Last week, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s official portrait started to garner attention online as people noticed something odd about the painting.
Jindal, who is the son of Indian immigrants, looked more like nearly all of his fellow Republicans – white.
The governor responded to the comments about his portrait at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast with what he probably considered a funny quip. Channeling the late comedian Richard Pryor, Jindal ‘joked,’ “You mean I’m not white?” He also used this as a chance to attack liberals, saying that they’re “obsessed with race.”
“I think this whole thing is silly. I think the left is obsessed with race. I think the dumbest thing we can do is to try to divide people by the color of their skin. The left is devoid of ideas and this is unfortunately what they’re resorted to – name calling… This is nonsense. We’re all Americans.”
Jindal’s comments about the left being obsessed with race are actually funnier than his attempt at a joke. The GOP, with it’s voter suppression laws, gerrymandered districts, and attempts to dismantle social programs, does its best to make sure that white people (aka their target audience) are taken care of. A quick look at the ridiculous support for Cliven Bundy and his armed militia compared to disdain for the non-violent African American protesters in Ferguson proves that point.
Ignoring race, which the GOP definitely does not do, helps no one. Having a non-white governor is a big step for Louisiana, who, along with Mississippi, was found to be one of the most racist parts of the country, according to a 2013 University of Rochester study. Jindal’s position affords him the power to discuss issues affecting minorities, especially those in the Deep South. Instead, he chooses to pander to old white guys.