“I think all of us know what this country was built on. And [racism] still exists,” Tony Duncan, a Black business owner in Bamberg who went to school with Haley’s older siblings, told NPR last year. “It exists. As people here in America, we have to deal with these things.”
A 2023 Washington Post poll found that 51 percent of Black Americans felt racism would get worse over the rest of their lifetimes, with nearly 70 percent of respondents saying that now is a more dangerous time to be a Black teenager than when they were teenagers. That statistic includes nearly 80 percent of Black Americans who were aged 50 or above.
At the end of the day, the recent gaffe is just another sign that Haley has not yet figured out how to square the issue of race in her campaign. In December, Haley spurred controversy when she stumbled and fumbled her way through answering a point-blank question about the cause of the U.S. Civil War during a New Hampshire town hall, completely avoiding the topic of slavery.