- Journalist Sunny Hostin who herself uses a nickname instead of her real name called the former U.N Ambassador “a chameleon” who is shielding her Indian heritage behind a fake name.
Nikki Haley has accused “The View” co-host Sunny Hostin of being a racist and falsely saying that the former UN ambassador and former South Carolina governor is shielding her Indian heritage behind a fake name. Hostin made the remarks on the ABC daytime talk show during a panel discussion about potential presidential candidates for the 2024 election.
When the conservative co-host Alyssa Farah Griffin, said she would love to see Haley and Liz Cheney challenge Donald Trump for the White House, Hostin interrupted her. She called Haley “chameleon,” and added: “What is her real name again?” In response, Griffin, the former White House director of Strategic Communications and assistant to the president, pointed out that “a lot of people don’t go by their actual real names,” and noted that Haley has been known as “Nikki” since childhood. She speculated that as a woman of Indian heritage growing up in South Carolina in the ’70s, she may have opted to change her name “to avoid prejudice.”
Haley took to Twitter to comment on Hostin’s accusations. “Thanks for your concern @Sunny,” she wrote. “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.
In a segment on Fox News, Haley told anchor Harris Faulkner that “this is not the first time or the last that the hosts of ‘The View’ come after me or the liberals come after me in whatever way. They can’t stand the fact that I am a minority female who is a conservative Republican. Had this been said about a Democrat, all hell would have broken loose.”
Haley was born Nimrata Nikki Randhawa in Bamberg, South Carolina, in 1972. Her middle name — Nikki — means “little one” in Punjabi. It is often used “as a term of endearment for the youngest girl in a Sikh family.
There were issues in the past with her last name as well. She adopted her husband Michael’s last name, Haley, when they wed in 1996, which was six years before she entered politics.
A 2010 Roll Call article says Haley began using her middle name as a first name throughout high school “even though her yearbook photo listed her full name.
Many conservative commentators supported Haley. Curtis Houck, the managing editor of the right-wing outlet NewsBusters, described Hostin’s remarks as a “disgusting smear.”
“The not so ‘tolerant’ Left’s blatant hypocrisy towards someone who doesn’t think like them is on full display here,” tweeted Don Bolduc, the Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate from New Hampshire.
Seattle talk radio host Jason Rantz called Hostn “TV’s dumbest lawyer” and “a vile human being.”