#MemeOfTheWeek: The Racial Politics Of Nikki Haley

#MemeOfTheWeek: The Racial Politics Of Nikki Haley

National Public Radio

Sam Sanders, Reporter, Washington Desk

Gov. Nikki Haley, R-S.C. at Charleston, S.C., Republican presidential debate Thursday.
Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Depending on whom you ask, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley’s State of the Union response this week was either going to save the modern Republican Party or kill conservatism.

This week, those differing responses evoked two different hashtags. Both, in some ways, were about Haley’s heritage, and they bring to light the tricky way she’ll have to navigate race should she take on a more prominent role in the 2016 election.


After Haley gave the Republican response to President Obama’s seventh and final State of the Union address this week, some conservatives were not impressed. Haley said in her speech that fixing immigration “means welcoming properly vetted legal immigrants, regardless of their race or religion. Just like we have for centuries.” She offered a tacit rebuke of Donald Trump when she said, “During anxious times, it can be tempting to follow the siren call of the angriest voices. We must resist that temptation.”

(She confirmed on NBC’s Today show the next day that she was, in fact, referring to Trump.).

The response to those lines, and other conciliatory notes in Haley’s speech, was swift. And some of it was brutal. Conservative firebrand Ann Coulter probably went the farthest, writing, “Donald Trump should deport Nikki Haley.”….

….In some ways, Haley seems to face the same conundrum former Louisiana Gov. and failed Republican presidential candidate Bobby Jindal did — not seeming “brown enough” for some voters of color, while being “too brown” for others. (We won’t bore you with the details, or subject you to some of the graphic tweets, but just take a look at the #JindalSoWhite hashtag to see what we’re talking about.)

Of course, Twitter is not exactly or entirely representative of the real world, and even thousands of tweets for or against Nikki Haley might not accurately depict actual support or disapproval of her…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , , ,