Nikki Haley on Civil Rights
HALEY: When you look at the Declaration of Independence, it was that "men are created equal," right? I think it's important that we tell all kids that, "Look, America is not perfect. We have our stains. We know that. But our goal should always be to make today better than yesterday."
Q: Wasn't America founded institutionally on many racist precepts, including slavery?
HALEY: It said, "All men are created equal;" the intent was to do the right thing. Now, did they have to go fix it along the way? Yes. But I don't think the intent was never that we were going to be a racist country. The intent was everybody was going to be created equally. And as we went through time, they fixed the things that were not "All men are created equal." They made sure women became equal, too. But I refuse to believe that the premise of when they formed our country was that it was a racist country to start with.
HALEY: If you grow up in South Carolina, literally in second and third grade, you learn about slavery. You grow up and you have -- you know, I had Black friends growing up. It is a very talked-about thing. We have a big history in South Carolina when it comes to, you know, slavery, when it comes to all the things that happened with the Civil War, all that. I was thinking past slavery and talking about the lesson that we would learn going forward. I shouldn't have done that. I should have said 'slavery.' But in my mind, that's a given, that everybody associates the Civil War with slavery.
Setting aside for the moment that North Carolina's HB2 compromise, HB142, is just more of the same anti-LGBTQ hatred with a slightly different name, it is important to note that South Carolina has so far killed any effort to see a similar bill come to pass in South Carolina.
Both former Governor Nikki Haley and current Governor Henry McMaster have said there is no need for such a law. Templeton said she thinks transgender people should use the bathrooms matching their birth gender, not their identity. She stopped short of calling for a law to be passed.
Our goal should always be to empower women, to show how they can be fantastic leaders, and to help them get there--and when they are successful, support and encourage them.
I had recently replaced the receptionist in the governor's office, who was a minority, with my longtime and trusted aide, Eileen Fogle, who is white. I listened as the Legislative Black Caucus members lectured me about how I was obligated to have a cabinet that "looked like South Carolina."
I didn't think about race or gender when I read resumes or made my appointments, I told them. I thought about their qualifications. Period. To me, appointing someone because of their race or gender was the same as appointing them as political payback. In both cases, you were putting politics ahead of performance.
I realized these groups--the groups claiming to represent women and minorities--are just like any other establishment special-interest groups. They're looking for politicians who will work for them, not for the taxpayers. But I hadn't spent 7 years fighting the old establishment to be bought and paid for by a new establishment.
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