Nikki Haley Unplugged: Yeah, She Said That

It’s time to Break It Down!

From time, I run across a take so real, I feel it’s best served uncut, so that it is not filtered through any biases I have, or that I am perceived to have. Since we are in the early stages of the 2024 Presidential Campaign, and because Nimarata Randhawa (you can call her Nikki) Haley is an announced candidate, it’s appropriate to expose you to some of her less well-known statements and positions. To that end, this post consists of a recounting of an interview with Mrs. Haley during her campaign for the South Carolina Governorship in 2010. The interview was conducted by a local, now defunct activist group, The Palmetto Patriots. Without further ado, here’s Nikki:

Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley defended states’ rights to secede from the United States, South Carolina’s Confederate History Month and the Confederate flag in a 2010 interview with a local activist group that “fights attacks against Southern Culture.” 

Haley, who was running for South Carolina governor at the time, made the comments during an interview with the now defunct “The Palmetto Patriots,” a group which included a one-time board member of a White nationalist organization.

The former UN ambassador also described the Civil War as two sides fighting for different values, one for “tradition” and one for “change.”

Haley announced last week she was running for president, becoming the first official major challenger to former President Donald Trump.

The interview was posted on the group’s YouTube at the time and resurfaced over the years, most recently by Patriots Takes, an anonymous Twitter account that monitors right wing extremism. CNN’s KFile reviewed the interviews as part of a look into Haley’s early political career. 

One of the Palmetto Patriots’ interviewers was Robert Slimp, a pastor and member of the Sons of Conservative Veterans and one-time board member and active member of the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC), a White nationalist group. The CCC is a self-described White-rights group that opposes non-White immigration and advocates a White nationalist ideology. The group reportedly inspired Charleston shooter Dylann Roof, the White nationalist who killed nine people at a historically Black church in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015. 

The shooting spurred Haley, then governor, to call for the removal of the Confederate battle flag from the South Carolina statehouse grounds where it had been since being removed from the state’s Capitol dome in 2000. 

In a comment to CNN, Haley’s spokesperson cited her decision to help remove the flag from the grounds but declined to address Haley’s other comments. 

“Nikki Haley’s groundbreaking leadership on removing the Confederate flag from the South Carolina Capitol grounds is well known,” Ken Farnaso, her spokesperson, wrote in an email to CNN.

Defends the flag 

In the 2010 interview, Haley said the Confederate flag was not “racist” but part of heritage and tradition within the state. She called the flag’s location a “compromise of all people, that everybody should accept a part of South Carolina.” 

“You know, for those groups that come in and say they have issues with the Confederate flag, I will work to talk to them about it,” Haley said. “I will work and talk to them about the heritage and how this is not something that is racist. This is something that is a tradition that people feel proud of and let them know that we want their business in this state. And that the flag where it is, was a compromise of all people that everybody should accept as part of South Carolina.” 

After the Charleston church mass shooting, Haley called on the state legislature to remove the Confederate flag from the state capitol, becoming one of the defining moments of her governorship. 

“There is a place for that flag,” Haley said to CNN in July 2015 after the flag was removed. “It’s not in a place that represents all people in South Carolina.” 

But Haley’s later comments would complicate this legacy after she claimed that to some people the Confederate flag symbolized “service, sacrifice and heritage” for some South Carolinians until Roof “hijacked” it, sparking backlash. 

Following the backlash, Haley wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post defending her comments. 

“In South Carolina, as in much of the South, the Confederate flag has long been a hot-button issue,” Haley wrote. “Everyone knows the flag has always been a symbol of slavery, discrimination and hate for many people. But not everyone sees the flag that way. That’s hard for non-Southerners to understand, but it’s a fact.” 

Defended the right to secession

When asked about secession, Haley said that while she believed under the Constitution that states have the right to secede from the rest of the country. When asked if she would support the secession of South Carolina, which was the first state to secede during the Civil War, she said she did not think “it’s gonna get to that point.” 

“The Union, I think that they do,” Haley inaccurately said. “I mean, the Constitution says that.” (Here’s a hint; it does not!)

The Supreme Court ruled in 1869 that states do not have a constitutional right to unilaterally secede. 

Haley declined to say if she would support South Carolina if it “needed” to secede, when asked. 

“You know, I’m one of those people that doesn’t think it’s gonna get to that point,” Haley said before describing how she might rally governors to go to the federal government to settle disputes over “federal intrusion.” 

Defends Confederate Heritage Month 

Haley also said she supported South Carolina’s “Confederate History Month” during the interview, comparing it to Black History Month. 

“Yes, it’s part of a traditional – you know, it’s part of tradition,” she said. “And so, when you look at that, if you have the same as you have Black History Month and you have Confederate History Month and all of those. As long as it’s done where it is in a positive way and not in a negative way, and it doesn’t go to harm anyone, and it goes back to where it focuses on the traditions of the people that are wanting to celebrate it, then I think it’s fine. 

Calls the Civil War a fight for ‘tradition v. change’ 

In her interview, Haley also described the Civil War in terms sympathetic to the southern cause and did not mention slavery. 

“I mean, again, I think that as we look in government, as we watch government, you have different sides, and I think that you see passions on different sides, and I don’t think anyone does anything out of hate,” Haley said. “I think what they do is, they do things out of tradition and out of beliefs of what they believe is right.” 

“I think you have one side of the Civil War that was fighting for tradition, and I think you have another side of the Civil War that was fighting for change,” she added. “You know, at the end of the day, what I think we need to remember is that you know, everyone is supposed to have their rights, everyone is supposed to be free, everyone is supposed to have the same freedoms as anyone else. So, you know I think it was tradition versus change is the way I see it. 

“Tradition versus change on what,” asked the interviewer. 

“On individual rights and liberty of people,” she responded. 

Haley later added she believed everyone was endowed with rights from “our creator” to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” 

“Well, I think that for me, you know what I continue to remember is that you know we also know that our creator endowed the rights of everyone having you know, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” she said. ‘And so, when I look at it that way, I look at that’s still what needs to be what guides everybody, so that we make sure that we keep those three things in check.” 

By: Andrew Kaczynski, CNN’s Em Steck contributed to this report.

Get to know the candidates. “Nikki Haley Unplugged: Yeah, She Said That!”

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Read my blog anytime by clicking the linkhttp://thesphinxofcharlotte.comFind a new post each Wednesday.

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Black History Month (BHM) Week 3: Chronicles of the Evolution of African American Life Redux ’23

It’s time to Break It Down!

Thirteen years ago, in February 2010, I wrote a series of 4 profiles on African Americans3 of whom were little known.  While their exploits were dramatic in all four instances, they were simply fundamentally, even stunningly life altering in some cases. In 2012, I synthesized the material from those four posts into one digest, which I reposted in 2019. I am reprising again today. Last year, I made four posts, one for each week of Black History Month. Today, I’m reprising the post from Week 3. 

We live in an age in which, despite the ubiquitous nature of the Internet and the pervasiveness of the 24-7 news cycle, the names, exploits, and accomplishments of luminaries such as Henrietta LacksCharlotte Hawkins Brown, and Alexander Manly are enmeshed in an historical nebula; present, but barely known or visible.

By contrast, speak or write the name Barack Obama, and due to a variety of factors, almost anyone you meet in the civilized world is capable of spouting off a vast array of factoids, real, imagined, true or false.  As POTUS, President Obama certainly earned all the notoriety he amassed, while the relative lack of knowledge about LacksBrown, and Manly is in no way an accurate reflection of their relative importance.  All made important contribution to life, as we know it in America; at least one altered the dynamics of medical history around the world.

Alex Manly, who was African American, was also a descendent of Charles ManlyNorth Carolina’s 31st Governor.  In 1898Wilmington held the dual distinction of being North Carolina’s largest city, and predominantly black.  Mr. Manly was the editor of the Wilmington Daily Record, the only black-owned newspaper in the United States at the time.  He wrote a controversial editorial with both racial and sexual implications.  The piece was so super-charged that it is cited as the catalyst for the infamous November 10, 1898, Wilmington race riot. The gist of Manly’s editorial comments is aptly distilled in this quote:

  • “Our experience among poor white people in the country teaches us that women of that race are not any more particular in the matter of clandestine meetings with colored men than the white men with the colored women.”

The rest is history; it took three months, but in November, after the August editorial that included that quote, Wilmington burned…and Manly and the robust black leadership class fled the city.  Manly was an example of a bold and defiant voice that emerging black leaders would demonstrate in the American South and across this country in the coming years.  The reaction of much of Wilmington’s white citizenry was equally clear, and at that juncture, more powerfully defiant.

Charlotte Hawkins Brown was a native North Carolinian who was educated in Massachusetts, and who returned to her home state to lead an all-girls’ school, which she later transformed into a Junior College.

Ms. Brown made her mark fostering and improving African American achievement, especially among women.  Her considerable legacy includes:

Henrietta Lacks is not from North Carolina (she hailed from neighboring Virginia), but her story’s impact permeates not only the Tar Heel (and Old Dominion) state, and the rest of the country, but spans the entire globe.  Ms. Lacks, who lived a short life, by almost any measure, died of cervical cancer at age 31 in 1951.  Posthumously, she would go on to have an inordinate impact on cancer treatment as well as several other serious diseases, all over the world, through cells removed prior to her death.  The essence of her story is that:

  • Researchers at Johns Hopkins discovered a scientific breakthrough related to Ms. Lacks’ cells. In a departure from anything the scientists had seen before, the cells culled from Ms. Lacks continued to grow, outside of her body, and after her death. In fact, they did not just survive, they multiplied. In a circular irony, cells from Ms. Lacks’ culture were used to help Dr. Jonas Salk develop a vaccine for polio in 1955. Of course, Ms. Lacks had marched to help find a cure for that disease just four years earlier.

Unarguably, the Barack Obama story is one that most Americans are familiar with, at least tangentially.  President Obama, the son of a Kenyan father and a Kansan mother, was born in Hawaii, graduated from Columbia University, and Harvard University Law School, and went on to become a Chicago community organizer.  Oh yeah, on November 4, 2008, he was elected President of the United States.  As such:

One of President Obama’s historic appointments was the selection of Eric Holder as Attorney General (He also subsequently appointed Loretta Lynch, also an African American, who filled the position when General Holder stepped down to pursue other interests).  That would hold special significance this month anyway, as Mr. Holder is African American.  It has taken on an added dimension however, as Dr. Sharon MaloneMr. Holder’s wife, distinguished in her own right, shared a part of her family history in a 2019 PBS Special, in which she detailed how her Uncle Henry, born nearly 30 after slavery ended officially, was one of thousands of black men arrested on fabricated charges and forced into labor camps and compelled to work without pay.  As Dr. Malone told the story, she asked that we:

  • Imagine that this “convict leasing” system saw the groups of prisoners sold to private parties – like plantation owners or corporations – and that it was not only tolerated by both the North and South but was largely ignored by the U.S. Justice Department.
  • Now, imagine that nearly a century after your uncle served 366 days in this penal labor system, you find yourself married to the head of the U.S. Justice Department, who, ironically, just so happens to be the first African American in the position.

There are many reasons why this information is not just historically significant, but contemporarily relevant.  None is more compelling than debunking the idea that the vagaries and vicissitudes of slavery and its variant offshoots no longer plague our society in general and African Americans in particular.  As Dr. Malone put it:

  • “I want people to understand that this is not something that’s divorced and separate, and this doesn’t have anything to do with them.  If you were a black person who grew up in the South, some way or the other – whether or not you were directly involved in the system as my uncle was – you knew somebody who was, or your daily lives were circumscribed by those circumstances.”

Unless you are part of Dr. Malone’s immediate family, her Uncle Henry is likely even more of an unknown to you than Alex Manly, Charlotte Hawkins Brown, and Henrietta Lacks.  Yet, his story is as irrevocably interwoven into the fabric of African American and American History as that of President Obama.  In fact, African American History is American History. There are a numerous conservative elected officials and citizens who characterize the contents of this as Critical Race Theory, or CRT. That’s the spin they use on each other, and anyone gullible enough to buy into such bovine excrement. Such is the tricknology they’ve deigned to resort to when American History does not hue to their preferred narrative. That’s too bad. 

Over this month, by all means, take at least one more moment to reflect on the fact it’s not just a month, it’s every single day, 24/7/365…“Black History Month (BHM) Week 3: Chronicles of the Evolution of African American Life Redux ’23!”

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Read my blog anytime by clicking the link A new post is published each Wednesday. For more detailed information on a variety of aspects relating to this post, consult the links below:

The State of the Union is Strong: Finish the Job — Joe Biden 2/7/23

It’s time to Break It Down!

“So, I’ve come to fulfill my constitution obligation to report the state of the union and here’s my report: Because the soul of this nation is strong, because the backbone of this nation is strong, because the people of this nation are strong, the state of the union is strong,”

And thus, Biden began the wind down of his 1 hour-twelve minutes-44 seconds SOTU Union Address Tuesday evening. See the transcript link below:

Over the course of the nearly 73-minute speech, Biden appealed to bipartisanship, telling Republicans he wants to work together instead of “fighting for the sake of fighting.”

In the venerable House Chamber, there appeared to be a few moments when both sides rose above the palpable partisan divide that has gripped the nation for quite some time. However, Biden drew bipartisan applause when he praised most law enforcement officers as “good, decent, honorable people” but added that “when police officers or police departments violate the public’s trust, they must be held accountable.”

Biden sought to portray a nation dramatically improved from the one he took charge of two years ago: from a reeling economy to one prosperous with new jobs; from a crippled, pandemic-weary nation to one that has now reopened, and a democracy that has survived its biggest test since the Civil War.

The political dynamic for the annual message was markedly different from the previous two years, with a Republican speaker now sitting expressionless behind Biden and newly empowered GOP lawmakers in the chamber sometimes shouting criticism of him and his administration.

A year ago, Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert heckled Biden during his speech, and photographs of their angry shouting went viral. Ahead of the speech, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy urged his caucus to avoid repeating such a spectacle. But after Biden suggested that some Republicans wanted to gut Social Security and Medicare, GOP lawmakers erupted in protest. Taylor Greene was spotted standing and shouting at the president again. Later, other Republicans interrupted Biden to shout about the southern border.

Biden, basically characterizing himself as the adult in the room noted, “The people sent us a clear message. Fighting for the sake of fighting, power for the sake of power, conflict for the sake of conflict, gets us nowhere. That’s always been my vision for the country: to restore the soul of the nation, to rebuild the backbone of America — the middle class — and unite the country.

“We’ve been sent here to finish the job!”

To get a more in-depth take on the speech, click the link above, and read the entire transcript. “The State of The Union is Strong: Finish the Job — Joe Biden 2/7/23!”

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Trump Acts Like A Mobster; Pleads the Fifth More Than 400 Times

It’s time to Break It Down!

What a difference a quadrennial makes. Four years ago, Donald Trump said:

“You see the mob takes the Fifth. If you’re innocent, why are you taking the Fifth Amendment?”

Last August, in a ironic twist, The Donald invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination more than 400 times during his deposition with office of New York Attorney General Letitia James. Newly released video shows he repeated the same answer for nearly four hours. The deposition was part of a $250 million fraud lawsuit by the Empire State against Trump, three of his adult children, and his business.

The video showed Trump refused to answer any questions during the four-hour deposition on August 10th.

Trump answered the first three questions of the deposition with: “For all of the reasons provided by my answer, which is incorporated herein in its entirety, I decline to answer the question.”

NY AG James’ team told Trump that to speed things up, he could respond to the questions with, “same answer.” 

Most of the rest of the deposition was the voice of the AG senior enforcement counsel Kevin Wallace, who noted for the record that ‘obviously, we disagree with a lot of the characterizations in Trump’s statement.

When Trump showed up in downtown Manhattan for the deposition, he’d inexplicably (not really) evolved his position. There he said:

“This whole thing is very unfair. Anyone in my position not taking the Fifth Amendment would be a fool, and absolute fool.” 

I respectfully decline to answer questions under the rights and privileges afforded every citizen under the United States Constitution, on the advice of counsel.

This will be my answer to any further questions.”

And just like that, the imperious Donald the Intrepid, developed a brand-new attitude, and surprise, surprise, a whole new-found appreciation for the viability and applicability of the Fifth Amendment. Whoever said, old dogs can’t learn new tricks?

A little over a month after the deposition, on September 21, AG James announced her office’s suit against Trump, the three kids, and the business for inflating the value of their properties. All four Trumps denied any wrongdoing.

Despite his repeated “same answer” responses, The Donald appeared to weigh at least some of the questions posed. At one point he leaned forward, crossed his arms, and studied financial documents handed to him by AG counsel Wallace. Then, he uttered, “same answer.”

This is just one of several pending legal actions directed at Trump, both civil and criminal. These suits, combined with the active presidential campaign Trump is waging will make for a unique campaign season. There are sure to be further developments. Stay tuned. “Trump Acts Like a Mobster; Pleads The Fifth More Than 400 Times!”

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Read my blog anytime by clicking the linkhttp://thesphinxofcharlotte.comFind a new post each Wednesday.

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