The Washington Post published a mind-numbingly bizarre article on Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal suggesting he’s not Indian anymore because he assimilated to the American way of life. Jindal, 44, is the 13th Republican to jump into the 2016 presidential race.
Here’s what WaPo wrote:
Jindal’s status as a conservative of color helped propel his meteoric rise in the Republican Party — from an early post in the George W. Bush administration to two terms in Congress and now a second term as Louisiana governor — and donors from Indian American groups fueled his first forays into politics. Yet many see him as a man who has spent a lifetime distancing himself from his Indian roots.
As a child, he announced he wanted to go by the name Bobby, after a character in “The Brady Bunch.” He converted from Hinduism to Christianity as a teen and was later baptized a Catholic as a student at Brown University — making his devotion to Christianity a centerpiece of his public life. He and his wife were quick to say in a “60 Minutes” interview in 2009 that they do not observe many Indian traditions — although they had two wedding ceremonies, one Hindu and one Catholic. He said recently that he wants to be known simply as an American, not an Indian American.
“There’s not much Indian left in Bobby Jindal,” said Pearson Cross, a political science professor at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette who is writing a book on the governor.
“There’s not much Indian left in Bobby Jindal.” WHAT??
Governor Jindal is Indian and always will be. I reckon he’s very proud of his heritage, as he should be. So what if he’s Catholic and has adopted an Americanized name? That doesn’t make him any less Indian. He should be applauded for pursuing the American dream, honoring his family, and realizing his individual potential. Why can’t we just judge people on the content of their character and not their skin color?
Commentary Magazine brilliantly counters WaPo’s assertion that Jindal isn’t Indian enough:
Jindal, whose boilerplate stump speech focuses extensively on his parents’ backgrounds in India and the trials they endured in order to provide him with the opportunities that he made the best of in the United States, has committed what the left regards as the unforgivable sin of rejecting identity politics altogether. The Pelican State governor called those who preoccupy themselves with prejudging their fellow Americans based on their skin colors “dim-witted” and added that his family has refused to consider themselves “hyphenated Americans.”
“My dad and mom told my brother and me that we came to America to be Americans. Not Indian-Americans, simply Americans,” the governor has said. “If we wanted to be Indians, we would have stayed in India. It’s not that they are embarrassed to be from India, they love India. But they came to America because they were looking for greater opportunity and freedom.”
What could possibly be wrong with assimilation? Everything, according to the Left.
Leftist logic suggest when people reject identity politics and don’t tow the line, they’re traitors who boast self-hatred. To them, playing off one’s race, gender, etc., is politically expedient and beneficial to to their cause. (Unfortunately for them, when their policies are implemented, they fail miserably and leave people worse off. Look at the former Soviet Union, Cuba, and other places ravaged by democide and cradle-to-grave government.) If someone doesn’t subscribe to a leftist worldview, pejorative slurs and insults are hurled their way. So much for civility…
Why can’t we be individuals all the while revering our heritage? It doesn’t matter if you’re white, black, European, Asian, African, etc. If someone wants to advance themselves as individuals, they should be celebrated–not demonized. We can’t stand for this demagoguery anymore.
I’m convinced the only immigrants our counterparts on the Left celebrate are those who come here illegally or those who don’t assimilate to the American way of life. If immigrants choose to assimilate, they are self-hating. Who less finds logic so contorted today?
Like millions first-generation Americans out there, I’m proud of my immigrant parents for assimilating to the American way of life. My parents came here in 1986 from Lithuania when it was still occupied by the Soviet Union. They came here virtually penniless with our relatives and feared for their lives in the process of fleeing Soviet rule. (They are grateful to have received political asylum.) Both my mom and my dad learned English, worked in their respective industries, launched businesses, and gave my sister and I a good life. Are my parents any less Lithuanian for becoming American? Hell no. My parents still retain their accents, customs, and Old World wisdom. It’s physically and biologically impossible to erase one’s heritage. Though I’m American born, I can proudly tout my Lithuanian heritage all the while being American. Bobby Jindal touts his Indian heritage and is a proud American. The values instilled in us by our families, regardless of our origin, are uniquely American. And that’s a beautiful thing.
Assimilation isn’t criminal; it’s American.
Agree? Disagree? Weigh in below.