We came to US to become Americans not Indian-Americans, says Bobby Jindal

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal said his parents came to US to become Americans, not Indian-Americans

By: Press Trust of India | Washington | Published: January 16, 2015 10:07 am
M_Id_426026_Bobby_Jindal Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal

Asserting that he didn’t believe in hyphenated identities, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has said that his parents came to the US from India four decades ago to become Americans and not Indian-Americans.

He invoked his ethnic heritage to make a call for immigrant assimilation and called people who talked about skin pigmentation as the “most dim-witted lot” around.

“My parents came in search of the American Dream, and they caught it. To them, America was not so much a place, it was an idea. My dad and mom told my brother and me that we came to America to be Americans. Not Indian-Americans, simply Americans,” Jindal said in a prepared remarks that he is scheduled to deliver next week.

Jindal, the first Indian-American Governor of any American state, is scheduled to address the Henry Jackson Society on Monday in London.

Releasing the prepared remarks of Jindal’s speech, his office said the Louisiana Governor will call for immigrant assimilation to strengthen countries and protect freedom.

“If we wanted to be Indians, we would have stayed in India. It’s not that they are embarrassed to be from India, they love India. But they came to America because they were looking for greater opportunity and freedom,” Jindal said,
explaining the reason why he does not like to be called or described as an Indian-American.

“I do not believe in hyphenated Americans. This view gets me into some trouble with the media back home. They like to refer to Indian-Americans, Irish-Americans, African-Americans, Italian-Americans, Mexican-Americans, and all the rest. To be clear – I am not suggesting for one second that people should be shy or embarrassed about their ethnic heritage,” he said.

“It is completely reasonable and even necessary for a sovereign nation to discriminate between people who want to join them and people who want to divide them. And immigration policy should have nothing at all to do with the colour of anyone’s skin. I find people who care about skin pigmentation to be the most dim-witted lot around. I want nothing to do with that,” he added.

Jindal said his objective in this speech is to speak clearly about what he believes to be America’s proper role in international affairs; to speak bluntly about the nature of the threats being faced and the recent tragic events in France; and to suggest what he think is the way forward.

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  1. P
    Jan 16, 2015 at 5:00 am
    I think he wants To be accepted by the white Caucasian Americans. He wants to stand for the American Presidency. It is OK. But he should not have any objection to being called an Indian American. Because that is what he is. JFK was an Irish American. He had no objection to be known as such. Grow up Mr Jindal. Be what you are.
    1. M
      Mv V
      Jan 16, 2015 at 7:06 am
      While I do not agree with Bobby Jindal on many aspects, he has a right to choose how he sees the world and live his life. Democracy is about making choices and I choose to disagree with him but I do understand his point of view. Indian Americans are a micro minority in the United States and have limited options because of the numbers. In contrast, JFK was a third generation American, whose father was the Ambador to the United States and whose maternal gfather Honey Fitz was a mayor. He could afford to present himself as an Irish American in the North East which is a Irish American stronghold. Jindal's father is an ordinary immigrant who is not Caucasian and that makes for a world of difference. My problem with Jindal is that he avoids mentioning his roots at all kind of like, Kamala Harris who talks consistently about her African American heritage. This perpetuates the hegemony of Indians as less than others stereotype fostered by years of colonialism and the post colonial perpetuation of self hate. Carrying that virus to the U.S isthe worst mistake possible. In contrast, Nikki Haley has found a meaningful common ground which is a good model. She does not constantly pontificate about being different but embraces her heritage gracefully.
      1. A
        Ak Narasimhan
        Jan 17, 2015 at 7:58 am
        Rightly said. Don't waste time on people who feel they don't belong to you and your country!
        1. B
          Jan 16, 2015 at 7:19 pm
          Well said Hari!
          1. B
            Jan 16, 2015 at 7:12 pm
            how different he is than any other Indian politician? people change parties, values for opportunity..he did the same.
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