"Raghead" in the White House, According to SC Lawmaker - HeadCount

“Raghead” in the White House, According to SC Lawmaker

Tolerance seems like a given this day in age. There are lots of behaviors that go into being a respectful person, but one easy way to start is to abstain from dropping racial slurs. Sounds easy enough, but not for SC State Senator Jake Knotts who described a gubernatorial candidate of Indian descent and President Obama as "raghead[s]."

On an internet political talk show, Knotts said, "We already got one raghead in the White House. We don't need another in the Governor's Mansion."

The slurred is Nikki Haley, a Republican gubernatorial candidate who currently has the backing of Sarah Palin. Haley is the daughter of immigrant parents and was raised Sikh, but is now a Methodist.

The backlash from the state's GOP has been intense, prompting Knotts to issue an apology:

"My 'raghead' comments about Obama and Haley were intended in jest... Bear in mind that this is a freewheeling, anything-goes Internet radio show that is broadcast from a pub. It's like local political version of 'Saturday Night Live.' Since my intended humorous context was lost in translation, I apologize. I still believe Ms. Haley is pretending to be someone she is not, much as Obama did, but I apologize to both for an unintended slur."

One Haley spokesman said Knotts represents "all that is wrong with South Carolina politics." Republicans from SC have a bad reputation when it comes to race. When legendary SC Senator Strom Thurmond died in 2003, The New York Times ran with the headline "Strom Thurmond, Foe of Integration, Dies at 100."

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