PROBABLY NOT A GOOD SIGN FOR THE JENA SIX
It looks like Reed Walters may not have to wait too long before a sympathetic governor is in power in Louisiana:
MIAMI, Oct. 20 -- Rep. Bobby Jindal (R) became the nation's first Indian American governor Saturday, outpolling 11 rivals in Louisiana and drawing enough votes to avoid a runoff election next month.
Jindal, 36, was making his second attempt to become Louisiana's first nonwhite governor since Reconstruction. The last one was P.B.S. Pinchback, a black Republican who served briefly between 1872 and 1873, at a time when many white voters were disenfranchised.
Jindal, whose given name is Piyush, is the American-born son of Indian immigrants; his parents moved from New Delhi to Baton Rouge so his mother could take graduate classes at Louisiana State University.
"Bobby" Jindal thinks things shouldn't be about race. Which is why he changed his name to "Bobby" from "Piyush".
When he was 4, he decided to call himself Bobby -- after the youngest son on the "Brady Bunch" television show. In high school, he gave up Hinduism and became a Christian; and during his first year at Brown University, he was baptized as a Roman Catholic. His wife, Supriya, is also a Catholic convert.
On the campaign trail, his origins often aroused curiosity and comment. But Jindal sometimes deflected related questions.
"People want to make everything about race," he said during one of the debates. "The only colors that matter here are red, white and blue."
A fantastically circular argument, perfectly exemplifying Right wing ideas on race. A man who gave himself a whiter name arguing that race doesn't matter. Because to the Right, it doesn't--as long as you give appropriate deference to white cultural hegemony.
Not exactly Cassius Clay to Mohammed Ali.
More disturbing is how the new governor of Louisiana makes broad statements about how "race doesn't matter" in the state that brought us the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the Jena Six.
Mr. Jindal is another example of a cynical Right wing politician all to willing to take advantage of cultural prejudice. I don't believe for a second that Mr. Jindal, a Rhodes Scholar, believes the "theory" of intelligent design has any merit. But he's indicated a willingness to saddle that particular form of non-scholarship with public school students.
Especially with targeted audiences, Jindal could speak to the Republican base. He professed his opposition to abortion, signaled a willingness to consider the teaching of intelligent design, and discussed the need to cut taxes.
After all, if they're relying on public education, it must be because their parents are lazy or bad or something, otherwise they'd be sending them to private school. So why not teach them junk science?
Xposted at Too Sense