Immigration

Why Bobby Jindal is Wrong to Tell Hyphenated Americans to Lose the Hyphen

They are good for America just the way they are

|

Many social conservatives have been raising the alarm about so-called transnational immigrants or hyphenated Americans not fully assimilating in America. Even Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, son of Indian parents, chimed in

Bobby Jindal: What Me Curry?
skooksie / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

last week, telling a gathering of Indian-Americans to shed the Indian from their label.

"My dad and mom told my brother and me that we came to America to be Americans. Not Indian-Americans, simply Americans. If we wanted to be Indians, we would have stayed in India," Jindal declared.

As an Indian-American like his parents, I can almost guarantee that his parents said no such thing. They likely came to America for the economic opportunities and then went through a painful sifting process to determine which part of their heritage to keep and which to jettison – and likewise what aspects of their new country to embrace and what to resist. They didn't come consiciously  thinking that the minute they stepped foot on American soil, they'd shed all their old ways in toto and grow a new American skin and tell their children to do the same.

Be that as it may, I note in my column at The Week, the assimilability of immigrants isn't a new worry. What's new is the twist that transnational immigrants like me can't love America. The rap against us is that:

In this age of instant communication, we maintain ties with our motherland that prevent us from fully "emotionally assimilating." The fact that we can fly back home in a jiffy when our aunt dies or niece gets married (as I just did last month) means that our assimilation is superficial. Therefore, allowing more of us in, especially when the American educational system's commitment to (forced) integration has been replaced by forced multiculturalism, would undercut the shared civic beliefs that hold America together.

But that's a crude over simplification of the complex psycho-sociology of immigrants:

For starters, the chief barriers to assimilation often stem not from immigrants themselves, but the native born. Just like a new kid trying to break into long-established cliques in school, immigrants find it exceedingly difficult to become fully accepted in American society for the simple reason that the native born prefer to hang out with those more familiar to them. Americans are the most open-minded people on the planet — but connections born out of curiosity are never as deep as those that stem from a shared history and cultural background. It is therefore difficult for immigrants to fully replace old friendships and relationships in their new country. And if they couldn't salve their "psychological amputation" — by instant messaging cousins, or viewing family albums across oceans on Facebook — they wouldn't become more "emotionally assimilated," they'd just be lonelier and more atomized. In other words, their personal downside wouldn't translate into any social upside for America.

But what about [Victor Davis] Hanson's contention that frequent contact means that the homeland never gets relegated to the "romance of memory"? That's actually a good thing…

Go here to read the whole thing.

NEXT: Foreign Policy and the State of the Union: What to Expect, or Not

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Maybe his parents are just better people that yours. Actually that’s a cop out his parents are better people than yours.

    1. And you are clearly an expert on how to be a good person.

      1. Dude, Marxists like Sam think they know all the answers. The sad thing about modern marxists is that they don’t even have a coherent rigorous ideology anymore. Lenin, Stalin and Kruschev killed it with an ice pick.

        Having jetisoned logic, all they have left is the most pathetic emotional assertions.

        I’ve known a few Marxists in meatspace; either they are clueless or knowledgeable, emotionally inflexible and shamefaced in their knowledge that the world doesn’t conform to their theories.

  2. Seems like there was some other news about Jindal today, something having to do with repeating demonstrable lies about Birmingham being all-Muslim or some other such tripe.

    Plus he looks like Gilligan.

  3. As usual, Jindal is right and Dalmia is wrong.

    No, the “the assimilability of immigrants isn’t a new worry,” but that doesn’t mean it’s an invalid worry. Imigration is (usually) a good thing, but it’s always possible to have too much of a good thing. Mass immigration creates social and economic stresses, especially in a time of “multicultural” dogma and in a bankrupt welfare state.

    1. Is Dalmia even a Libertarian? All her articles are the same open-borders embrace diversity bullshit.

        1. I see you’re adding your usual contribution to the discussion. Everyone knows that every True Libertarian, has ordained by Bo the grand high inquisitor of Libertarianism and his disciples, that every True Libertarian supports open borders. So let it be written so let it be done.

          Anyone who disagrees is an evil Socon.

          1. Using violence against someone who tries to associate with someone the state disapproves of is clearly not an act of aggression!

            1. How is restricting immigration initiating violence against someone anymore then telling someone not to trespass in your yard?

              1. Because you don’t own every piece of property in this country?

                1. This

                2. You guys act like restricting immigration is the most evil thing ever yet are perfectly ok with it when a private citizen does it with their own yard. This seems odd.

                  Besides how does restricting immigration violate anyone’s freedom of association? Theoretically if I had clearance to a top secret military base, and wanted to meet someone there who did not, you guys would argue the government is violating my freedom of association by preventing me from doing that.

                  Actually I suppose by your logic anyone should be allowed to wanderer over to any sort of military base they want to, after all if they get me for trespassing they would be violating my freedom of association right?

