NEW DELHI: In a recent post on his Truth Social platform, Donald Trump derisively called
by the name “Nimbra,” a deviation from her birth name, Nimarata Nikki Randhawa. This act is the latest in a series of racially charged remarks aimed at individuals of color, particularly those who are his
Born in Bamberg, South Carolina, to
Indian immigrant parents
, Haley has predominantly used her middle name, “Nikki,” and adopted the surname “Haley” after her marriage in 1996.
Despite being a child of immigrants himself, Trump has targeted Haley, a former governor of South Carolina, by misnaming her and questioning her eligibility for the presidency based on her heritage. These actions are reminiscent of his previous “birther” claims against former President Barack Obama.
Haley, dismissing these attacks, suggests they reflect Trump’s insecurity, especially as she positions herself as a formidable contender against him in the upcoming New Hampshire primary, part of the Republican 2024 nomination race.
These assaults mirror Trump’s “birther” narrative aimed at President Barack Obama. For years, Trump propagated the unfounded claim that the country’s inaugural Black president was not born in the United States but in Kenya, challenging his status as a “natural born” U.S. citizen, a constitutional requirement for the presidency. This campaign significantly bolstered Trump’s standing within the most traditionally conservative segments of the Republican Party, contributing to his unexpected victory in the 2016 election, which caught a large portion of the American political sphere off guard.
Trump’s tactics, while criticized by some as racially insensitive, are defended by others like Pastor Darrell Scott, who views them as typical political strategy. Critics, however, like Tara Setmayer of the Lincoln Project, see these actions as indicative of deeper issues within the Republican Party.
Amidst this, Trump continues to use racial and ethnic backgrounds as focal points in his political rhetoric, a pattern evident throughout his career and presidential campaigns. This approach has drawn both support and criticism, highlighting the complex and often divisive nature of political discourse in America.
Meanwhile, Nikki Haley and her supporters are intensifying their efforts in New Hampshire, aiming to challenge Donald Trump’s lead in the upcoming Republican presidential primary. The advocacy group AFP Action, funded by conservative magnate Charles Koch, is deploying up to 100 extra staff members to engage with voters directly before the Tuesday election. Meanwhile, SFA, another well-funded PAC endorsing Haley, has launched a fresh advertisement spotlighting New Hampshire citizens who criticize Trump as a bully and dishonest.
Haley herself, previously the United Nations ambassador under Trump, has modified her campaign rhetoric following her third-place result in Iowa. She’s now taking a more assertive stance against the ex-president in her speeches, although she carefully steers clear of certain subjects, such as Trump’s efforts to contest his 2020 election defeat to President Joe Biden.
(With inputs from agencies)