Happy Birthday, Piyush
Today, June 10th, is Governor Jindal of Luisiana’s 37th birthday. We’re squeaking in just before the witching hour, but I just noticed it on The Page and wanted to acknowledge the Youngest Governor’s Ever’s special day.
Louisiana’s leader spends part of his 37th birthday on Fox News, promoting McCain’s economic plan and the Bayou State’s turnaround. Seeks to bat away VP questions, but declines to give a “Shermanesque” response like Strickland, saying it would be “presumptuous” to reject a job he hasn’t been offered. link
We’ve discussed Bobby Jindal at length on this blog, and I know each mutineer has wildly varying yet equally complicated thoughts on the man. For now, I’d like to highlight the issue of his name:
Jindal was born in Baton Rouge, the first child of Indian immigrants. Bobby is a self-ascribed nickname. Jindal says he adopted it when he was 4 years old and a fan of the puckish youngest boy on “The Brady Bunch” TV show. His legal name remains Piyush, but even his family, he said, calls him Bobby. link
The above quote is from a great article in The Times Picayune, “Name game can have racial tinge”. Right now, much is made of the right-wing attack machine’s use of Barack Obama’s middle name, Hussein, to alienate those blue-collar, hard-working Americans from this dark-skinned “other”. But what of the fact that Dems are using Bobby’s Indian name in referring to him? Is it equally innocuous/vile? I can’t say I support the Governor, so would it be disparaging of me to use his birth name?
Jindal brushes it off as a “silly schoolyard tactic.” Others, however, say it is a blatantly racist appeal that seeks to score political points by stoking biases many had hoped were on the wane in the Deep South.
“It’s making fun of someone’s name with a veiled reference to race,” pollster Bernie Pinsonat said. “Republicans have played games with this. It’s the first time I’ve ever seen Democrats resort to it.”
Political name-calling is not new. Louisiana icons Huey and Earl Long were famous for making up obnoxious nicknames for opponents, usually dealing with their physical appearance or the clothes they wore.
On a more subliminal level, former Vice President George H.W. Bush in 1987 famously called Republican presidential rival Pete du Pont by his given name, Pierre, creating an elite, French-sounding sobriquet. In 1969, Democrats in Virginia reminded voters that the Republican A. Linwood Holton’s name was Abner. And just as Democrats labeled President Richard Nixon “Tricky Dick,” a generation later Republicans came up with “Slick Willy” for President Bill Clinton.
Currently, conservative commentators like to remind voters that the middle name of Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., is Hussein.
They defend it by saying Hussein is part of the candidate’s legal name. But Democrats and civil rights groups have been quick to criticize it as a racist attempt to leave the impression that there is somet
“If you had a choice of colors, which one would you choose, my brothers?”
* Curtis Mayfield & The Impressions,
* “Choice ofColors”
This just in…A new poll conducted by The Associated Press/Yahoo News in association with Stanford University discovered that there is still a wide racial gulf between Black and white Americans. Alert the media!!!
I mean, who knew?
Most of the Black people who live in the United States do.
It would be extremely difficult to go about your day and not see, feel and experience the racial animosity that still characterizes the color line in the 21st century.
The study found that a significant number of white Americans still have negative feelings about Blacks. Not surprisingly, many of those white Americans who admitted their feelings about Blacks believe that Blacks should bear most of the blame for the nation’s inability to move beyond race and discrimination.
LaBruzzo, like former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke, hails from Louisiana State University and represents the same Louisiana district that sent Duke and Sen. David Vitter to Baton Rouge. A college education did very little to enhance LaBruzzo’s understanding of the history of U.S. race relations or the world in which he lives. Instead, his upbringing and education prepared him to take on his role as the colonizer of the world and a peg in the machine that is the white power structure.
Most whites don’t spend a great deal of time pondering the benefits they receive as a result of their membership in the whiteness club. But talk about it or not, membership has its privileges.