                  1. Besides how does restricting immigration violate anyone’s freedom of association?

                    “Um, government, I want to hire this guy from Mexico. I was told I had to clear it with you first. He’s got a clean record, no reason to think he’s a danger to anyone.”

                    “He has to get in line”

                    [looks at line]

                    “Um, there are, like, millions of people in that line and it doesn’t seem to really be moving. Why can’t I just hire him? We’re all cool with it.”

                    “I SAID GET IN THE FUCKING LINE!”

                3. Because you don’t own every piece of property in this country?

                  Well, the nation does have the right to control its borders (which happen to be coterminous, in places, with private borders).

                  If you share control of a border with someone, they get a say over who gets to cross it, no?

          2. What a tired old pony that is. You’re the one who opened with ‘is X even a libertarian?’ and I’m the Inquisitor. It’s like you just fling this stuff without even smelling it first nowadays.

      1. Hilarious.

        1. and speak of the devil..

          1. Nice try, but I posted this four minutes before your response above. Time stamps, darn them!

      2. Sometimes it’s feminist claptrap, like how the West is so terrible to women, not like her wonderful enlightened homeland of India.

        That’s what really rubs me wrong. If you think your home country is so wonderful, then go back there. Stop bad mouthing the one you immigrated to.

    2. It seems to me that the problem is the ‘”multicultural” dogma’ and ‘bankrupt welfare state’, not the immigration…

      1. Prior generations of immigrants had to assimilate because there was no welfare state. No assimilation = no job = starvation. If they could make a living without assimilating, well, fine, but that was unlikely over a long period of time, and it was certainly impossible for their children.

        So, the absence of a welfare state encourages assimilation. People need each other when the faceless state doesn’t send them a check in the mail.

        1. Not exactly, if you could make it without assimilating some groups certainly did (think of Chinatowns, or Amish towns, etc)..

          As much as a welfare state’s effects the surrounding culture and its level of acceptance with people talking, dressing and acting different have much to do with that.

          1. think of Chinatowns….

            Actually, this is an incredibly stupid example and shows a pretty deep ignorance of how Chinatowns actually work. The people in Chinatown today are rarely in any way related to the people in Chinatown 20 years ago who were rarely related to the people in Chinatown 50 years ago. The population of Chinatown simply gets replenished by successive waves of Asian immigration as previous waves assimilate.

        2. My great-grandfather came to this country from Germany in 1870. Never learned English. Lived in a Gereman town in Iowa where everyone just spoke German. He was a succesful businessman and then retired as a rather moneyed gentleman farmer.

          1. Mom’s family was in Holstein…very German, still, in the 1930s. But that did go away.

            I used to get a German language newspaper from Milwaukee when I was much younger…. that is gone now.

          2. The details of my life are quite inconsequential… very well, where do I begin? My father was a relentlessly self-improving boulangerie owner from Belgium with low grade narcolepsy and a penchant for buggery. My mother was a fifteen year old French prostitute named Chloe with webbed feet. My father would womanize, he would drink. He would make outrageous claims like he invented the question mark. Sometimes he would accuse chestnuts of being lazy. The sort of general malaise that only the genius possess and the insane lament. My childhood was typical. Summers in Rangoon, luge lessons. In the spring we’d make meat helmets. When I was insolent I was placed in a burlap bag and beaten with reeds- pretty standard really. At the age of twelve I received my first scribe. At the age of fourteen a Zoroastrian named Vilma ritualistically shaved my testicles. There really is nothing like a shorn scrotum… it’s breathtaking- I highly suggest you try it.

            1. +1 Dr. Evil

    1. Multiculturalism and assimilation are pretty well incompatible.

      1. Multiculturalism and assimilation are pretty well incompatible antonyms.

        ftfy

    2. Multiculturalism might be an easier sell if it didn’t have the nasty habit of continually shitting it’s pants in public.

      1. That, and multiculturalism in practice always seems to mean the native culture has to give way to the immigrant culture.

  4. He wants them to lose their virginity?

  5. The problem isn’t the hyphen but the order.

    American-Indians would be much better.

    1. Or lose the hyphen so Indian is another adjective describing the person and not part of the nationality.

    2. But they’re not the Elizabeth Warren type of Indian.

  6. My dad and mom told my brother and me that we came to America to be Americans. Not Indian-Americans, simply Americans. If we wanted to be Indians, we would have stayed in India.

    I’m sceptical that this conversation actually took place.

    1. Yeah, me too. Mostly because its a politician claiming it did.

      OTOH, I know some Americans who immigrated from India that I could totally see saying this.

      1. My parents said something like that to me in Turkey after we returned from my dad’s sabbatical in the U.S.

        IIRC it was after I got in serious trouble in preschool for not knowing the words of the Turkish national anthem and not caring to learn it. Even before I could read I had contempt for fascism. 🙂

        1. “My parents said something like that to me in Turkey after we returned from my dad’s sabbatical in the U.S.”

