First Nonwhite Louisiana Governor? Not Hardly

According to the Associated Press, Bobby Jindal, “is to take office as the nation’s first elected Indian-American governor and the first nonwhite governor of Louisiana since Reconstruction.” Indian-American I’ll grant him, but “non-white”? Only someone who doesn’t understand Louisiana could say that.

Race is a social construction, and the social construction of race in Louisiana is very different than the social construction of race in New York or California or even Texas. Unlike those states, Louisiana has exactly two races: black and white. That’s it. If you’re not black, you’re white. If you’re Hispanic, you’re white. If you’re Chinese, you’re white. If you’re Indian, Amerian or Asian, you’re white. If you’re Vietnamese–OK, there’s a little recognition of Vietnamese as a separate race, but only for the first generation who speak with an accent. Second generation kids who grow up speaking perfect Yat are white. Archie Bunker could not have existed in Louisiana: there just aren’t enough different people to be prejudiced against.

In Louisiana skin colors other than black and white are minor biographical details with less significance than the grammar school one attended. (That’s a story for another day, but the grammar school you attended matters quite a lot in Louisiana.) This is how the same damn suburb where I grew up could elect a grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan to the state legislature at the same time they’re reelecting a Chinese American to be sheriff. They simply don’t see any contradiction. As long as Harry Lee talked like a good old boy, hunted like a good old boy, and could be counted on to send out the deputies to make sure no black folks fleeing Orleans Parish crossed the bridges into Jefferson during a hurricane, the fact that his skin was yellow really didn’t matter to anybody. The exact same thing explains why Bobby Jindal can win a state-wide election: his skin may be brown but that doesn’t make him non-white in Louisiana.

3 Responses to “First Nonwhite Louisiana Governor? Not Hardly”

  1. Gaurav Says:

    There is term Indians use for the likes of him – Coconut – Dark on the outside but white inside.
    Though its not fair to the many good white folks to call him white
    At the end of the day he’s just another politician who will say/do anything to get elected.
    This guy went to Brown University was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford and worked at McKinsey. Yet he claims to have seen a demon, is against all abortion no exceptions for rape etc, pro big-oil, anti-environment, pro-war and has an A rating from Gun Owners of America and believes that the US is a Christian nation.

    To me he looks like just a very smart, well educated and power hungry scumbag.

  2. Tommy Says:

    Perhaps a more accurate report of the situation from the “Creole Tomato”

    History Made: Kenner Native Elected Governor

    Louisiana’s Gubernatorial election made international news last month. For the first time in American history, a Kenner-American was elected governor of a state.

    As news of Bobby Jindal’s election reached the distant outer provinces of Kenner, spontaneous celebrations broke out in the streets.

    Kenner registered voter Keith Lazzo reflected, “First the Berlin Wall, now this, it really restores my belief in this great nation of ours.”

    “This really is a groundbreaking day for all Kenner-Americans,” said Kenner Mayor Ed Muniz.

    “It’s a vindication of the American Dream. If you work hard, play by the rules, and dare to dream, even someone from Kenner can make it all the way to the Governor’s Mansion someday.”

    For his part, Jindal downplays all the talk of history.

    “This was an election about the issues,” said Jindal.

    “When the good voters of Louisiana looked deep in their hearts and cast their ballots in the privacy of the voting booth, I know the fact that I’m from Kenner never entered their minds.”

    “I didn’t know he was Indian,” said one shocked voter from Northwest Louisiana.

    “He had enough to overcome that he’s from Kenner.”

  3. BlackRockerStudBrett1953 Says:

    And that’s why Louisiana is little more that a Third World garbage dump:Ignorant white bigots who can’t look past a man’s(or woman’s)skin colour and vote for him/her State-Wide if he/she happens to be black!!!

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