Dear Nikki Haley,
It’s me, Rohin. You don’t know me. You may never know me. That’s okay! I won’t really know you either–but for a different reason.
You’ve totally buried every trace of who you are underneath an anglicized moniker and a fabricated persona that bears no resemblance to the woman your parents raised you to be–all to appease close-minded folks in the state that elected you to be its leader.
I used to think I was kind of a coconut and then I got to know you. Wow. I’m not passing judgment–I’m trying to understand…
What I don’t comprehend is how slow you’ve been to respond to the Charleston massacre; what I don’t understand is how you refused to find a way to remove all Confederate flags from state buildings in the land which you rule over until it became politically advantageous for you to do so; what I don’t understand is that you are–and have always been–more concerned about the hurt feelings of white people over the safety of people of color.
Nimrata–I mean, Nikki, sorry–I have a question for you: Are you happy that your legacy is one that only works if we celebrate your reputation as an amnesiac? You’ve forgotten who you are.
It takes anyone who knows how to access the internet a few seconds to find out that you were born a Randhawa, that you’re a Punjabi, that your family’s history is about surviving Western imperialism and yet, here you are, Nimrata–I mean Nikki…sorry, I keep doing that!–folding without any resistance to Western imperialism again.
I’ve frequently thought about what an easier world it might’ve been for me if I had decided to dumb down my name into something easier for goras to pronounce. Then I decided that my parents did not give up their lives and families to move to a New World and raise a son in the U.S. who was so weak that he couldn’t find a way to be successful while using the name his parents gave him.
But it’s more than just our names, Nikki, it’s about our actions. You’re older than I am; you have seen more of the world. And yet here I am, pleading with you to look at your own actions. I am not here to celebrate you lowering the Confederate flag because, Nikki, you were so slow to action.
You weren’t able to condemn the Charleston massacre as an act of terrorism, while your own people are profiled for such things left and right when the most they’re ever guilty of is perhaps an unpaid parking ticket.
Are you serious?
Nikki, I know that as desis, we are trained by our parents to excel by all means necessary…but, at some point, you cannot mortgage your integrity and values to excel. Is it even excelling if all you get to do is lord over people who only know how to hate and celebrate hate? I think that’s called failure.
I’m not even going to write Piyush (wait, I think he goes by Bobby now?) because I think he’s a gone case. But with you, I see an opportunity for you to fix yourself. I know you’re eyeing the 2016 Vice Presidency, Nikki. That VP seat might look as delicious to you as a hot kachori looks to me right now, but ask yourself…is this how you want to get there?
The Tea Party might be easy votes, but take a deep breath, Nimrata, and reconnect with who you are.
Is this really the kind of ruler you want to be? Are these really the kind of people you want to rule?
Someone Who Would Love to See You Succeed In Life