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Haley's White Storm

Is it typical expat behaviour that North Carolina’s governor made herself White? Play up your origins where it matters and then go all mainstream? Why did Nikki Haley register her race as “white” in her voter registeration form in 2001 and why has it got noticed only now? 

The state’s Democratic Party Chairman Dick Harpootlian said, “Haley has been appearing on television interviews where she calls herself a minority — when it suits her. When she registers to vote she says she is white.”

When she became the governor it was the first time for an Indian-American woman of Sikh heritage. That is a lot of baggage. It is quite a narrow outlook on her part, but does playing the minority really help? I can understand her doing so when catering to the diaspora, but how would it work in her favour otherwise? Are voters doling out sops? 

I am also not sure why the addition of race to a voter ID card is important. To get a breakup of different races is necessary for population statistics, but how does it count in the electoral process? I have found that emphasis on differences only mark out territory. 

Is Haley striving to do so by faking it? I do know that people of Indian origin tend to be quite attached to their ‘green cards’. It was and probably still is a dream realised. Their value increases in the home they have left and often return to to find suitable brides. There are many cases where the wives reach the US to find that the man already has a spouse, often white. Indian and South Asians in general, especially men, would rarely have a partner of any other race. They are extremely conscious about what they perceive as the pecking order. The term coconut refers to their brown colour and whiteness of being or rather becoming.

Is Haley merely an insecure person who wants to get upmarket socially? She must think that she has earned her stars and stripes and has no trace of her origins left that stand out. 

Her personal need reveals the larger truth. You cannot change your race but the change might do you a whole lot of good. Why is it so? It is this aspect that should be addressed, especially in recent days when Europe has been screaming against multiculturalism.