By Thulani Conrad Moore, ROJ Trainer
We are applying the antiracism analysis to Nikki Haley announcing her run for the presidency.
When many Republicans run for public office, they have to insult somebody. Nikki followed that pattern in her announcement yesterday. She did a two-for-one insulting women and Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. In so doing, she could not have found a better way to demonstrate her low self-esteem. As we say in the analysis training, she showed her internalized inferiority or internalized oppression.
Does that mean she has internalized superiority? Yes. Can inferiority and superiority dwell in the same person? Yes. While she has internalized inferiority to white people, at the same time, she feels superior to people of color.
She also doesn’t care what women think of her. That is why she said she doesn’t believe in the glass ceiling. That insults every woman of any race in South Carolina and the rest of the country.
While touting her achievement as the first “Brown woman” and the first woman governor of South Carolina, the unspoken sentence to the rest of the women of the country is that there has never been a woman smart enough, tough enough, hardworking enough to be governor until she came along. She implies that her accomplishments result from hard work and determination, which no woman has possessed until her. Her parents must be so proud.
On the surface, that might seem like conceit, self-assurance, or, “knowing her value” (like Mika Brzezinski encourages women, but not so fast.
Dismissing the existence of the so-called glass ceiling is another demonstration of the fact that she does not care what the majority of women think of her.
She seeks the approval of white men. History has taught her that many white women vote for their best interests, which translates to voting for power. That means they vote the way white men vote, which is to maintain white male dominance.
Nikki felt comfortable claiming “America is not a racist country” and that she “doesn’t believe in the glass ceiling.”
In conclusion, Nikki Haley’s manifestations of internalized oppression are in accepting white standards and devaluing those of her ethnic heritage, protecting white people (self-serving), and in indicating that approval of white people determines self-worth. Because of the power dynamics in the United States, that means white men. While it may appear that Nikki Haley is interrupting white male dominance, her internalized inferiority will not allow her to do so. If elected, she will do as most have done with the office of the presidency–follow the patterns that secure white male dominance.
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