Okay, so it’s official: Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is now a white man. Yes, forget about the fact that his real name is Piyush Jindal; and, that he is born to parents who are immigrants from India. Nope, none of that matters anymore; and no, he is no longer a minority in these United States of America. Why? Because as assimilation and the strong need to be somebody within the Republican party Jindal sees it minorities place “undue emphasis” on heritage. In an op-ed in POLITICO titled The End Of Race, Jindal urged Americans to resist “the politically correct trend of changing the melting pot into a salad bowl” made up of proudly ethnic identities. To let Jindal tell it, “while racism still rears its ugly head from time to time” since Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Dream Speech” 50 years ago, the major race problem facing modern America is that minorities are too focused on their “separateness”. Apparently it is our celebration of heritage that’s responsible for the countless examples of systemic racism

Yet we still place far too much emphasis on our “separateness,” our heritage, ethnic background, skin color, etc. We live in the age of hyphenated Americans: Asian-Americans, Italian-Americans, African-Americans, Mexican-Americans, Cuban-Americans, Indian-Americans, and Native Americans, to name just a few.

Here’s an idea: How about just “Americans?” That has a nice ring to it, if you ask me. Placing undue emphasis on our “separateness” is a step backward. Bring back the melting pot.

There is nothing wrong with people being proud of their different heritages. We have a long tradition of folks from all different backgrounds incorporating their traditions into the American experience, but we must resist the politically correct trend of changing the melting pot into a salad bowl. E pluribus Unum.

Gov. Bobby Jindal
Gov. Bobby Jindal

A recent poll by Public Policy Polling (PPP) concluded that many Louisiana Republicans blame President Barack Obama for the federal government’s slow response to Hurricane Katrina This left me scratching my head this week. After reading about it, I was left wondering whether the results were a reflection of the education of the people of Louisiana, or just simply the fact that Republicans by and large are friggin’ idiots (honestly, it’s a little bit of both).

To be fair, there are a lot of idiotic Democrats. But the idea of blaming Obama for the slow response in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina when he was barely six months into his gig as a U.S. Senator is asinine. I don’t know how many of you reading this right now are Republicans who reside in Louisiana. But, just so we’re clear on this: Obama was not the president of the United States of America back in 2005. But hey, not that it matters; hell, let’s blame him for Waregate while we’re at it. But anyway, I guess we can attribute the slow response to Hurricane Katrina on the thousands of hyphenated folks left stranded to fend for themselves on rooftops who would have been better off if they only considered themselves Americans.

Over at Think Progress Aviva Shen puts Jindal’s assertion into perspective:

If he had done even cursory research before writing his editorial, Jindal may have discovered some systemic inequities preventing minorities from assimilating to his satisfaction. Though Jindal is right that Americans have made “significant progress” since the March On Washington For Jobs And Freedom, the national black unemployment rate has steadily remained double the white unemployment rate for the past 60 years.

In urban areas like Chicago, the poverty rate and median income for black families is also about the same as it was in 1963.

Even segregation, once vanquished by the civil rights movement, is rebounding aggressively. Since 2001, urban schools and neighborhoods have becomeincreasingly re-segregated through lax integration enforcement and so-called “white flight.” Research shows this resegregation intensifies poverty and violence in minority neighborhoods, trapping black families in an endless cycle. Jindal himself has helped this trend along in New Orleans with his school privatization plan, which has worsened racial inequality in 34 historically segregated public schools and, according to the Justice Department, “reversed much of the progress made toward integration.”

For my part, I’ll just end this by saying that Jindal is right. Yes, it’s obvious that the reason Louisiana leads the world in incarceration per capita, is clearly because of the many African-Americans who refuse to give up any focus on their “separateness,” as Jindal says. If only they would forget about their heritage, culture, and everything that makes their ethnic DNA unique. If only they would, they’d all be free right now, right?

Thanks a lot Piyush Jindal.