          NO THEY DID NOT!

          /Dalmia

  7. Fears about the power of government are as old as Rome and yet for some reason doesn’t have any trouble droning on about that. Maybe how long certain concerns have been around is a dumb way to analze those concerns.

    1. Sam Haysom|1.20.15 @ 2:30PM|#
      “Fears about the power of government are as old as Rome”…

      Sam, it takes a real idjit to propose that Rome is an example of why people shouldn’t fear the power of the government.
      But then you are a brain-dead lefty, right?

      1. You are honestly really stupid. My point was that fear of government powers are a legitimate fear that has been a around a long time. According to this ridicolous article the fact that peoople have been worrying about assimilation for a long time somehow discredits it. Here’s a tip understand an argument before your respond to it. I don’t think you are brain dead but you probally should hit the Omega 3s.

        1. The fact that people have been worrying about assimilation without catastrophe actually occurring is what makes the idea laughable Sammykins.

          Those who come hither are generally of the most ignorant Stupid Sort of their own Nation?and as few of the English understand the German Language, and so cannot address them either from the Press or Pulpit, ’tis almost impossible to remove any prejudices they once entertain?Not being used to Liberty, they know not how to make a modest use of it?I remember when they modestly declined intermeddling in our Elections, but now they come in droves, and carry all before them, except in one or two Counties…In short unless the stream of their importation could be turned from this to other colonies, as you very judiciously propose, they will soon so out number us, that all the advantages we have will not in My Opinion be able to preserve our language, and even our Government will become precarious.”

          What happened to all those Germans making Pennsylvania a no go zone for Anglo-Saxons Sammykins?

          1. They were forced to assimilate and learn english.

            1. They were forced to assimilate and learn english.

              Someone put a gun to their heads? No?

              Oh, you mean they had little choice but to assimilate because there weren’t special tax-funded diversity programs encouraging to keep their cultural identity?

              1. Yes that is mostly what happened but there was sizeable social and occasionally extralegal pressure put on them. Some holdouts persisted until WW1 and they faced actual government hostility.

                1. This is true. WW1 made being “German-American” very unpopular. A lot of Schmidts and Brauns became Smiths and Browns.

                2. And what were the horrible social problems that happened during the 100 years before World War I by those unassimilated German Americans?

                  1. There were none because they were a tiny largely rural population that didn’t promote more immigration from their tribe. So basically the opposite of Dahlia.

                    1. “There were none because they were a tiny largely rural population that didn’t promote more immigration from their tribe. So basically the opposite of Dahlia.”

                      Did you just pull that out of your ass? More people today actually identify as German-American than English-American in the US.

                  2. *Hisses and points at tarran*

                    Schlitz Beer!

                  3. I don’t know, but I do know that the Mafia followed the Italian immigrants over.

          2. Malmo is slowly becoming a no-go area for native Swedes…

          3. What happened to all those Germans making Pennsylvania a no go zone for Anglo-Saxons

            AMISH MAFIA

          4. The fact that people have been worrying about assimilation without catastrophe actually occurring

            Catastrophe, occurring:

            http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-eng…..e-28939089

            1. Yes, if it weren’t for the Muslims, the EngSoc policy of disarming the populace, rendering them dependent on welfare checks, forcing them to live in council flats would have worked just fine!

              The contrast between England and America is not the immigration, but the social welfare state that subsidizes, encourages and protects people hurting each other.

              1. tarran, where on earth do you get the idea that I’m blaming the comprehensive dysfunction of English society on their idiotic handling of immigration?

                Their immigration policy is part and parcel of that dysfunction, especially since the Muslim enclaves are created and protected by politicians farming votes in order to entrench and expand the dysfunction.

                1. I thought you were using Rotterham as evidence that my thesis was wrong. It appears we both broadly agree, so I apologize for my hasty mistake.

          5. They passed the dumbest alcohol laws in the nation?

        2. Sam Haysom|1.20.15 @ 2:42PM|#
          “You are honestly really stupid. My point was that fear of government powers are a legitimate fear that has been a around a long time.”

          You’re right; I was wrong.

      2. I think you missed his point. He was saying that if something has been a worry for a long time doesn’t mean it isn’t still a valid worry now.

  8. As an Indian-American like his parents, I can almost guarantee that his parents said no such thing.

    You can almost guarantee it? Racial/ethnic collectivism FTW!

    Sheesh. Just leave it at “few Indian parents would say that”, if that’s what you think.

    1. You can almost guarantee it? Racial/ethnic collectivism FTW!

      Actually, that’s her telepathic ability honed by deep practice of Hindu meditative techniques that involve long sessions of tantric sex.

