Presidential hopeful Nikki Haley found herself at the center of a social media firestorm after making a tweet that implied her reservations about the idea of Kamala Harris becoming President of the United States. Here’s the full story.
The tweet, posted on Sunday, August 27, ignited a heated debate and led to accusations of racism and political opportunism.
Biden Is in Decline
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 Tweet Drew Criticism and Support
The tweet immediately drew responses from various corners of social media, with one of the most prominent critics being writer Jemele Hill from The Atlantic.
Haley Was 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 tweeted, “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.
Halye Is a South Asian Descent
However, Haley’s own background, being of South Asian descent, led to a nuanced discussion on social media.
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 users defended Haley, arguing that she hadn’t explicitly mentioned race in her tweet.
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.
Social Media Users Shared Their Thoughts
Several social media users expressed their thoughts on the incident. One user wrote, “If the truth hurts, call it racism.”
If You Don’t Want Harris, You’re Racist?
Another user 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?
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Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Juli Hansen. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.