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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Nikki Haley: Indian-American Republican Politician Running for US President in 2024

Get to Know Nikki Haley: Indian-American Republican Politician Running for US President in 2024

Nikki Haley, born Nimrata Nikki Randhawa on January 20, 1972, grew up in rural central South Carolina as the third child of a Sikh family. She studied textile management at Clemson University and graduated in 1994 with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. It was at Clemson University where she met her future husband, Bill Haley.

In 2010, Haley made history as the first non-white and female governor of South Carolina, becoming the second Indian American governor after Bobby Jindal of Louisiana. Her election at that time as governor garnered attention, as she was a woman in a party largely dominated by men, a daughter of Indian immigrants in a conservative white male-dominated party.

As governor, Haley is remembered for signing a bill to remove the Confederate flag from the statehouse grounds in 2015, a decision that followed the killing of nine Black worshipers by a white supremacist. The Confederate flag has been widely regarded as a symbol of slavery and racism.

Haley’s political career took a turn when former President Trump offered her the position of ambassador to the United Nations. She agreed on three conditions: to work directly with Trump, to be part of his cabinet, and to be involved in national security decisions.

As US ambassador to the UN, Haley’s statement about her potential involvement in addressing conflicts between India and Pakistan was met with criticism from the Indian government, which reiterated its stance that third-party intervention is not acceptable in resolving such issues. “As tensions and conflicts are on the rise, we are interested in seeing if we can be a part of the solution,” Haley said.

Although Nikki Haley condemned Trump’s actions to overturn the 2020 election and his incitement of the Capitol Hill insurrection, she shifted her stance and portrayed him as a victim once impeachment charges were filed.

In April 2021, Haley declared that she wouldn’t run for president in 2024 if Trump decided to run. However, she has since changed her mind, making headlines as a potential presidential candidate.

Nikki Haley made a controversial statement about the Rev Raphael Warnock (an American Baptist pastor and politician serving as the junior United States senator from Georgia since 2021) suggesting that he should be “deported.” Haley, who is the daughter of Indian immigrants, argued that her parents came to the US legally and paid their dues and worked hard. Responding to Haley’s remarks, Cornell William Brooks, a Harvard professor and pastor, pointed out the irony that Haley’s family was able to immigrate to the US thanks to the civil rights laws that Black Americans died for.

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