      It’s all explained in the Kama Sutra.

      1. Journalists use the Comma Sutra, it’s sort of like an AP Style Guide but more interesting.

  9. And if they couldn’t salve their “psychological amputation” ? by instant messaging cousins, or viewing family albums across oceans on Facebook ? they wouldn’t become more “emotionally assimilated,” they’d just be lonelier and more atomized.

    While I consider myself pro-immigration, this is a weak argument. The argument for forcing assimilation isn’t that it serves the interests of the immigrant better. It’s that the country admitting immigrants is better served by immigrants assimilating. If that’s the case, the loneliness immigrants face is beside the point.

    1. they wouldn’t become more “emotionally assimilated,” they’d just be lonelier and more atomized.

      I suspect that some (many? most?) would assimilate more rapidly if they had to go “full immersion.”

      From experience, I can tell you that if you want to make sure a new way of doing things isn’t adopted, keep letting people do things the old way.

      1. Very bluntly, the problem with multiculturalism is when people start being harmed in its name.

        Here in MA, Christmas was banned for the longest time. The fucking Germans (whose immigration Benjamin Franklin feared would make America a mongrel country) brought us the Christmas Tree and battered down that stupid law.

        Are we worse off for it? No. You can have your Christmas tree, your FSM themes pasta party, or your Kwanzaa celebration with traditional foodstuffs that actually come from Central America, and as long as the solstice celebration doesn’t involve injuring other people it’s no damn thing.

        The problem isn’t the construction of a multicultural or cosmopolitan polity. The problem is that you allow girls to be raped or honor killed in the name of cultural sensitivity in lieu of going Major Napier on people’s asses.

        1. Well said. But how often are people getting away with honor killings in the U.S.?

          1. They aren’t. In England Airstrip One OTOH….

            1. So, one?

              1. “So, one?”

                Just shut the fuck up. Asshole.

            2. Which counters the argument that the authorities are letting honor killings slide in the name of mulch-culturalism.

              1. Indeed. There are several factors as to why honor killings are relatively rare in the American Muslim community as opposed to in Europe.

          2. The better question isn’t “how often do they get away with it”. The better question is “how often does it happen”.

            And that, we don’t know, other than 0.

            An assimilated person in America wouldn’t commit an honor killing, period. Assimilation is measured culturally, by whether the crime occurs. Whether they are convicted measures our tolerance for this particular expression of multi-culturalism.

            1. Should be “other than [greater than] 0”

            2. “An assimilated person in America wouldn’t commit an honor killing, period.”

              They might not have that specific tradition, but a lot of natives seem to be able to carry out quite a bit of killing of relatives, spouses, etc. for a variety of state reasons (a lot having to do with their sense of ‘honor’).

              1. I appreciate your attempt to jettison your multi-culti baggage by obscuring the difference between Muslim honor killings and killings based on a more personal code of honor.

                1. Guys, face facts: honor killings are ok. After all, if I rape a hot muslim chick, I don’t wanna be held responsible!!!

            3. I disagree. Evil people can be found anywhere and everywhere. So unless you are going to set up a futurecrime department to weed out the bad immigrants, then “Is it accepted?” is exactly the right question to ask. That doesn’t preclude keeping immigrants out that actually have committed a crime in the past, or maybe actively associated with extremists. But judge people as individuals, not as a collective.

        2. As I suggest below, maybe “assimilation” isn’t exactly the right word. Especially in as culturally diverse a place as the US. I wouldn’t want all immigrants just to become generic “American” after one generation. But I also don’t think it is ideal if people create isolated cultural enclaves.
          I consider multiculturalism different from the kind of mixing of cultures you get in the US and other nations of immigrants. To me that means encouraging people to remain separate from the culture of the place they have immigrated to, or at least holding that up as a good unto itself.

          1. Even with that second version, as long as someone obeys the law and doesn’t violate our rights, who cares what their ‘culture’ is?

            1. Even with that second version, as long as someone obeys the law and doesn’t violate our rights, who cares what their ‘culture’ is?

              That’s certainly the first screen, and one that multi-culti anti-assimilationists have been known to fail.

              However, keeping in mind that immigration is the importation of your future rulers, I kinda do care whether they adopt American culture as their own.

              1. That depends on what you mean by culture. If you mean how they dress or eat or what music they listen too, I could care less. If you’re talking about respect for our political philosophy, that becomes important, but it’s not like that has been lived up to much by the ‘natives’ either.

          2. People always create isolated cultural enclaves.

            Go on a journey through the eastern seaboard, stopping to spend a few days every 200 miles. My guess is that you will see about 10 different distinct cultures, each thinking of themselves as being the centroid variant of American culture.

