Most Americans who are routinely plugged into the news cycle are aware of the fact that much ado was made about something (yes something) when Nikki Haley responded to a question from an audience member at a New Hampshire town about the cause of the Civil War. The republican presidential candidate awkwardly (arguably intentionally), sidestepped the REAL ISSUE that resulted in one of our nation’s most pivotal events – SLAVERY!

Rather than confront the truth head-on and provide an HONEST response to the questioner, Haley attempted to dance around the question with the skill of a fish riding a bicycle and fell flat on her butt! The intense commentary and backlash that followed her intellectually dishonest remarks had the former Governor and United Nation’s Ambassador trying to backtrack. The story is still percolating in the political arena.

Not surprisingly, Haley went on simultaneous defense and offense. Initially, by conceding that “of course, the Civil war was about slavery!” while at the same time, accusing the questioner of being a “democratic plant.” Upon hearing such accusatory rhetoric, the response from many people, myself included, was Whatever! Please! Bye Felicia! Her horrendous response gave her political rivals the opportunity to seize on your foolish behavior. The ever acerbic Chris Christie wasted no time chastising her, making it clear that Slavery was the major factor that resulted in the Civil War. Period. Even Ron “slavery was really not all that bad for Black people” DeSantis had the unmitigated gall to hypocritically weigh in, levying criticism of Haley. Others across the political spectrum weighed in as well.

Seriously though? How could a person who was once the governor of South Carolina, the state that led the initiative to begin the war at Fort Sumter in 1861, Ms. Haley!!!, be so unaware of such a pivotal, indisputable reality? Taking such a shameful position (I am being polite) is classic political double speak, and a prime example of cowardice. Any genuine individual is aware of the fact that slavery is one of the most pernicious vices known to mankind. It is a retrograde factor that has been deeply embedded in the fabric of our nation.

Its searing and oppressive impact had, and continues to have, a profoundly negative effect on people of color. It was a systemic, systematic, brutal, subtle, blatant, violent, sophisticated, pathetic, deceptive, arrogant abomination. This should go without saying, and yet, in light of Ms. Haley’s comments, it is obvious not even a former governor of a former slave state is willing to admit it.

Although she is a member of the Republican Party, the fact is that Nikki Haley is still a person of color. She is the child of Indian immigrants. Moreover, her real name is Nimrata Randhawa. Thus, it is perplexing (at least to me and I am sure to some other people) that as a non-White person and woman, Haley so fiercely embraces a party that (at least from a cultural perspective) currently denounces, demonizes, disregards and disrespects, virtually all, if not everything she is.

Besides a burning desire to be president, what would prompt her to engage in such demeaning antics? Self-hatred? Political expediency? Some other motive? What gives? Indeed, what is psychologically driving Ms. Haley? Inquiring, socially conscious minds want to know!

To be sure, no group of people, and that includes non-White people, is monolithic. In fact, there are, indeed, people of color who are conservative in their political beliefs. That being said, the fact is that even those individuals of racial minority groups (at least a notable percentage of them) are likely to be very apprehensive in supporting a party that at this time largely sponsors and represents far right wing White nationalism.

The truth is that no amount of perverse denial or disingenuous revisionist history or debate, desperately promoted by some on the rabid, unhinged, political, social and cultural right, can or will alter this unalterable fact. Period! Deep down, something tells me that Nikki Haley and many other of her right wing cohorts know the real truth. Such twisted and dishonest mental gymnastics are a sad reality.

BlackCommentator.com Guest

Commentator, Dr. Elwood Watson,

Historian, public speaker, and cultural

critic is a professor at East Tennessee

State University and author of the recent

book, Keepin' It Real: Essays on Race in

Contemporary America (University of

Chicago Press), which is available in

paperback and on Kindle via Amazon and

other major book retailers. Cotnact

Dr.Watson and BC.

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