This isn’t about colorblindness. Color in our society has some pretty shameful connotations, certainly, but we can also celebrate color. I need not reflect on chains and on fire hoses when I think of black, but can also think of Odunde, of beauty. It isn’t our job to ignore racial difference, but to value it. “Post-racial,” then, is a bit of a bunch of crap if one thinks of it as “beyond” racial distinction. And that appears to me to be how Bobby Jindall has packaged himself, whether consciously or unconsciously.
Jindal is no longer Piyush, for instance, but Bobby. He is no longer a worshiper of those strange Hindu Gods, but is a very conservative Catholic in the Rick Santorum mold. He talks in a folksy bayou lilt, and never seems to refer to his racial background or ethnicity. I’m thinking that’s not what won people over for Obama, and it isn’t any kind of reflection of what we’ve got going on in this country today as far as race relations are concerned. there were many, many people on the right for whom race played a vital role in their not voting for Barack Obama. At least some of those Republicans are going to see through the Jindal disquise and see him as Piyush, the dark-skinned man who has a very white wife.
I can't agree with Reynolds more. The past election cycle found that many in the GOP base has a problem with "funny names" and not being the right kind of "Christian". Jindal does get past the first hurdle by using the nickname Bobby but there are still many fundamentalists who follow Al Mohler's lead in claiming that Catholics aren't Christian. As we saw with Mitt Romney's run and McCain's need to bring Palin on to rally the base, these so-called values voters don't want anyone to usurp the "real" Christian's authority even when that "other" guy has committed to leading the country in a manner consistent with fundamentalist Christian principles.
If Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin or another white fundamentalist-friendly politician runs in 2012, Jindal's devotion to his beloved Catholic church which the fundamentalist base views as idolatrous blasphemy may hurt him by serving as a reminder of his "otherness" (I fully expect them to harp that he has simply converted from one polytheistic religion to another). While conservative commentators Jonah Goldberg and Kathleen Parker disagree about characterizations of the Christian Nationalists, even they agree that the unholy conflation of religion and politics has not only hurt the GOP severely in elections, it has caused a schism within the party. Conventional wisdom would dictate that the GOP consider moving away from
candidates who will ensure [religious] divisiveness, after all the election of Barack Obama pretty much made it clear that the majority in the US, including many people of faith, have grown quite tired of the Republican holy war and prefer to avoid the unhealthy comingling of religion and politics.
Tags: conservatism; politics; Bobby Jindal; racism; something being imposed on the public; something else being imposed on the public; Politics Sphere: Related Content