Monday, October 15, 2007

What I've Got Against Bobby Jindal

There are many reasons why I can't support Bobby Jindal's candidacy for governor of Louisiana, though it seems very likely he'll win outright on October 20th and consider it a mandate. But here are my main three reasons:

In the mid-90s Bobby Jindal was a senior consultant for the McKinsey Company, an advising firm that helped Allstate raise their profits from $82 million to over $2 billion. They did this by simply telling Allstate to stop paying so many claims. This turned out to be great news for the profits of share holders, but for people like my family who thought we were really insured, it was a pretty immoral strategy. We're still about 10 months to a year from getting back into our home.

The second reason has to do with good-ol-boy racism. When asked about racial conflict in Louisiana on the day that thousands were marching for justice in Jena Louisiana, among them many of my Xavier students, Jindal commented in public: "We don't need anybody to divide us. We certainly don't need outside agitators to cause problems." When I first read rumors about Jindal calling the marchers "Outside agitators" I was admittedly skeptical as to the rumor's validity, as were many. But now we've heard from several sources in Shreveport that it's true. Now I'm even more amazed that the Times-Picayune and other media outlets are giving Jindal a free pass on that one. Isn't the "outside agitators" comment sort of a "Chocolate City" in reverse? I've learned there is a secret coded language of racists in Louisiana. The term "outside agitators" is something that might not sound so bad in South Dakota, but here, it carries much baggage. My African-American students say they know exactly what he meant by that.

Third, Jindal supports school vouchers. If this turns out helping all of the public school students of New Orleans, then I'll even campaign for Jindal in 4 years. But I think it is going to widen the achievement gap.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice post. I'm pretty frustrated that he's so popular, and it reminds me a bit of W. It's as though he's the assumed winner because everyone assumes he's the winner. I keep hearing how smart he is, but he strikes me as another simple-minded pandering jerk. His vehemence about prayer in schools is an issue for me too, but the biggest thing came after the FedFlood. Even David Vitter was criticizing the feds for not getting the job done, but Bobby kept carrying the water for W. His "loyalty" was above his duty to the state, and I won't forget that.

Nice that he's given us both discussion topics in class. In my prejudice seminar, we discussed the issue of names and people's attempts to identify/disidentify their own or others. There's his change from Piyush (and critics' attention to it), Repubs pointing out Obama's middle name Hussein, and Hillary changing her name after Bill lost his first run at Ark governor. One of those associative labels that makes things intriguing.