Describing herself as a proud daughter of Indian immigrants who wore a turban and a saree, top Republican politician Nikki Haley has narrated her story to strongly reject the Democratic Party's "fashionable" statement that "America is racist."
The 48-year-old former US Ambassador to the United Nations, Haley is the only Indian-American listed so far to be speaking at the Republican National Convention which on Thursday would formally re-nominate President Donald Trump as its candidate for the November 3 presidential election.
Twice elected as the Governor of South Carolina, Haley said, In much of the Democratic Party, it's now fashionable to say that America is racist. That is a lie. America is not a racist country."
This is personal for me. I am the proud daughter of Indian immigrants. They came to America and settled in a small southern town. My father wore a turban. My mother wore a sari. I was a brown girl in a black and white world, she said on Monday at the mostly virtual four-day convention.
Haley said her family faced discrimination and hardship but her parents never gave in to grievance and hate.
"My mom built a successful business. My dad taught 30 years at a historically Black college. And the people of South Carolina chose me as their first minority and first female governor, Haley said.
America is a story that's a work in progress. Now is the time to build on that progress, and make America even freer, fairer, and better for everyone. That's why it's tragic to see so much of the Democratic Party turn a blind eye toward riots and rage, she said.
She said the American people know they can do better.
"And of course we know that every single black life is valuable. The black cops who've been shot in the line of duty they matter. The black small business owners who've watched their life's work go up in flames they matter," she said.
"The black kids who've been gunned down on the playground their lives matter too. And their lives are being ruined and stolen by the violence on our streets, she said.
She said things were not like this five years back.
It doesn't have to be like this. It wasn't like this in South Carolina five years ago. Our state came face-to-face with evil. A white supremacist walked into Mother Emanuel Church during Bible Study," she said, referring to the 2015 Charleston church shooting, in which nine African Americans were killed.
"Twelve African Americans pulled up a chair and prayed with him for an hour. Then he began to shoot, she said.
After that horrific tragedy, we didn't turn against each other. We came together black and white, Democrat and Republican. Together, we made the hard choices needed to heal and removed a divisive symbol, peacefully and respectfully," she added.
What happened then should give us hope now, Haley said.
"America isn't perfect. But the principles we hold dear are perfect. If there's one thing I've learned, it's that even on our worst day, we are blessed to live in America, Haley said.
It's time to keep that blessing alive for the next generation. This President, and this Party, are committed to that noble task. We seek a nation that rises together, not falls apart in anarchy and anger. We know that the only way to overcome America's challenges is to embrace America's strengths, she said.
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