Indian American politician and diplomat Nikki Haley has called TV host Sunny Hostin a ‘racist’ for claiming that the former hides her Indian name to appease Republican voters, media reports said.
Slamming the former governor of South Carolina as a “chameleon” on Tuesday’s (20) episode of The View talk show, Hostin said, “There are some of us that can be chameleons and decide not to embrace our ethnicities so that we can pass, so that we don’t have to go by….”
Hostin made the remarks when political commentator Alyssa Farah Griffin said that the Indian American was an effective governor in South Carolina over her potential 2024 presidential run.
Her co-host Sara Haines jumped into the fray to point out that Hostin’s real name is not “Sunny.”
Hostin, however, defended her use of a nickname instead of her birth name, Asunción Cummings “Sunny” Hostin, saying, “Most Americans can’t pronounce Asunción because of the under-education in our country.”
Many on Twitter reacted angrily to the on-air exchange and slammed Hostin for being “racist” and called her out for not using her real name.
Haley herself blasted the TV host. “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,” Haley wrote on Twitter with a short clip from the show.
Haley was born Nimrata Nikki Randhawa to Punjabi Sikh immigrant parents. Her parents immigrated to the US from India. She served as the 116th and first female governor of South Carolina from 2011 to 2017 and was also the US ambassador to the United Nations for two years under Donald Trump.
In another development, a new book has claimed that Haley was rejected for the role of US secretary of state during the Trump administration due to a ‘complexion problem’.
The book from The New Yorker’s Susan Glasser and The New York Times’ Peter Baker titled The Divider revealed that Trump rejected the idea of appointing her as secretary of state.