            How culture evolves is a pretty fascinating topic. Basically, assimilation is a process of people adopting what they like from their neighbors. It could be putting up a Christmas tree in your diner to attract patrons. It could be becoming a booster for your local volunteer department. It could be joining the local chamber of commerce etc. And the people you are interacting with can also adopt things from you. It’s all unpredictable and organic. And, a few generations later, nobody really remembers the differences.

            1. Sure. I perhaps state it too simply. What it comes down to for me is basically what Bo says just above. As long as they don’t violate other people’s rights, immigrants or anyone can do what they want. And cultures will evolve as they do and whatever happens will probably be interesting.

              My point about multiculturalism is that it is not a good in and of itself. If it happens, it happens. But there is no virtue in encouraging it and nothing wrong with people becoming part of the broader culture. Seeing it as a good to be promoted seems to be a big contributor to the problems Europe has.

              1. Seeing it as a good to be promoted seems to be a big contributor to the problems Europe has.

                And this, I think is gets to the heart of the issue.

                In Europe, people seem to have drawn the wrong lesson from the Nazis disastrous run. The Nazis were racists the reasoning seems to go, so racism is bad, so we must be so unracist that nobody can even think we are racists like the Nazis.

                All cultures have harmful hurful customs. Some (Wahabist Islam, old school Anabaptists) are far nastier than others (modern Anabaptists, Anglicans). The question is what institutions are in place to check the nastiness. If the institutions are effective, the harmful customs will be supressed and eventually abandoned. The ideological ancestors of the Amish were raping women. That stopped when (a) the rapists were killed, and (b) the anabaptists decided to abandon violent revolution and underwent a transformation to the modern nonviolent farmers/craftsmen we see as a curiosity today.

                They haven’t assimilated; but because they don’t bother we Englishmen, it’s all cool. The U.S. government’s indifference (other than some local statutes to deal with the unique road traffic etc), has facilitated that. If the U.S. had demanded that Anabaptists open their schools to outsiders, seized land and put up flats that the govt refused to police and imported unproductive outsiders and demanded the Anabaptists accept their kids into the schools etc, the result would be violence.

                1. Excellent example, again. I grew up in the heart of Amish country, and it is a great example of co-existence without assimilation. Though to be fair, through the wonders of trade, we still get to enjoy some of the nicer parts of Amish culture.

                  There is another factor here: people tend to defend that which they perceive to be under threat. Pushing people too hard to assimilate can often have the exact opposite effect.

                2. Excellent observation on the Amish and successful non-assimilation. Hadn’t thought of that particular angle.

                  People instinctive reaction to pressure is also worth taking into account. A good reason not to have “official” assimilation requirements.

      2. I think that is probably true. Of course people, even immigrants, should do what they want. But making special efforts to make it easier for people to avoid assimilating seems like a very bad idea. Maybe a word that puts people less in mind of the Borg would help. I like to say “melting pot-ism, not multiculturalism.”

      3. I suspect that some (many? most?) would assimilate more rapidly if they had to go “full immersion.”

        My guess is that a high degree of rapid assimilation is probably the default condition and that multi-culturalism is something that needs to be subsidized to be maintained. I suspect a lot of the “forced assimilation” that Dalmia references is simply the absence of support for cultural identity.

        1. I suspect a lot of the “forced assimilation” that Dalmia references is simply the absence of support for cultural identity.

          Yep. Quit coddling them and they’ll assimilate on their own.

          1. Exactly. Maintaining cultural identity in a foreign culture is an expensive proposition. If your goal is mass assimilation (and I tend to think the melting pot is a hell of a lot better a model than multiculturalism), then simply the absence of subsidy will give you much of the result you want.

            1. The absence of subsidy, and perhaps less happy-clappy “celebrate diversity” horseshit.

        2. Yep, agreed. Also, this statement of Dalmia’s didn’t pass the sniff test:

          …immigrants find it exceedingly difficult to become fully accepted in American society…the native born prefer to hang out with those more familiar to them…It is therefore difficult for immigrants to fully replace old friendships and relationships in their new country.

          Established residents or citizens have no responsibility to welcome or associate with people whose lifestyles, language, and values they don’t share.

          I’ve heard the same sentiment gakked up a lot in the past week and a half, wrt the Charlie Hebdo deaths. Variants of “those poor Muslim kids, the poor dears were so frustrated, France is just sooo meean and doesn’t do all that it can to welcome immigrants” (which is horseshit, they do way too much).

          If immigrants have a natural right to enter the U.S., then Americans have a perfect right to choose not to associate with them, especially the ones that don’t share their language or values. Americans should have rights not to serve or associate with whomever they please, translate their media into other languages, or support/subsidize people who arrive on our borders unable to meet their own needs.

          Until the U.S. recognizes the rights of Americans to decline the business, company, and financial obligations of immigrants–the rights of American citizens to decline to participate in multiculturalism–I can’t support open borders.

          1. immigrants find it exceedingly difficult to become fully accepted in American society

            Aside from having no idea what it means to be “fully accepted” in “American society”, I think this is overbroad.

