Jindal presents a challenging figure to the media in a number of respects, particularly those used to depicting Republicans as uneducated dummies. He has an Ivy League resume unmatched in the field -- a Rhodes Scholar who was accepted into Harvard Medical and Yale Law but chose Oxford instead, appointed secretary of the Louisiana Health system at 24, president of the University system at 28. He’s got a brain, and a child of immigrants story to go with it.Well, in fact, the Post has noted that Julian Castro, often mentioned as a possible Democratic VP candidate in 2016, and his brother Joaquin don't speak Spanish -- in fact, the Post mentioned that three times just last month.
So you ask how to write about Jindal? I give you The Washington Post’s India bureau chief:
“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.”... Imagine the WaPo or any other newspaper publishing a piece taking exactly this line of attack on the Castro brothers. Imagine a white journalist quoting a white professor criticizing the Castro brothers as being insufficiently Hispanic -- “my goodness, they don’t even speak Spanish!” -- and think how that would play in media circles.
But with regard to Jindal, why bring up all this stuff? The Brady Bunch, the religious conversion, the rejection of hyphenated labels for Americans?
Um, maybe because Jindal's own campaign material stresses all this.
In the Post story, we read, "As a child, he announced he wanted to go by the name Bobby, after a character in 'The Brady Bunch.'" Now let's go to "Seven Things You Didn't Know About Bobby," on Jindal's campaign site. Here's #2:
Call me Bobby:The coversion story cited in the Post? Here's "Seven Things You Didn't Know About Bobby," item #5, on Jindal's site:
Growing up, Governor Jindal loved The Brady Bunch. Everyday after school he would watch, and instantly identified the youngest Brady boy, Bobby. As a 4 year old, the Governor decided to rename himself after his favorite TV character. One day his teacher told his mother, ‘Well, your son has got a new name.’ His self-imposed nickname stuck and he has been Bobby Jindal ever since.
Father Jindal:And this line in the Post -- "He said recently that he wants to be known simply as an American, not an Indian American"? Well, here's a tweet Jindal sent last night:
Bobby was raised Hindu, and converted to Christianity in high school. When he received a personalized Bible as a birthday present he dismissed it as a boring gift that he couldn’t even re-gift. Friends grew tired of trying to convert him, but they didn’t give up. Throughout high school, Bobby wrestled with the Lord and the work that He was doing in his life. He dug out his Bible and read it cover to cover. In high school, while watching a grainy film about the Crucifixion of Jesus, Bobby surrendered his life to Christ and has never looked back.
We are not Indian-Americans, Irish–Americans, African–Americans, rich Americans, or poor Americans – we are all Americans.— Gov. Bobby Jindal (@BobbyJindal) June 24, 2015
How dare The Washingon Post echo Jindal's own PR! Racist! Racist!