Gov. Nikki Haley's Unique Perspective on Race
Prosecutors in the Charleston, South Carolina, church shootings say they will pursue the death penalty in the case.They announced their plans in a Thursday news conference.
Meanwhile, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley was in Washington Thursday speaking before the National Press Club, where she offered a unique perspective on racism in America.
"The first thing I want to say today is that I am the proud daughter of Indian immigrant parents that reminded my brothers, my sister, and me every day how blessed we were to live in this country," she said.
Some call Haley "a rising star in the Republican Party" and also, in 2016, "a potential vice presidential candidate."
Haley is the first woman and the first minority governor in the South Carolina. Newsweek called her the "new face of the new South."
Haley received national attention for her leadership after the June 17 church shooting in Charleston where nine people lost their lives.
"It immediately became clear that this was the act of a racist, motivated not by mental illness, but by pure hate," she said.
It was racial hate clearly stated by the gunman, Dylann Roof, in a manifesto he posted online.
Five days after the shooting, Haley called for the removal of the Confederate flag from the state Capitol grounds saying, "This flag, while an integral part of our past, does not represent the future."
"As I said when I announced my intention to bring down the flag, this was a debate that did not need to have winners and losers. Those who revere the flag for reasons of ancestry and heritage retain every right to do so," she said.
"But what happened in Charleston shed a different light on an issue in our state that we had long struggled with," she continued. "What we saw in the extraordinary reaction in Charleston was people of all races that came together. We didn't have riots; we had vigils. We didn't have violence; we had hugs."
"The Statehouse belongs to all people, and it needed to be welcoming to all people. That was not possible with that flag flying," she said.
Haley says the unfinished goals of the Civil Rights movement remain -- a movement in which every person no matter their skin color has equal treatment under the law.
"Here again, the new South is an example for the rest of the country," she said. "South Carolina is the first state in the country to approve statewide body cameras for police."
As far as South Carolina's flag, it came down, and Haley says her state moved forward