South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley delivered the Republican response to President Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday night, taking the opportunity to take a shot at the Black Lives Matter movement against police brutality and racial discrimination.
Haley lamented “chaotic unrest in many of our cities,” later comparing the response to the attack on a black church in Charleston by a white supremacist with the protests triggered by police killings of unarmed black people.
“What happened after the tragedy is worth pausing to think about,” she said. “Our state was struck with shock, pain, and fear. But our people would not allow hate to win. We didn’t have violence, we had vigils. We didn’t have riots, we had hugs.”
“We didn’t turn against each other’s race or religion,” she continued. “We turned toward God, and to the values that have long made our country the freest and greatest in the world.”
This isn’t the first time Haley has held up the forgiveness displayed by Charleston’s African American community to denounce largely peaceful protests in Ferguson and Baltimore.
“Black lives do matter,” she said in a speech about race in September. “And they have been disgracefully jeopardized by the movement that has laid waste to Ferguson and Baltimore.”
Haley said at the time that all Black Lives Matter protesters needed to denounce violence or “be tagged by it.”
Haley’s fellow Republican politicians have indeed accused Black Lives Matter of spurring random attacks on police officers, two of which ended up being hoaxes and none of which have been connected to the movement.