ABC’s The View, featuring all female co-hosts, is supposed to uplift women’s voices in politics. But this week, one of its hosts decided to use that platform to attack one of the most prominent women in Republican politics, Nikki Haley, in a way that was flagrantly racist.
“What’s her real name again?” co-host Sunny Hostin interrupted when another co-host, Alyssa Farah Griffin, brought up Haley’s record as governor of South Carolina. (She was the state’s first-ever female governor, by the way.)
“Some of us can be chameleons and decide not to embrace our ethnicity so that we can pass [as white],” Hostin said of Haley, who is Indian American. What she’s referencing is the fact that Haley’s full name is Nimrata Nikki Haley, but she goes by Nikki.
The backlash to Hostin’s remarks has been swift and severe — and rightfully so.
Thanks for your concern @Sunny. It’s racist of you to judge my name.
Nikki is an Indian name and is on my birth certificate—and I’m proud of that.
What’s sad is the left’s hypocrisy towards conservative minorities.
By the way, last I checked Sunny isn’t your birth name… pic.twitter.com/NI3KZXjD6F
For one thing, this line of attack is just ignorant.
“Nikki” is itself a name derived from a Punjabi word, and it’s on Haley’s birth certificate. She’s gone by Nikki since she was a child, so it’s clearly not some political tactic meant to present herself as white. On the contrary, Haley has openly touted her ethnic background, appearing in public in traditional garb, touting her heritage in speeches, and talking candidly about her parents’ experiences as immigrants.
There are plenty of fair criticisms to make of Haley. I personally have plenty of ideological disagreements with her. But the notion that she’s some sort of race traitor or wannabe white supremacist because she goes by Nikki has always been a baseless, bad-faith smear.
There’s another layer here that’s so absurd it honestly beggars belief. Sunny Hostin herself does not go by her first name, which is Asuncion. To her credit, View co-host Sara Haines immediately pointed out this glaring hypocrisy when Hostin launched her tirade against Haley. “Sunny — you go by a different name!” Haines interjected with a laugh.
“Because most Americans can’t pronounce Asuncion,” Hostin smugly replied.
Yes, seriously. Hostin is arguing that Haley is a race “chameleon” because she goes by Nikki instead of Nimrata. But it’s somehow totally different that she chooses to go by Sunny instead of Asuncion.
The hypocrisy here is genuinely astounding.
Thankfully, the flaws in Hostin’s argument are so obvious that few people seem to agree with her. But the saga is nonetheless revealing about the liberal, establishment media’s actual principles.
If a conservative says something about a minority Democrat that can possibly be construed as racist in any way, the cancellation campaign will be swift and severe, and their job may well be in jeopardy. But when it comes to liberal hosts, they can spout open racism against Republican minorities and face some pushback but no actual consequences.
It’s all just more proof that if the establishment media didn’t have double standards, they wouldn’t have any standards left at all.
Brad Polumbo (@Brad_Polumbo) is a co-founder of Based-Politics.com, a co-host of the Based Politics podcast, and a Washington Examiner contributor.