It’s incredibly pathetic and sad when a politician with so much promise decides to pander to the most hateful elements in our society. In the aftermath of the 2012 election, Louisiana Republican Governor Bobby Jindal declared that the GOP needs to “stop being the stupid party.” However, that moment of sanity, and Jindal’s political career, went down in flames on Sunday after he blamed minorities for racism in America, claiming that racism wouldn’t exist if they would just forget about who they are and start acting more like white people.
In an op-ed published by Politico, Jindal lashed out at minorities to mark the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech. Instead of standing up against the many acts of racism that have been perpetrated by his own party and by conservatives around the nation, Jindal declared that minorities are responsible for the racism in this country.
“We still place far too much emphasis on our ‘separateness,’ our heritage, ethnic background, skin color, etc. We live in the age of hyphenated Americans: Asian-Americans, Italian-Americans, African-Americans, Mexican-Americans, Cuban-Americans, Indian-Americans, and Native Americans, to name just a few. Here’s an idea: How about just ‘Americans?’ That has a nice ring to it, if you ask me. Placing undue emphasis on our ‘separateness’ is a step backward. Bring back the melting pot. There is nothing wrong with people being proud of their different heritages. We have a long tradition of folks from all different backgrounds incorporating their traditions into the American experience, but we must resist the politically correct trend of changing the melting pot into a salad bowl. E pluribus Unum.”
To translate, it appears Jindal is actually blaming minorities for causing white people to be racist towards them, and is calling on minorities to end racism by conforming to American life as white people see it. In short, minorities should be more like white people if they want racism to stop.
So rather than call out the blatant racism of his own party, Jindal essentially decided that he’d be better off committing political suicide by pandering to the racists within the GOP to curry favor with them as we move toward 2016. This is yet another example of a Republican blaming victims for their own oppression. In reality, racists will not stop being racists if minorities decide to do as Jindal suggests. That’s because racists hate minorities simply because of the color of their skin, and that includes Jindal, which is why he doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of ever capturing his party’s nomination for president.
Hypocritically enough, not even a day went by before Jindal violated his own call to action and proudly accepted being referred to as the first Indian-American Governor by David Gregory on “Face The Nation.”
Here’s the video:
Racism isn’t getting worse in America because minorities aren’t trying to act more white. It’s getting worse because a major sect of the Republican Party is clinging to their own Southern heritage, specifically the part where slavery, segregation, and legal discrimination were completely acceptable. Because of many policies in GOP-controlled states, minority communities have been isolated and basically segregated within the law. From ThinkProgress:
In urban areas like Chicago, the poverty rate and median income for black families is also about the same as it was in 1963. Even segregation, once vanquished by the civil rights movement, is rebounding aggressively. Since 2001, urban schools and neighborhoods have become increasingly re-segregated through lax integration enforcement and so-called “white flight.” Research shows this resegregation intensifies poverty and violence in minority neighborhoods, trapping black families in an endless cycle. Jindal himself has helped this trend along in New Orleans with his school privatization plan, which has worsened racial inequality in 34 historically segregated public schools and, according to the Justice Department, “reversed much of the progress made toward integration.”
Voter suppression efforts and a general attack on the major Civil Rights Era legislative initiatives have made it even clearer that racism isn’t being perpetrated by minorities; it’s being perpetrated by the very party to which Jindal belongs. Yet he claims all of this will get better because, “if you want people to like you, a good place to start is to demonstrate that you like them.” That’s what Jindal told the GOP as advice on how to attract minority voters. Except that Republicans not only rejected Jindal’s words, they stuffed them in a burn barrel and lit them up without so much as lifting a finger to show they actually care about the plight of minorities. Jindal is naïve enough to believe that Republicans consider black people Americans, even though Republicans have, time and time again, referred to President Obama as not being an American. To the GOP, President Obama’s skin color means he’s foreign and “not one of us.” And Republicans are actually making minorities feel less like Americans by stripping them of their right to vote.
It is astounding that Jindal does not understand this. But that’s what happens when you’re desperate to gain the approval of your own party. You’ll say or do just about anything, even if it insults the very minority group you belong to. And that won’t ever change until the GOP has been sidelined from governance for multiple generations in every state in America.