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Tehsin
October 21, 2007, 08:45 AM
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071021/ap_on_el_gu/louisiana_governor

Bobby Jindal just became the new Louisiana Governor. Good luck cleaning up the mess created by his predecessor. :)

shaad
October 21, 2007, 09:06 AM
Tehsin,

His politics are remarkably socially conservative (read backwards) -- he would not allow abortion in the case of even incest or rape, he wants Creationism (Intelligent Design) to be taught as a science in schools, and his victory was based on considerable race-baiting (directed against blacks). I don't see him being much better than his predecessor.

Tehsin
October 21, 2007, 08:41 PM
The big R next to his name sould have been a sign for me. ;)

al Furqaan
October 22, 2007, 11:51 PM
The big R next to his name sould have been a sign for me. ;)

does it stand for retard?

and to think, he had to become a chamcha to do it...

shaad
October 23, 2007, 07:20 AM
Well, to be fair (and not that I approve of it), I suspect the only way Jindal could have won is by selling himself as a Christian dyed-in-the-wool conservative who doesn't particularly care for blacks.

This is his voting record:
Voted YES on Constitutional Amendment banning same-sex marriage. (Jul 2006)
Voted YES on making the PATRIOT Act permanent. (Dec 2005)
Voted NO on removing oil & gas exploration subsidies. (Jan 2007)
Voted YES on deauthorizing "critical habitat" for endangered species. (Sep 2005)
Voted NO on keeping moratorium on drilling for oil offshore. (Jun 2006)
Voted YES on prohibiting product misuse lawsuits on gun manufacturers. (Oct 2005)
Voted NO on establishing "network neutrality" (non-tiered Internet). (Jun 2006)
Voted NO on redeploying US troops out of Iraq starting in 90 days. (May 2007)
Voted YES on declaring Iraq part of War on Terror with no exit date. (Jun 2006)
Voted NO on allowing human embryonic stem cell research
YES on continuing intelligence gathering without civil oversight
YES on denying non-emergency treatment for lack of Medicare co-pay
NO on $84 million in grants for Black and Hispanic colleges
NO on allowing Courts to decide on "God" in Pledge of Allegiance

Given that Louisiana particularly needs an independent governor who will do what's right for the state without necessarily marching to the tune of any specific political party, that voting record doesn't fill me with optimism.

RazabQ
October 23, 2007, 11:44 AM
The guy gave up on his faith (Hinduism) so that he could get elected. That tells me all I need to know on his moral fortitude. He and that Argentinian Menem are opportunists at best.

Sohel
October 23, 2007, 11:49 AM
Thank you Shaad.

I'll be a little un-PC here and ponder: what should we call "our" sell-outs and Uncle Tom's? I propose Uncle Coconut, brown on the outside and white on the inside. Then again, stuff like this is bound to happen. It's hard to decolonize one's own mind.

NOI to reactionary politicians, Whites or Wannabes ... :)

RazabQ
October 23, 2007, 12:20 PM
Good find Shaad bhai on his voting record - off the congress website?

shaad
October 23, 2007, 07:36 PM
RazabQ, one caveat here, though: although I obviously don't see eye to eye with Bobby Jindal's politics, he converted to Christianity when he was a teenager. So I don't think it's fair to say that he gave up his faith in order to get elected. In fact, given that I hear his parents are still pissed off at him, I would say that, in that particular case at least, Jindal actually showed moral fortitude.

But yes, I think the manner in which he went about getting elected, essentially selling himself to the white establishment as someone who was white in everything but complexion, is rather tacky.

Finally, politics in Louisiana is very reminiscent of politics in Bangladesh: people strive to get elected in order to secure lucrative business deals and positions both for themselves and their relatives. In order to be even the least bit effective, Jindal will have to nip this tendency towards corruption and nepotism among the legislature and government officials in the bud. Again, I am not optimistic.

tonoy
October 23, 2007, 08:02 PM
Shaad for Governor!

shaad
October 23, 2007, 08:18 PM
I'll be a little un-PC here and ponder: what should we call "our" sell-outs and Uncle Tom's? I propose Uncle Coconut, brown on the outside and white on the inside. Then again, stuff like this is bound to happen. It's hard to decolonize one's own mind.


Sohel, I have no problems with referring to certain actual Bangladeshis (i.e. born and raised in Bangladesh, still holding Bangladeshi citizenship) as either "Uncle Toms" or "coconuts"; I mean, I've (fairly recently) come across some English medium brats (and I say that as someone who spent twelve years of his life in an English medium school; no Bangla medium/English medium rivalry here) in Bangladesh, who actually try to speak Bangla with a fake American accent.

On the other hand, I would be hesitant to use such labels for any American, Australian, or British citizens of Bangladeshi heritage or Bengali ethnicity, particularly in the case of second and third generations. I think they are well within their rights to identify primarily as citizens of the nation they belong to, and relegate the Bangladeshi/Bengali aspects of their identity to a lower tier.

