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Controversy Erupts: Conservative News Site Under Fire for 'Race-Baiting' Post Targeting Nikki Haley

"Controversial Poll Sparks Backlash: Conservative News Site Accused of 'Race-Baiting' in Post About Nikki Haley"

A conservative website, The Florida Standard, is facing allegations of racist dog-whistling after posting a peculiar poll on X (formerly Twitter) about Nikki Haley's background. The poll questioned, "Did you know that Nikki Haley’s parents are immigrants from India and her birth name is Nimarata Randhawa?" The site, with a modest following of just under 7,700 on X, is known for its favorable coverage of and close ties to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is in competition with Haley for prominence in the Republican presidential race.

Nikki Haley, former governor of South Carolina, was given the name Nimarata Nikki Randhawa at birth, a fact she has not concealed. She married Michael Haley and has reportedly used her middle name Nikki since childhood. A community note appended to The Florida Standard's post pointed out this information. Despite openly embracing her Indian heritage during her campaign, Haley has faced persistent racist attacks and inquiries about her name throughout her political career.

The controversy deepened with The Florida Standard's publication of an article titled "Republicans Shocked After Discovering Nikki Haley’s Real Name," accusing Haley of being "less than candid about her own identity," especially in light of her recent call for online verification of social media users by name.

The tweet from The Florida Standard garnered over 2 million views, prompting significant pushback from notable figures on social media. Harvard professor and former NAACP president Cornell William Brooks criticized the post as a "race-baiting question in search of a racist answer." Former aide to ex-Vice President Mike Pence, Olivia Troye, remarked, "It’s actually wonderful that Nikki Haley’s parents are immigrants. What’s your point other than backing far-right racist tropes?" CNN's Jake Tapper succinctly expressed confusion, asking, "Wtf is this."

Despite the outcry, The Florida Standard has not responded to HuffPost's request for comment. The incident highlights the ongoing challenges of navigating identity and race in the political landscape, with critics decrying what they perceive as a deliberate attempt to exploit and sensationalize Haley's background for political purposes.

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