Home » What Black Americans should know about presidential candidate Nikki Haley

What Black Americans should know about presidential candidate Nikki Haley

by The Grio

Nikki Haley has officially thrown her name into the 2024 presidential race, becoming the first formidable challenger to former President Donald Trump. 

Haley, a former member of the Trump administration who served as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, has already leaned into her diverse candidacy as a younger woman of color who led a state with one of the largest Black populations in the country as the former governor of South Carolina. Her run for the White House will also undoubtedly put her and her political record under the public microscope.

So who exactly is Nikki Haley, and what should Black Americans know about her? TheGrio breaks it down for you.

She is of Indian descent

If elected president, Haley, 51, would become the first woman and woman of color to serve as commander in chief. An Indian American, she has already broken racial and gender barriers as the first woman and woman of color to serve as South Carolina governor, and the first Indian American to serve in a presidential cabinet.

In her speech at the 2020 Republican National Convention, Haley noted that her Indian immigrant family “faced discrimination and hardship” for standing out in their small South Carolina town. “​​My father wore a turban; my mother wore a sari. I was a brown girl in a black-and-white world,” said Haley, and despite the challenges, “my parents never gave in to grievance and hate.”

Comments on critical race theory (CRT)

Like Republican leaders across the country targeting some teachings of race in classrooms, Haley publicly slammed critical race theory. In 2021, she called on state governors to ban funding for schools that teach CRT. 

She told Fox News: “Think about a 5-year-old that starts kindergarten and they don’t know anything about color. If she’s white, you’re telling her she’s bad. If she’s brown or Black, you’re telling her she will never be enough…

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