South Carolina’s Indian-American Republican Governor Nikki Haley was the target of a xenophobic comment by a rival Democratic pol recently, outlookindia.com reported.
“In about 18 months from now, hopefully he’ll have sent Nikki Haley back to wherever the hell she came from,” South Carolina Democratic Chairman Dick Harpootlian said while introducing the state’s Democratic Party gubernatorial candidate Vincent Sheheen at the Jefferson-Jackson dinner on Friday.
The comment drew cheers and laughs from the audience, but Harpootlian is now facing a serious backlash, given that the “wherever the hell” Governor Haley is from is India. Her Sikh parents immigrated to the U.S.
In other words, “Go back to India.” Not a cool move.
Haley is the first woman to serve as Governor of South Carolina and the second Indian-American governor in the country, after fellow Republican Bobby Jindal of Louisiana. She is also the third person of color elected as governor of a Southern state, after Virginia’s Douglas Wilder and Jindal. At the age of 41, Haley is the youngest current governor in the United States.
“Unfortunately, this seems to be a trend coming from the South Carolina Democratic Party,” Governor Haley’s spokesman Rob Godfrey said in a statement.
“Fortunately, the people of South Carolina are better than Harpootlian and his ilk, and we have faith that they will see right through their consistent attempts to play to the lowest common denominator,” he said.
It didn’t really help when Harpootlian later insisted that he was only referring to Lexington County, Haley’s home district that she represented in the state house, when he said “wherever the hell she came from.”
At last year’s national Democratic convention, Harpootlian compared Haley to Adolf Hitler’s mistress, saying the governor “was down in the bunker a la Eva Braun.”
Just so you wouldn’t think the governor is completely PC, there was this scandal in June, 2010, when, in response to a critical article by 25-year-old Charleston reporter Renee Dudley, about her expensive trip to Europe (strictly 5-star hotels), Haley said: “All I will tell you is: God bless that little girl at The Post and Courier. I mean her job is to try and create conflict.”