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I Was a Brown Girl in a Black and White World: Nikki Haley Invokes Indian Identity at RNC

© REUTERS / KEVIN LAMARQUEFormer US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley speaks to the largely virtual 2020 Republican National Convention in a live address from Washington, DC, 24 August 2020.
Former US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley speaks to the largely virtual 2020 Republican National Convention in a live address from Washington, DC, 24 August 2020.   - Sputnik International
Ex-governor of South Carolina and former US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley was among the star speakers on the first night of the Republican National Convention, which will last from 24 August to 27 August. President Donald Trump is set to be re-nominated as the GOP candidate for the November election.

Presumably in response to the Democrats’ selection of Kamala Harris as VP candidate, Nikki Haley invoked her Indian heritage during her speech at the Republican National Convention on Monday. Claiming that America is not racist, she termed her Indian identity as an example.

"This is personal for me. I am the proud daughter of Indian immigrants. They came to America and settled in a small southern town. My father wore a turban. My mother wore a sari. I was a brown girl in a black and white world", she said.

​Contradicting her own claims, she said that her family faced discrimination and hardship when they came to the US but they never gave in to grievance and hate. “My dad taught 30 years at a historically black college. And the people of South Carolina chose me as their first minority and first female governor,” said the sole Indian-American speaker at the Republican National Convention.

Haley, who accused Democrats of making it fashionable to shame America for racism during the speech, is now being mocked on Twitter over her self-contradictory statement, where she says America is not racist before admitting to having been discriminated against.

​Some netizens are even slamming Haley for expunging her Indian heritage as she stopped using her name Namrata Randhawa and is instead known as Nikki Haley.

President Donald Trump, sitting next to U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, speaks during a working lunch with ambassadors of countries on the United Nations Security Council and their spouses, Monday, April 24, 2017, in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington - Sputnik International
'New Shining Star': Will Nikki Haley Become GOP's Presidential Hopeful Either in 2024 or 2028?
Both Indian-American women Harris and Haley have downplayed their Indian identities but up until their speeches at the party conventions, where both recalled the struggle of their families being immigrants. Haley, the first female governor of South Carolina and the first female Indian-American governor elected in the United States, is from an Indian-American Sikh family. 

Meanwhile, speculations are rife that Haley may be a favourite for the Republican nomination in 2024 due to her "solid conservative record, foreign policy experience and strong appeal among US minorities due to her Indian Punjabi ancestry". 

According to Indian media, the Indian diaspora in the US has traditionally favoured the Democratic Party in overwhelming numbers, but many claim a shift towards the Republican Party is underway in the upcoming presidential election, especially given Trump's rapport with Prime Minister Modi and tough approach to China.

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