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From “Nikki Who?” to Nikki the “Raghead” Whore in Less Than a Month

Posted By Jenn Q. Public On June 5, 2010 @ 8:00 am In NewsReal Blog | No Comments

Nikki Haley

A month ago, few people outside of South Carolina knew of State Rep. Nikki Haley.  But that didn’t stop her opponents from wetting themselves when Haley picked up some impressive endorsements and her gubernatorial campaign gained momentum.

Don’t worry, said their trusty consultants as they mopped up the puddles, a scarlet letter oughta finish her off. And if a little old fashioned slut-baiting doesn’t do the trick, we’ll just make sure everyone knows Nimrata Randhawa Haley is secret “raghead.”  Trust us, the good ol’ boys in South Cackalacky know just how to handle a foreign lady who’s in our way.

And thus began their Hail Mary pass to sideline the uppity woman with the ethnic name.

Why bother? Because Haley’s record of fighting for transparent government is a direct threat to politics as usual at the Statehouse.  South Carolina’s good ol’ boys are terrified that Haley will force on-the-record legislative voting, so they scraped the sewers for the scummiest strategy imaginable.

Up first was Will Folks, the fiancée-beating degenerate who titillated the drooling media with unsubstantiated tales of his “inappropriate physical relationship” with Haley. Haley has been married for 13 years and Folks claims the affair occurred in 2007.

News organizations from the New York Times to the Greenville News printed Folks’ allegations, dutifully including the contention that he was a longtime Haley cheerleader.  Oddly, none of them mentioned that just after Haley announced her gubernatorial bid, Folks posted a mock interview in which he threatened her with violence:

You need to learn to count. And while you’re at it, shut your mouth. Don’t you know I beat up women, like all the time? Nikki, what I’m saying is that if you can’t beat these [inaudible] mouth-breathing, inbred knuckle-draggers with one hand tied behind your back then someone should raise a fist up against you.

What could have possibly motivated this fine upstanding gentleman to help undermine Haley’s candidacy? After all, entering a guilty plea on one criminal domestic violence charge couldn’t mean he’s got a problem with the ladies, now could it?  Perhaps this diehard Haley supporter will come clean about his hatred of women in the book he’s currently shopping … if the price is right.

Next at bat was Larry Marchant, former employer of Will Folks and a paid consultant to gubernatorial candidate Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer. Marchant just happened to pick the week before the primary to tell the world that he and Haley had a one night stand in 2008. The proof? Why, his word, that’s the proof!  If it’s good enough for the media, it should be good enough for you.

Starting to see how this works?

Haley says she’s been 100 percent faithful to her husband throughout their marriage, and even promised to resign if any allegations are proven.  But proof isn’t really the point. The point is to raise doubt about her virtue and leave voters with the indelible impression of a home wrecking hussy who sluts around Columbia with all sorts of sleazeballs.

And that impression is just fine with Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer.  In a Friday press release, Bauer suggested that Haley take a lie detector test, presumably because a lying whore can’t be taken at her word.  But a couple of jowly dudes talking smack about the hot chick they banged?  Totally credible in Bauer’s neck of the gutter.  As Melissa Clouthier noted, there is “deep misogyny” involved in this campaign to sink Haley.

As if the misogyny weren’t bad enough, Haley’s opponents are bringing other forms of bigotry into the mix.  U.S. Rep. Gresham Barrett’s team reportedly “discussed playing the religion card” against Haley (who his aides privately refer to as “Nimrata”). And Friday morning, a member of the Bauer campaign emailed supporters an article that asks:

After seeing how the faith issue hurt Mitt Romney and damaged Barack Obama to some extent as well, is Haley making a political decision by playing up her Christian faith (just like Obama did) and LOSING the Sikh emphasis?

Haley was raised Sikh and converted to Christianity. But again, that’s not really the point, is it? Haley’s religious roots are being emphasized in an attempt to paint her as a scary outsider, someone who can’t govern South Carolina because she isn’t like us.

Anyone taking bets on how long it’ll be until someone asks for her birth certificate?  Better yet, will State Senator Jake Knotts be the first? The Free Times reports:

“She’s a f#!king raghead,” Knotts said.

He later clarified his statement. He did not mean to use the F-word.

Knotts says he believed Haley has been set up by a network of Sikhs and was programmed to run for governor of South Carolina by outside influences in foreign countries. He claims she is hiding her religion and he wants the voters to know about it.

“We got a raghead in Washington; we don’t need one in South Carolina,” Knotts said more than once. “She’s a raghead that’s ashamed of her religion trying to hid it behind being Methodist for political reasons.”

Knotts, a Bauer supporter, says he’s called Haley a “raghead” a number of times and that he was just joking.  He added, “I still believe Ms. Haley is pretending to be someone she is not, much as Obama did, but I apologize to both for an unintended slur.”

This isn’t the first time Knotts attempted the “I was joking” excuse to get out of a sticky situation.  Here’s the ProQuest abstract of a Jun 6, 1996 Sentinel article titled “White Lawmaker Angers Blacks”:

Several black and white legislators objected when South Carolina state Rep Jake Knotts introduced amendments to the black monument bill that would have created monuments for Scottish-Americans, Polish-Americans and others. Knotts later announced that he had only been joking about the bill.

Oh, but there’s more.  In 2003, Knotts worked himself into a frenzy over a group of Somali Bantu refugees who were going to be “dumped” in his district.  He insisted the 40-50 Bantu children would “lower our SAT scores and our accountability.” (The State, Jun 28, 2003)

Hmm, seems like the persecuted immigrants didn’t need to bring any stupid. Knotts made sure there was plenty to go around.

With a despicable history like that, would it be surprising if we learned that political operatives sent Knotts to tape a live talk show knowing that he wouldn’t bother to self-censor his bigotry?  Is is out of the realm of possibility that they wanted–even encouraged–him to blow the dog whistle, alerting fellow bigots to the “raghead” in our midst?

Just like allegations of adultery were intended to tap into existing voter misogyny, these religious and ethnic slurs were designed to exploit voter bigotry.  Bigotry that doesn’t exist at anywhere near the levels bigots think it does.

When Nikki Haley launched her campaign in May 2009, reporter John O’Connor wrote, “To become governor, Haley will have to overcome questions about her Indian heritage and whether S.C. voters will accept a woman chief executive.”

A year later, Haley is leading the race.  I guess she overcame those questions more easily than her opponents hoped.  Now it’s time to focus on the issues that matter to the people of South Carolina.

Full disclosure: The author is a volunteer with Nikki Haley’s gubernatorial campaign.

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Follow Jenn Q. Public on Twitter and read more of her work at JennQPublic.com.


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