Just when you think it can’t get any weirder, the Washington Post goes and proves you wrong:
When Piyush “Bobby” Jindal rises Wednesday to declare his candidacy for president of the United States, the conservative Republican will probably tell the story of his family’s immigrant journey to the United States, where his engineer father and his mother, a state employee, worked hard to give him a typical American childhood.
“I wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for my parents’ background,” Jindal said in a recent telephone interview. “My dad was one of nine. He was the only one who got past fifth grade. Part of what drove his determination and success in life was his education. My parents put a strong emphasis on education, hard work, an unshakable faith. It doesn’t matter who you are or what your last name is. You can be anything in America.”
Jindal’s status as a conservative of color helped propel his meteoric rise in the Republican Party — from an early post in the George W. Bush administration to two terms in Congress and now a second term as Louisiana governor — and donors from Indian American groups fueled his first forays into politics. Yet many see him as a man who has spent a lifetime distancing himself from his Indian roots.
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.
Barack Obama is biracial. His mother was a white girl from Kansas. His father he barely knew was from Kenya. He was raised in Hawaii and Indonesia. He doesn’t have a single drop of “slave” blood in his entire body.
Nobody dared to question his authenticity as a black man.
That’s because Barack Obama is a Democrat and the Democrats have exclusive rights to all non-straight, non-white, non-male identities.
So Clarence Thomas isn’t authentically black. Sarah Palin isn’t authentically female. Log Cabin Republicans aren’t authentically gay. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio aren’t authentically Cuban.
And Bobby Jindal isn’t authentically Indian.
Here is the real problem with identity politics: You can’t bring people together by dividing them. That is why this country is more divided than at any time since the Civil War.