpian orbit have opined those views like insiders Energy Secretary Rick Perry and Franklin Graham.
Perry stated that like King David in Jewish biblical history, God has raised a flawed King to rule over the nation. Graham went so far as to posit a demonic spirit leads critics of Trump to oppose his political policies.
On Trump, Haley said, “I think that God sometimes places people for lessons and sometimes places people for change. And you can look at everything that has happened, and I think we are seeing [have] a lot of change, and I think we are gaining a lot of lessons from it as well.”
Anthony Scaramucci is a Roman Catholic. He served 11 days as Trump’s Communication Director. Scaramucci recently told CNN’s New Day Host, Alisyn Camerota, that he found it “a little revolting,” that people would claim Trump was chosen by God to do what he is doing in America today.
Speaking on the possible impeachment of Trump by the U. S. House of Representatives, Haley equated impeachment with the death penalty. Legendary songster John Legend took issue with Haley’s characterization that impeachment is equivalent to capital punishment.
Legend twitted: “It’s not the death penalty. It’s firing him from the most important job in the country because he can’t be trusted with it. Real people are sentenced to death. This [impeachment] is not that.”
This week, Haley expressed her current beliefs on the Confederate flag: “Before Dylann Roof hijacked it, people saw the flag as service, sacrifice, and heritage.”
This writer, a southerner by birth, has never seen service, sacrifice, or heritage in the Confederate flag; only oppression, enslavement, brutality, inhumanity, and a threat to human dignity everywhere it flies.
Rolling Stone Senior Writer, Jamil Smith, blasted Haley for opening the wounds of families who lost loved ones in the Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church massacre at the hands and deranged mind of Roof.
“I’m so tired of this shit,” Smith tweeted. “I think of the families of the Charleston church victims, whose wounds @NikkiHaley reopened for no damn reason whatsoever. And all the others murdered under a flag that Confederates themselves said, out loud, represented racism.”
In another tweet, Smith added: “I don’t care why @NikkiHaley did this, though I can guess. Ideally, politicians wouldn’t hope to advance their ambitions by openly defecating on black people. But they do this even when it is to their detriment. That is how intoxicating racism is as a political product.”
Smith’s point about politicians is on point. The recent civil lawsuit brought by George Zimmerman illustrates that average white Americans are intoxicated with racism too. Zimmerman sued the parents and the attorney for Trayvon Martin, a young teenager Zimmerman killed because he had a gun and could not beat Martin heads up in physical combat.
Haley’s position on the Confederate flag is puzzling, given her progressive stance moving to remove the Stars and Bars from the capitol grounds when she served as governor of South Carolina. The only plausible explanation is that thoughts of higher office have hijacked her sense of history.
Harold Michael Harvey is the author of Freaknik Lawyer: A Memoir on the Craft of Resistance. He is a Past President of the Gate City Bar Association. He is the recipient of Gate City’s R. E. Thomas Civil Rights Award, which he received for his pro bono representation of Black college students arrested during Freaknik celebrations in the mid to late 1990s. An avid public speaker, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.