When I was growing up in the only Indian family in a small, rural Southern town of 2,500, teachers didn’t tell me that America was racist. They didn’t tell me I was oppressed. They didn’t teach me that my gender or my background would hold me back.
And I couldn’t be more grateful.
My family stuck out like a sore thumb. My dad wore a turban. He still does to this day. My mom wore a sari. Nobody knew who we were, what we were, or why we were there. I was a brown girl in a black and white world. Every day, my family faced stares, whispers, suspicion, and exclusion.
But then something very American happened.
The community looked beyond skin color. They got to know my family as hard-working people who shared their values. Slowly, those stares turned into smiles. Those whispers turned into words of friendship. We went from being left out to welcomed in.
Not every day was great…but nearly every day was better than the one before.
I haven’t just seen the American story. I’ve lived the American story. And take it from me, the first female and first minority governor of South Carolina…America is NOT a racist country.
Nowadays, we’re told our founding principles are tools of oppression. We’re told the world’s freest and most prosperous country is no better than any other. In fact, we’re told it’s worse.
Well, if that’s the case, why did so many Haitians gather under the bridge in Texas last month? They didn’t come here because America is evil. They came here because America is free.
My parents always reminded me, my sister, and two brothers…that even on our worst day, we are blessed to live in America.
But the Left calls our country “racist” to distract from their own failures.
They sow division and hatred within our country so that our enemies abroad don’t have to lift a finger.
That’s why I want every U.S. congressman and senator to go on record saying whether or not they believe America is a racist country.
Because we can no longer allow them to cry “racism” and scapegoat our country for the problems they create and fuel.
But first, I need patriots like you to show them where the American people stand. Will you add your name to the PROUD AMERICAN PLEDGE today, and declare America is NOT a racist country for all of Washington to see?
Every day, more people think living in the land of the free is a curse, not a blessing.
This plague of self-doubt and hatred is nothing new. It existed in Reagan’s time. But it’s much worse now. The America-doubters are more powerful than ever.
They’ve captured the school classroom, the corporate boardroom, the media green room, and the backrooms of government. They own the commanding heights of culture and politics, and they’re using their position to turn Americans against each other, and against our own country.
This problem runs deeper than being “woke.”
It’s bigger than “Critical Race Theory.”
Those things are dangerous, but the greater danger is that anger toward America is now the bedrock belief of the American Left.
That’s why I hope you’ll add your name to the PROUD AMERICAN PLEDGE, and force our nation’s leaders to go on record once and for all on whether they’re for our country or against it.
As my great predecessor, UN Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick famously said, in Reagan’s time the Left was happy to “blame America first.” Today’s Democrats don’t even believe in America.
We must not be ashamed of the American story. We should tell it everywhere we go.
We know that some of it is hard to hear. The founders weren’t saints. They lived in a time in which slavery was legal, and women’s rights were an afterthought. We don’t need to make excuses for those obvious injustices.
But we can’t act like that’s all the country is. The Left is so focused on what was wrong, they miss the profound things America got right.
If you’re proud of what our country has accomplished and believe the good we’ve done (and still can do) outweighs the bad, I hope I can count on your signature today.
My name is Nikki Haley, and that promise of America has been the constant in my life.
As a brown girl, growing up in a small Southern town, I saw the promise of America unfold before me.
As Ambassador, I saw that America is still the standard. Where we lead, the world follows. When we speak, the world listens. What we are, the world wants.
There are those who see America’s glory days as behind us, but I don’t believe that. How could I, after all I’ve seen?
I was reminded of America’s special role every day at the United Nations. But one day stands out among the rest.
It was the day I stood on the Simon Bolivar bridge between Colombia and Venezuela, watching thousands of Venezuelans pour by, fleeing from socialist tyranny.
I can still see their faces. They were hard and sad. Most had walked miles in the blazing sun to get the only meal they would eat that day. They were coming from a place where they killed zoo animals for food. Entire families passed me, carrying what few possessions they had. For some, it was a stuffed animal. For others, a plastic bag with a couple pieces of clothing inside.
When I left the bridge, I went to a nearby shelter run by the Catholic Church, where the Venezuelans were gathering. I met a few of them and hugged them. After a few minutes, more and more families started to gather around. I didn’t understand why they flocked to someone they’d never met.
And then it hit me. They didn’t care who I was. They cared where I was from. In me, they saw America, and in America, they saw hope.
The time has come to revive that hope. We must keep it alive for ourselves, our children, our grandchildren, and yes, our world.
But we can’t do that when our own leaders are working against our interests, attacking our country every chance they get.
So please sign the PROUD AMERICAN PLEDGE and show Congress where the American people stand.
Ronald Reagan said “freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.”
America is now putting that to the test. I have faith we can pass this test, like we always have.
Our challenges are steep, but they are not too steep to overcome, so long as we believe in America and stand for America.
And we know the only way to bring out the best in America is to believe in America.
We have no higher calling as a people. Together with you, I pledge to answer that call, and inspire our country once again.
Thank you. God bless you. And may God bless America.
My very best,
Ambassador Nikki R. Haley