            I know, well, some immigrants who sure seem fully accepted to me. Others, yeah, I can see how maybe not.

    1. If I was more motivated, I would find a French website highlighting no-go zones in American cities because I’ll bet someone has happily compiled such a list.

    2. Why is that full retard? Fox should be sued for their bullshit:

      On Saturday, Fox News apologized four times on the air for its reports about the no-go zones, acknowledging that there was no reason to believe that they existed. It called the reports an “error” and apologized to “any and all,” including “the people of France.”

      It is hard to say whether the apologies were the result of “Le Petit Journal’s” mockery; a campaign instigated by the program to inundate Fox News with emails; or Fox News’s realization that its reporting, which reinforced a popular conservative warning about a purported spread of Shariah in the Western world, was wrong.

      Fuck Fox News! Make shit up to support their bigotry.

      …Fair and Balanced!

      1. They retracted and apologized – what would the basis of the suit be? “I don’t like them” is hard to draft in a complaint at law.

        1. what would the basis of the suit be?

          Damage caused by their libel/slander (no, I have no idea how they would quantify that).

          If I call you a child molester and you lose your daycare business because of it, you can’t sue me just because I retract and apologise?

      2. During the riots in the banlieus a few years ago it was repeatedly pointed out that these were neighborhoods where the “natives” would not be safe. Supposedly cops wouldn’t even go there. Now all of a sudden it’s an offense to point this out? I don’t get it.

        1. If I understand the strident howls of outrage correctly, Fox News et al. insinuated that the no-go-ness was a matter of explicit municipal policy. So, “technically” they can claim there are no no-go zones. However, only the most mendacious twats would deny that, in the past, when no-go-zones were spoken of it was in the context of de facto and not de jure.

  10. “As an Indian-American like his parents, I can almost guarantee that his parents said no such thing.”

    So is she suggesting that Indians don’t want to assimilate when they immigrate here? Sounds like a good reason to keep them out.

    1. She seems to be saying that all Indians think alike. Racism!

      1. It’s telling that it’s not simply enough for her to say that she disagrees with Jindal and why; she has to accuse him of lying, because she can’t even comprehend that anyone could possibly believe that or think that way.

        Dipshit Dalmia is a libertarian like my dog is.

        1. My dogs and I have a mutual non-aggression pact, and in return for me providing food they act as a combination security team and lawn fertilizer application squad.

          Its quite libertarian, really.

          1. Dang, I have to walk my dog and play with him, not just give food – I got a a raw deal!

    2. I have no idea what her intent was, but I read it as saying that immigrants often want to come here to be American and have more opportunity, but also might want to hold onto their cultural identity from the old country to some degree. Which is something that Americans of many ethnicities do even many generations after their ancestors came here. Just think how boring American food would be if Italians or Mexicans had come and held onto nothing of their original cultures.

  11. Assimilation is the difference between an immigrant and a colonist.

    1. Well put.

      1. No, actually.

        1. What are you talking about Bo? On one hand we have people coming and living here peacefully but choosing to maybe not learn English very well or watch football. On the other hand we have people violently invading and subjugating the natives, trampling over property and many other rights. It’s a distinction without a difference.

          1. There exist immigrant enclaves where it isn’t safe to be a native.

            1. There also exist countries where it isn’t safe to be a native.

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1…..h_genocide

            2. There exist non-immigrant enclaves where it isn’t safe to be anyone.

            3. Cite, in this country.

              And the existence of bad immigrants that choose not to assimilate does not mean that all who choose not to assimilate are bad.

              And for the record, I think the lives of both natives and immigrants grow richer when both exchange and adopt traits from the other’s culture, so I’m not anti-assimilation by any means. But I don’t worry about it, either.

              1. It’s an exaggeration. Hyperbole. Quit being so damned literal.

              2. Yes we would all be richer if more Muslims shared their wonderful Sharia law with us. Don’t you all wish we were more like the Muslim world?

                1. I also don’t wish this country were more like most South American countries, but I don’t think that’s ground for me to use force to prevent South Americans who want to leave that place and come here and live and trade with those who will do so with them.

                2. No, I don’t wish we were all more like the Muslim world. Which is why people who try to “share” their Sharia with the rest of us should be thrown in jail. Not because it’s a Muslim thing, or a foreigner thing, but because it’s a force thing. Where they come from and what language they speak is beside the point.

                  “Exchange and adopt” was meant to imply “voluntarily and peacefully”. Sorry for not being more clear. So no to Sharia, but yes to food. Hell yes to food. And maybe let’s exchange notes on architecture, music, art, dress, literature, scholarship…

                3. Yes, Sharia law is the only thing that people from Muslim countries have to offer culturally.

          2. You don’t actually know much about the history of colonialism do you?

          3. Questions:

            1) At what point does an immigrant voting for a government that initiates force to trample over property and other rights cease to be the immigrant initiating force to trample over property and other rights?

