Continuing a steady slide to the right since her tenure as President Donald Trump's United Nations ambassador, former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley is under heat for recent comments regarding the Confederate flag.
The comments came during an interview with far-Right Blaze TV host Glenn Beck.
Haley was discussing the 2015 shooting at Emanuel AME church in Charleston, South Carolina where a white supremacist murdered nine Black churchgoers who had invited them into their bible study. The shooter, whom police arrested without harming, was pictured online and his manifestos with the Confederate flag.
Haley, who was governor at the time, ordered that the Confederate flag be removed from the State House and any other government buildings. The decision was a controversial one, and was criticized by numerous Republicans.
The flag was infamously a battle symbol for the Confederate army of states who betrayed the United States in an effort to hold onto the practice of slavery and its design continues to be a mainstay in white supremacist circles today. For Black Americans across the country, the flag is a symbol of racism and anti-Black violence.
Watch Haley's comments below.
Nikki Haley says the Confederate flag was about "service, and sacrifice, and heritage" until Dylan Roof "hijacked"… https://t.co/q1htzpiKFn— Jason Campbell (@Jason Campbell) 1575653200.0
Haley seemed to imply that the racist implications weren't there until 2015—after the shooting:
"Here is this guy that comes out with this manifesto, holding the Confederate flag...People saw [the flag] as service, and sacrifice, and heritage, but once he did that, there was no way to overcome it. And the national media came in droves—they wanted to define what happened. They wanted it to make this about racism. They wanted to make it about gun control. They wanted to make it about the death penalty."
Some thought her comments were an effort to boost her stature in the Republican party, with many repeating the rumor that Haley is trying to run as Trump's Vice President pick in 2020.
Nikki Haley thinks she's going to be Vice President and then maybe President, doesn't she? I'd say she's sullying h… https://t.co/pXCT4I9z5L— Mae B Someday Soon (@Mae B Someday Soon) 1575657609.0
NIkki Haley is auditing for Mike Pence's VP spot. Whitewashing racism is part of the requirement. Another point on… https://t.co/BxmizLzEv4— ©️as Ⓜ️udde (@©️as Ⓜ️udde) 1575659504.0
Is this Nikki Haley telling Trump that Pence isn't white supremacy enough for VP, pick me instead? https://t.co/hS13eDKxoB— Glen Cockrell (@Glen Cockrell) 1575657851.0
Haley blaming the media for the racist massacre only bolstered the idea that she was gunning for the VP position.
The “national media” “wanted to make” the story of a Confederate flag wielding white teen who massacred black churc… https://t.co/97dK15SSIJ— Wesley (@Wesley) 1575655522.0
The national media "wanted to make this about racism," Haley says of the racist attack on a black church carried ou… https://t.co/WV1V0H5N84— Lawrence Hurley (@Lawrence Hurley) 1575655823.0
Nikki Haley claims that the national media made the Charleston shooting "about racism." And she trumpets the same d… https://t.co/UzmNiPHZlG— Elizabeth Stockton (@Elizabeth Stockton) 1575655400.0
Nikki, the media didn't make this about racism, it was racist. As someone who has lived their entire life in the so… https://t.co/GhhDTvnr9f— Jonathan Seaborn (@Jonathan Seaborn) 1575657180.0
But some still say her position is actually similar to what it was when she decided to remove the flag.
No one would be shocked by Nikki Haley's comments in 2019 if there hadn't been so much effort since 2015 to engage… https://t.co/ntfOgtl523— Bree Newsome Bass (@Bree Newsome Bass) 1575662661.0
This is not new. Even in her 2015 speech to remove the flag, she said many in South Carolina see the flag as “a mem… https://t.co/Qt0NQI68jr— Kimberly Atkins (@Kimberly Atkins) 1575655979.0
Regardless, people agreed that the flag was racist long before 2015.
Yeah, 2015 was the first time anyone thought the flag was a symbol for racists. It's certainly not what the South… https://t.co/pVLuPttkV8— Well, I Just Don't Understand It (@Well, I Just Don't Understand It) 1575654901.0
The Confederate flag was about service & sacrifice to a heritage of owning, raping, torturing & working enslaved hu… https://t.co/1QnQUqpFtV— John Fugelsang (@John Fugelsang) 1575666651.0
Obscene. Ahistorical. It's the battle flag of the fight to preserve slavery. The confederate flag is about racism,… https://t.co/3UPv3HCWrY— David Rothkopf (@David Rothkopf) 1575661822.0
Sadly, that last tweet might be incorrect. We've seen numerous politicians embolden racism to get elected. One of them is currently in the White House.