Nikki Haley is not backing down from comments she made last week about the Confederate battle flag standing for “service, sacrifice and heritage” in some circles before mass murderer Dylann Roof “hijacked” its meaning.
In an op-ed piece published in The Washington Post on Thursday, the former United Nations ambassador shared her position on the flag and how she has expressed it has not changed since 2015 when she was governor.
What has changed, the former South Carolina governor says, is the current political climate. The “outrage culture” of the day, she says, makes politics a zero-sum game with no room for compromise or respect for the opinions of others.
Nikki Haley makes an important point in this Op-Ed. When she, as Governor of SC, ordered the removal of the Confederate flag to wide acclaim, she made the same comments about heritage vs. hate as she did a few days ago. Nobody minded then. What’s changed? https://t.co/qsfoUqlWZR— Peter Sagal (@petersagal) December 12, 2019
“Today’s outrage culture insists that everyone who holds a view that’s different from our own is not just mistaken. They must be evil and shunned,” she writes. “That’s wrong.”
Haley was widely condemned last week for the comments, in an interview with conservative talk show host Glenn Beck, suggesting that the Confederate battle flag was not a symbol of hate until Roof made it one.
Nikki Haley says the Confederate flag was about "service, and sacrifice, and heritage" until Dylan Roof "hijacked" it pic.twitter.com/pqdhKIezRl— Jason Campbell (@JasonSCampbell) December 6, 2019
Outrage culture strikes again.— Dan Crenshaw (@DanCrenshawTX) December 7, 2019
So called “journalists,” eager to judge & condemn without knowing the facts or context, pounce on Nikki Haley.
Is this really the culture we want to be? Prone to accusatory outbursts and emotional reasoning?
No, it’s not.https://t.co/cbeRfy98rs
The controversy is still simmering. Only yesterday, according to Bloomberg News, a group of employees at Goldman Sachs complained to management about the company’s plans to invite Haley to one of its regular “Talks at GS” speakers’ series at its New York office.
In her op-ed article Thursday, Haley recalls a speech she made calling for the removal of the flag from the South Carolina statehouse. In that speech, she said, some people in the state see the flag as a symbol of history, heritage and ancestry and others as a “deeply offensive symbol of a brutally oppressive past.”
“As a state, we can survive, as we have done, while still being home to both of those viewpoints,” Haley recalls saying. “We do not need to declare a winner and loser.”
She writes that she made more or less the same point in the Blaze interview, but that the reaction was very different. Today’s outrage culture, she says, allows for no compromise.
“Today’s outrage culture would instead have made the case that everyone who respects the Confederate flag is an evil racist,” Haley writes. “Not only is that untrue; but more to the point, if I had tried to make that argument, the flag would never have come down. As Hillary Clinton has learned, calling people ‘deplorable’ is not the best way to win their support.
Hey #nikkihaley the Confederacy believed so strongly in their right to enslave human beings that they turned against their own country & waged war against the United States of America. Thankfully they lost. That is their "heritage." https://t.co/9kzMOvJaFB via @thedailybeast— Shanlon Wu (@shanlonwu) December 6, 2019
“The tragedy of all of this is that it makes compromise far less possible,” she adds.