            2) Are immigrant voters more or less libertarian then natives?

  12. The hyphen reference reminds me of what is probably the most insane PC freakout I have had the pleasure to observe. When I was in college there was some discussion on campus over whether it was terribly insulting to include or exclude a hyphen in “Asian-American”. One girl who I sort of knew wrote a incredibly angry and spittle flecked response to the school paper about how outrageous it was for people to do the wrong thing with the hyphen. I can’t even remember which side she took, but boy was she pissed.
    I managed to keep my mouth shut, but the response that came to mind was “huh, I thought you were Italian”.

  13. I realized the hyphenated shit had gone completely off the rails when I saw a eulogy for Nelson Mandela that described him as African-American.

    1. John Kerry’s wife, the ketchup lady, is the true African-American.

    2. Speaking of that African-American thing, how’s that working out in terms of getting along with each other?

      1. Speaking of that African-American thing, how’s that working out in terms of getting along with each other?

        *looks at family tree*

        Pretty well, I’d say.

        1. Pretty well, I’d say.

          I suspect you don’t sit around discussing which family members are due collective guilt? That prolly helps.

          1. I suspect you don’t sit around discussing which family members are due collective guilt?

            That’s what the Jewish mothers in our tree are for!

      2. Works fine for me.

    3. That is hilarious. I know some people reflexively use “African-American” when they mean “black”, but most people seem to be able to avoid that when talking about actual Africans. It’s like people who think that “Jew” is a dirty word.

      1. You know who else though Jew was a dirty word?

    4. My coworkers refer to our White South African coworker as African American.

      1. I think of Charlize Theron as African-American.

        1. I just think of her as often as I can.

  14. Why Bobby Jindal is Wrong to Tell Hyphenated Americans to Lose the Hyphen

    Because it isn’t the business of the government to tell people what is and isn’t an acceptable identity. That was easy.

    1. Bobby Jindal wasn’t making it illegal to use a hyphen, or even suggesting it be illegal.

      So I don’t see this particular objection.

      1. Actually, it seems he made the comment in relation to government policy involving force:

        “I am explicitly saying that it is completely reasonable for nations to discriminate between allowing people into their country who want to embrace their culture, or allowing people into their country who want to destroy their culture, or establish a separate culture within,” Jindal argues. “

        1. Yes, yes. Tell me the part where he says people should be jailed for using a hyphen.

          1. He just says they should be forcibly turned back/thrown out if they try to come here and are sufficiently stuck on that hyphen.

            1. Hmm. Not seeing that.

              1. It is in the penumbras and emanations.

          2. I think the hyphen is synechdoche.

        2. And you object to what Jindal says?

          1. The ‘or establish a separate culture within’ part, yes. I don’t think this nation has been ruined because of Amish or Hasidic neighborhoods, for example.

            1. I don’t think this nation has been ruined because of Amish or Hasidic neighborhoods, for example.

              While I can’t speak to Hasidism, the Amish example is not a particularly revealing parallel for a couple of reasons. First, the Amish essentially remove themselves from wider society almost entirely, using Mennonites as go-betweens with wider civilization. As a result, they essentially exist more as a distinct society, rather than a separate culture within society. Secondly, and probably much more importantly, they are a very, very, small group.

              1. First, the Amish essentially remove themselves from wider society almost entirely

                Not really. They sell stuff (baked goods, carpentry skills, heck I’ve eaten a sub at an Amish-owned sub shop. Had an interesting discussion with the owners). And while they are a minority, in certain geographic areas the Amish and some of the more conservative Mennonite sects (which to outsiders can be almost indistinguishable) are a sizable minority.

                1. Are you sure it was Amish-owned? As you suggest, the more conservative Mennonites are pretty hard to distinguish.

  15. As an Indian-American like his parents, I can almost guarantee that his parents said no such thing project with the best of them.

  16. I was hoping that Jindal was speaking out about hyphenated last names, because seriously people, pick a name and stick with it. You aren’t Spanish royalty.

    1. That’s John Rodriguez Diego Francisco de Juan Titor to you sir.

      There, no hyphens.

    2. Yeah. If people are worried about the patriarchy or something, they can just make up a new last name for their kids. Hyphenation is not sustainable.

  17. By the way, nice picture accompanying this article.

    If somebody made a similar cartoonish papier mache of Obama wearing an apron reading “Where’s the fried chicken?”, Dalmia (and many of the other Reason cosmos) would be going ballistic.

    1. Oh, for fuck’s sake. Why don’t you do that and find out so we can stop hearing your unfounded speculations about the evils of “cosmos”.