And to put a final twist on it: would you refer to Michael Madhusudan Datta (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Madhusudan_Dutt) as an Uncle Tom or coconut? I certainly would; but then, I also can't deny that our poetry is richer largely as a result of his Uncle Tom-ish tendencies.

al Furqaan
October 23, 2007, 08:35 PM
The guy gave up on his faith (Hinduism) so that he could get elected. That tells me all I need to know on his moral fortitude. He and that Argentinian Menem are opportunists at best.

he's the brown indian hindu version of obama...or barak is the black african muslim version of jindal.

which is why i WON'T support obama. edwards all the way!

Tehsin
October 23, 2007, 11:23 PM
Edwards the $500haircut Lowyaar over Obama ? Hilary be damned. I have no idea who to believe in this race on either side. The politicians here have taken quite a few pages from good old hasina-khalida-ershad rulebook. The past seven years has stripped the politics here a lot of its dignity. It's sad to hear the so-called pundits acting like two year olds. Reason and common sense has taken a back seat to you're either with us or against us. I listen to a lot of conservative talk radio and it's pretty much - liberals are devils, worse then Al Quida, out to destory this great nation. Do these people even believe the words that come out of their mouth ? BD politics is cleaner compared to what talk radio makes the US politics out to be. The trend worries me a lot.

Sohel
October 24, 2007, 05:41 AM
Sohel, I have no problems with referring to certain actual Bangladeshis (i.e. born and raised in Bangladesh, still holding Bangladeshi citizenship) as either "Uncle Toms" or "coconuts"; I mean, I've (fairly recently) come across some English medium brats (and I say that as someone who spent twelve years of his life in an English medium school; no Bangla medium/English medium rivalry here) in Bangladesh, who actually try to speak Bangla with a fake American accent.

On the other hand, I would be hesitant to use such labels for any American, Australian, or British citizens of Bangladeshi heritage or Bengali ethnicity, particularly in the case of second and third generations. I think they are well within their rights to identify primarily as citizens of the nation they belong to, and relegate the Bangladeshi/Bengali aspects of their identity to a lower tier.

And to put a final twist on it: would you refer to Michael Madhusudan Datta (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Madhusudan_Dutt) as an Uncle Tom or coconut? I certainly would; but then, I also can't deny that our poetry is richer largely as a result of his Uncle Tom-ish tendencies.

Dear Shaad,

Good points but I was taking about self-loathing individual's with particular attitudes and behavior as "coconuts", "oreos", "bananas" or what have you, NOT about any groups in particular. I apologize if you got any impression to the contrary.

On a personal note, I have been accused of being a "coconut" myself because of my American accent, "connections", “attitude” and "outlook" quite a bit once they get past some of my "physical features" and figure out that I am in fact Bangladeshi. My ex-wife and dear friend Elizabeth Anne Blakeley, the blonde and blue-eyed daughter of a big time rancher in Colorado, adds to that impression despite the well documented Cheyenne and Lakota blood from her father's side, her immense love and knowledge of Bangladeshi culture, and total devotion to Islam - a faith she embraced on her own and without coercion in the early 90s after meeting yours truly. During junior high, highschool and college in the US, I used to be called "wannabe Black" by some folks who happened to be South Asian and White. My love of ice hockey and later surfing made no difference to them. Not being arrogant but also not giving much of a rat's @$$ about their comments due to the way I was brought up, I knew who and what I was and what I never wanted to be, so it was all good in the end. I guess impressions can be as superficial or real as one allows them to be ... :)

I'm glad you brought up MMD. There are people like him who often used their apparent "coconutisms" as an expression of positive rebellion against stifling cultural norms, and benefited their "native" cultures immensely. MMD was a "Shaheb" who was obsessed with taking his "native culture" to new directions, and notably without the trappings of orientalist bias. By the way, did you know that the Indian Tennis start Leander Paes is a direct descendant of his? You may get a kick out of this bit of trivia.

Leander Paes was born in Goa, India to Vece Paes and Jennifer Paes and raised in Calcutta, India. He was educated at La Martiniere Calcutta for Boys. His father and mother were both former Olympians. His father Vece Paes was a hockey player who represented India in the 1972 Munich Olympic Games, in the hockey team that won the bronze medal. His mother captained the Indian basketball team in the 1980 Asian basketball championship. Paes enrolled with the Britannia Tennis Amritraj Academy in Madras in 1985 where he was coached by Dave'O'Meara. The academy played a key role in his early development. Paes is the great grandson of the Bengali poet Michael Madhusudan Dutt. He is now married to Rhea Pillai and has a daughter Aiyana Paes.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leander_Paes

They are rare folks but not nearly as rare as some may believe. My maternal grandfather Bose Professor Dr. AM Chaudhury , very much the University of Chicago and Oxford physicist, was a bit like that. He never abandoned his cultural identity but did his part in bringing about certain dynamic and positive changes that ultimately benefited the culture, or at least the "cultural' lives of his fortunate group of family and friends.

It is all about intent and only GOD knows what is truly in the hearts of His creations.

Peace, Sohel.