Asunción "Sunny" Hostin on Tuesday smeared former governor Nikki Haley (R., S.C.) as a racial "chameleon," suggesting the GOP politician changed her name because she was ashamed of her Indian heritage. "What is her real name, again?" the liberal cohost of The View snarked when colleague Alyssa Farah Griffin suggested Haley was a strong presidential contender in 2024.
Haley, who made history as the first female Asian American governor and the first Indian American to ever serve in a presidential cabinet as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, was born Nimarata Nikki Randhawa and changed her surname after marrying Michael Haley in 1996. Hostin, by contrast, is a former commentator on Court TV. She was born Asunción Cummings and married Emmanuel Hostin in 1998. Nevertheless, the liberal journalist persisted in attacking Haley as a traitor to her race. "I think if she leaned into being someone of color, it would be different," Hostin said.
The former governor fired back at the racially charged rant. "Thanks for your concern @Sunny," Haley wrote on Twitter. "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…"
Hostin's offensive diatribe is merely the latest example of how journalists and other liberal activists take pleasure in attacking Republicans of color. Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas and Sen. Tim Scott (R., S.C.) have repeatedly been victimized by "Uncle Tom" smears, a racist trope used to denigrate successful black men as race traitors. Last year the Washington Post published an extensive investigation implying that Scott's grandfather, who grew up in South Carolina during the Great Depression, was actually very privileged—a flagrant attempt to tarnish Scott's inspiring story of being born into poverty, raised by a single mother, and becoming the first black senator from a Southern state since Reconstruction.
Democrats and their liberal allies have been working to undermine Republicans of color for decades. In 2003, for example, Senate Democrats repeatedly used the filibuster to block the confirmation of Miguel Estrada, then-president George W. Bush's nominee for the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. Estrada, who would have been the first Hispanic justice to serve on the court, eventually withdrew his name after more than two years of Democratic obstruction. Leaked memos revealed that liberal activists viewed Estrada as "especially dangerous" because "he is Latino, and the White House seems to be grooming him for a Supreme Court appointment."
Meanwhile, the Democratic Party in recent years has gone out of its way to prevent nonwhite candidates from winning party primaries, while Democrats in Congress have refused to support Republican legislation to discourage universities from racially discriminating against Asian-American students.