Following Governor Jindal’s announcement that he’s running for President, Indian Americans have had a gamut of responses. Here’s my take on his readiness from a policy standpoint:
Governor Bobby Jindal’s announcement last week that he is running for President prompted a string of critical responses from progressive South Asians and Asian Americans who are skeptical and even ashamed of him for many reasons, not the least of which are his apparent denials of his culture, heritage, and racial identity. Given our recent national conversations on the fluidity of racial identity sparked by Rachel Dolezal, the questions around whether Governor Jindal is Indian enough or whether he has assimilated into Whiteness are timely ones that merit further discussion (and some well-intentioned humor, thanks to #BobbyJindalisSoWhite and #Jindian, the comedic creations of Hari Kondabolu and Aasif Mandvi). Governor Jindal’s racial identity is not the best litmus test or standard to assess his candidacy for President. Instead, we should take a look at his viewpoints, policies and rhetoric, which have been harmful and divisive, especially with respect to immigrants and communities of color.