Most whites may not feel the need to talk about race because they can depend on the John LaBruzzos and David Dukes of the world to do their bidding.
Booker Rising: Alveda King: “Louisiana Legislator’s Sterilization Proposal Fights Poverty With Moral Bankruptcy”
Booker Rising: Alveda King
Alveda King, pastoral associate of Priests for Life and conservative niece of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., has issued a media statement about Louisiana State Representative John LaBruzzo’s (R-Metarie) proposal to offer taxpayer money to poor women and men to be sterilized and to offer tax incentives to higher income people to produce more children.“The founder of Planned Parenthood, Margaret Sanger, used to say, ‘More children from the fit, less from the unfit,'” said Ms. King. “A eugenicist to the core, she would have loved this idea of the government bribing poor people into sterilization. Aside from its being reprehensible, though, we have already seen that this type of plan doesn’t eliminate poverty.”“For 35 years, we have offered the poor, especially inner city African Americans, abortion as a solution to their poverty,” she added. “Can anyone seriously claim that aborting one-third of the current African American population has left blacks better off? You can’t improve the present by killing the future. Sterilizing the poor is fighting economic poverty with moral bankruptcy.”
Ave Tooley discusses a Louisiana state representative who proposes tubal ligation to decrease the welfare burden on taxpayers. Critics charge racism and genocide. The politician responds that the program would be voluntary and participants would be paid $1,000. The black moderate-conservative blogger writes: “I think what’s most interesting to me, aside from the ‘how-close-can-we-flirt-with-government-sponsored-sterilization-and-get-away-with-it’ element is something my old Women’s Studies professor would probably be impressed that I had noticed. That is, why isn’t this aimed primarily at men and vasectomies?…If men were the targets of this legislation, most of the charges of -ism would be negated. More importantly, it wouldn’t represent a permanent solution to a temporary problem.”
He adds: “I could be wrong, but I don’t think very many people actually aspire to go on welfare as soon as they can. I absolutely believe that poor choices send them back to welfare, but I don’t think the woman necessarily lays down with the intent and purpose of getting pregnant and going on welfare. Those are consequences of a poor choice, not evidence of a poor strategy. It’s important to note the difference. I point that out because while tubal ligation would necessarily eliminate the possibility of a woman getting pregnant, one externality of that might be that her window of opportunity would be extended. I’m fairly convinced that it’s not just one or two young women whose dreams and plans were interrupted by an unplanned pregnancy and their lives never recovered. For them, a temporary means of birth control might actually serve them we
Roll Call’s Stuart Rothenberg has a column this week that’s drawn some attention, and for good reason. He makes one of the less persuasive arguments I’ve seen in a while.
I have a hunch Rothenberg didn’t quite think this one though before submitting it for publication.
Cravins, he says, isn’t getting a fair shot because of racism is southwest Louisiana. This is comparable to labeling a John McCain presidency as Bush’s third term because, well, Rothenberg just thinks so.
First, part of the problem with Rothenberg’s argument is that he’s debating a strawman. No one is saying McCain would be a third Bush term because of their shared party affiliation — people are saying McCain would be a third Bush term because McCain agrees with Bush on every substantive policy issue on the national (and international) landscape. Indeed, that’s why we’ve seen and heard all the ads about McCain voting with Bush 95% of the time — it’s about record, not partisanship.
Second, Rothenberg’s comparison is largely backwards. If voters were to give Cravins more of a chance, and look at the substantive policy details, they might like what they see. On the other hand, if voters were to give McCain a closer look, and look at the substantive policy details, they’d see his agenda is, for all intents and purposes, indistinguishable from Bush’s. In other words, upon closer scrutiny, Cravins would dispel preconceived ideas about him being the same as other African-American Democrats. Meanwhile, upon closer scrutiny, McCain would reinforce preconceived ideas about his similarities to conservative Republicans. These are disparate, not comparable, observations.