Republican Presidential candidate Nikki Haley appeared on the Breakfast Club morning show with Charlamagne tha God and DJ Envy — and it was even more cringe than expected. Despite recently having to walk back comments about slavery and the Civil War, an unchastened Haley decided to double down on some of her most controversial takes.
Before we get into her many questionable comments about race, it’s worth discussing what she said about Texas and secession.
Co-host Charlamagne asked Haley what she would do if Texas tried to secede from the United States — a prospect that the Republican Presidential candidate seemed totally cool with.
“If Texas decides they want to do that, they can do that,” she said, adding, “I mean, that’s their decision to make.”
She did clarify that she doubted they would ever leave the United States, but the comments certainly raised plenty of eyebrows after the episode aired. For context, the question arose after a dispute between the Federal Government and Texas over jurisdiction at the southern border. Texas is asserting state’s rights to enforce harsh and potentially dangerous border polices — fueling talk of secession and another civil war.
This certainly wasn’t the only time Haley said something worthy of a double-take on the Breakfast Club.
While on the show, the former South Carolina Governor attempted to downplay the role of race in the AME Church shooting in Charleston, South Carolina — where avowed white supremacist Dylan Roof murdered nine Black parishioners.
“The national media came in, and they wanted to define this,” said Haley. “They wanted to make it about guns, they wanted to make it about racism, they wanted to make it about the death penalty.”
“It was about racism, though,” interjected Charlamagne.
“No, it was,” she said, later adding, “But the point was I strong-armed them and said there will be a time we talk about all that. But right now, we have nine souls we need to put to rest. I didn’t have that luxury. Because two days later the killer came out draped in the Confederate flag.”
Charlamagne also asked Haley about her comments about systemic and structural racism in America — which Haley doesn’t believe exists despite the racism and discrimination her family faced in the United States (which she wrote about in her own memoir).
“When you look at the inequalities in America, in education, you know, homeownership, employment and wealth, health care,” he asked. “Can you admit that America is, systemically and structurally, a racist country?”
“I think culture has a lot to do with it, right?” she responded.
She wasn’t done angering Charlamagne’s predominantly Black audience just yet. Haley also blamed former President Barack Obama for creating racial division in this country — ignoring centuries of racism and the election of a man who launched a racist “birther” campaign against Obama and, more recently, against Haley. She told co-host DJ Envy that she voted for former President Donald Trump because she was tired of the racial divisions of the Obama era. [It’s worth mentioning that Trump launched his campaign by calling Mexican people “rapists.”]
None of this rhetoric is new from Haley. As Governor, Haley tried to steer the conversation about the white supremacist shooting away from race — despite the clear evidence that the attack was racially motivated. And blaming Obama and Black culture for every societal ill is par for the course at this point.
The real question is — was there anything gained from giving someone like Haley yet another platform to share these things?