Posted on January 22, 2024

Mocking Haley, Trump Adds to His Long History of Racist Attacks

Michael C. Bender and Jazmine Ulloa, New York Times, January 20, 2024

Donald J. Trump first established his connection with the largely white Republican base more than a decade ago by stoking discomfort with the election of Barack Obama, the nation’s first Black president — the beginning of the so-called birther movement.

In the years since, he has continued to pile up accusations of racism on the campaign trail. This week, Mr. Trump lobbed his latest racially charged attack at former Gov. Nikki Haley of South Carolina, the daughter of Indian immigrants and his closest competitor in the New Hampshire primary, by repeatedly flubbing her given name, Nimarata Nikki Randhawa.

On Friday, Mr. Trump referred to Ms. Haley as “Nimbra” in a post on Truth Social, his social media platform, three days after facing criticism for dubbing her “Nimrada.” Ms. Haley has long gone by her middle name, Nikki.

Both are racist dog whistles, much like his continued focus on Mr. Obama’s middle name, Hussein, and add to a long history of racially incendiary statements from the campaign trail.

Ms. Haley told reporters on Friday that Mr. Trump’s attacks revealed his own insecurities about the presidential contest.

“If he goes and does these temper tantrums, if he’s going and spending millions of dollars on TV, he’s insecure — he knows that something’s wrong,” she said. “I don’t sit there and worry about whether it’s personal or what he means.”


This month, he returned to that familiar playbook by accusing Ms. Haley on social media of not being a real American eligible for the presidency — even as he was defending his own legal eligibility for the ballot under the Constitution.