As thousands celebrated the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech and the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in D.C this week, not one Republican was in attendance. Though no elected conservative was there in person, it didn’t stop one Republican governor from speaking his mind.
Prior to the anniversary rally in Washington D.C., Louisiana governor and 2016 Republican hopeful for president, Bobby Jindal wrote an op-ed piece for Politico. In the article, Jindal spoke about his thoughts on race in America. Despite being part of the Republican party, Jindal is not the “stereotypical” white southern conservative, but holds views that many Tea Party members can relate to. Jindal noted that while America has made ” tremendous progress” with racism, much more needs to be done. One way Jindal believes racism could disappear in America is if minorities just acted more American.
“We still place far too much emphasis on our ‘separateness,’ our heritage, ethnic background, skin color, etc. We live in the age of hyphenated Americans: Asian-Americans, Italian-Americans, African-Americans, Mexican-Americans, Cuban-Americans, Indian-Americans, and Native Americans, to name just a few.
Here’s an idea: How about just ‘Americans?’ That has a nice ring to it, if you ask me. Placing undue emphasis on our ‘separateness’ is a step backward. Bring back the melting pot.
There is nothing wrong with people being proud of their different heritages. We have a long tradition of folks from all different backgrounds incorporating their traditions into the American experience, but we must resist the politically correct trend of changing the melting pot into a salad bowl. E pluribus Unum.
When I became chairman of the Republican Governors’ Association last year, I gave this advice to the Republican Party: If you want people to like you, a good place to start is to demonstrate that you like them.”
The ironic part of Jindal’s article is that he states the Republican party needs to demonstrate that they actually like people, a problem the party seems to be having now more than ever. Whether it’s an attack on women’s rights, the LGBT community, minorities, teachers, fireman, the police or any other group, the Republican party doesn’t offer much room to maneuver outside their ideas.
Jindal closed his article by saying “We are all created in the image of God — skinny, fat, tall, short, dark, light, whatever. Who cares? What does it matter? It’s time to get over it. It’s time for the end of race in America. Now that would be progress.” It seems that Jindal and the rest of the Republican party might think about looking in the mirror if they want to discover one of the biggest problems facing the country.