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Nikki Haley’s naming dilemma sparked unwarrented response

It’s no secret that politics is a dirty, dirty game. When running for office, any small minute detail about your life or any off-thing you say could unleash a cluster storm of hate through social media and obliterate your campaign. In the case of South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, her State of the Union response opened up swarms of hate through hashtags.

For those who aren’t familiar, Haley is an Indian-American Republican who changed her name from Nimrata Randhawa Haley to her current address. Many accuse her of doing this in order to appeal to the predominantly white, conservative American population.

After Haley’s SOTU response, writer Anand Giridharadas criticized both Haley and Bobby Jindal on Twitter of killing off their heritage in order to appeal to a white America.

“Do figures like @nikkihaley and @BobbyJindal help to euthanize or medicate the dying idea of America-as-whiteness?” Giridharadas said, followed by #IndianAmericanSouthernGovernorName.

Regardless of the clunky hashtag, he’s proving a point that many ethnic politicians will go as far as to change their name in order to gain popularity in a party that would otherwise be put off by a foreign name.

Many Republicans also used #DeportNikkiHaley in a more reckless, and frankly ignorant, outcry to Haley’s response. Tweets suggesting Donald Trump should send Haley back to India were seen from angry Republicans. Haley said in her speech that the U.S. should be “welcoming properly vetted legal immigrants, regardless of religion.” Apparently, party leaders think this will sully the greedy image of conservatives, which, up until this point, has already been sullied by closed off ideals.

Radio host Rush Limbaugh issued a warning of his own on his radio show prior to the SOTU response wherein he thinks the GOP are pushing true conservatives out of the party.

“It’s almost absolute proof of what I have been saying for last couple years now — that the Republican Party’s trying to drive conservatives out of the party,” Limbaugh said. “But, I think it’s more than that. It’s certainly that, but her speech last night sort of expanded the theme of who is and who isn’t qualified to be a Republican, and the Republican Party is still anti-conservative.”

Haley is a Republican that isn’t perfect, but one who takes risks and brings more respectable policies to the GOP. Her leadership in removing the Confederate flag from the state capital last year was notably progressive and conscientious, but changing her name to get into politics isn’t her proudest moment.

But, it is still her personal decision as an Indian American. It probably says more about our white-washed political system than her personal allegiance to Indian culture.

About The Author

Luke Janke

Luke Janke is a super senior studying journalism at FGCU. When he’s not listening to podcasts, he’s busy producing his own podcast, Full Pulp. Concerts and music are at the forefront of his horizon, and when there’s an ounce of free time you’ll find him in his home studio laying down tracks for his music project, Bull Moose Party. As a self-proclaimed nihilist, his affinity for death is emphasized by the authentic squirrel skull found on his desk in the newsroom.

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