  18. The uniquely positive thing about American culture is its multicultural nature. Massive peaceful waves of immigration in a relatively short historical timespan have brought together diverse aspects of many cultures, leaving us with a part salad bowl, part melting pot. And Bobby Jindal comes along and rejects his own people’s contributions and adopts one of the most pointless cultures of all, white Southern Christian conservatism. A culture infused to its core with a pathology of rejecting people with his skin color and ethnic outsiders in general. What a waste.

    1. Surat Syndrome.

    2. one of the most pointless cultures of all, white Southern Christian conservatism

      Just when you thought it was safe to assume Tony was going to make a valid point.

      1. He started off so well. Reminds me a lot of the “Ancient Aliens” show I watched last night. They start out with something speculative, but plausible. The all of a sudden we must conclude that ancient Indians are flying around in space ships powered by mercury or something.

    3. “The uniquely positive thing about American culture is its multicultural nature.”

      Which only happened because America stood for many things you so openly rejected here.

      Have you noticed that America did not have some sort of “diversify our nation” immigration program? Imagine that, non white people come here for freedom and opportunity.

      You would be happy to hear that most immigrants do not consider themselves as “hyphenated Americans”. They just identify themselves as “Filipinos” or “Koreans”, not “Asian Americans”. Even if they admire things about this place, most will never see themselves as Americans.

      INCREDIBLY, many immigrants don’t like other immigrants. Mexicans have a complicated relationship with Asian employers, and I’ve heard blacks mumbling some to the effect of “The Chinese are taking over” numerous times in my life.

      America has lots of different ethnicities living in its land. It don’t mean they actually like each other.

  19. I grew up in Hawaii. I remember my sister telling me about a wonderful school teacher. In 8th grade, it seems that everyone was supposed to give their nationality, and an eighth grade Japanese girl, a close friend of my sister, said “American”.

    Teacher: “Oh no, dear. You’re Japanese.”

    “I’m an American.”

    Teacher: “No, no, you have to put Japanese.”

    Maybe the teacher could have given her a yellow badge, so that no one would forget.

    This was at Highlands Intermediate school, which you might have guessed from the name, has some decent elevation. Great views of the majority of the island.

    And it directly overlooks Pearl Harbor. Likely good views of the WWII japanes internment camps as well, although back in my day, the sites had been repurposed to new uses, with the locations likely forgotten by all but those who had family there.

    For a long time, I’ve had a burning desire to travel back in time and beat the face of that government apparatchik into a bloody pulp. I feel it even now.

    Maybe Shikha can travel back with me, and explain to the girl that the teacher had it wrong, and she was really “Japanese-American”, and not an American. Somehow, I don’t think that girl who thought of herself as an American would have bought it.

    1. I don’t think much more of Shikha than most people seem to. But I don’t think that was the point she was making. Had that girl wanted to identify as Japanese-American, it would have been almost as obnoxious and offensive for the teacher to insist that she identify as just plain American. What she seems to object to is the notion that you must give up your ethnic identity to be a true American.

      The teacher was just a moron if she thought that nationality meant where your ancestors are from.

  20. “I can almost guarantee that his parents said no such thing.”

    Because she knows his parents better than he does. Such amazing cheek.

    Should I get all hypenated too?

    According to 23andMe, I’d be an English-Irish-Danish-German-Neanderthal-American. Because it’s not our common values, but our genetic heritage that matters.

    1. Where exactly does the article suggest that anyone must hyphenate their nationality?

  21. “For starters, the chief barriers to assimilation often stem not from immigrants themselves, but the native born.”

    You just don’t know how to do it right. Sheldon manages to blame Americans for everything in the first sentence of his articles. Get with the program!

  22. My grandparents on both my parents side came from Poland.
    They were naturalized Polish-Americans.
    My parents were Americans.
    I am an American.

  23. As someone who’s worked in the shadow economy in balkanized ethnic zone, I can guarantee Dhalmia that immigrants (let’s say at least Asians) are just insular as their people back in the mainland. The internet and social media allows them to watch all their shows, play their games, etc. K-Town is crawling with people who can’t speak English and will never voluntarily eat Mexican food outside of Taco Bell.

    The problem with a large amount of immigrants cocooning themselves into little communities is that it encourages exploitation and under the table activities. A lot of these communities should be ROCKED by scandals if the victims spoke out consistently. But that just goes to show how

  24. I use “Texan” for any and all questions regarding nationality, ethnicity, and race. Either Texans will admire me and leave it at that or all y’all other people will despise me instantly and leave me alone. Either way issue settled.

  25. I am a Native American and an African-American. I was born in America, and DNA studies show that my people emigrated out of Africa 70,000 years ago to Europe, before they moved to America in the 19th century.

  26. If you meet anybody from India ask him “What Is Your Caste?”
    Google “Map Shows Most Racist People On Earth”.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/…..countries/
    http://m.timesofindia.com/home…..322711.cms

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.