Prominent Indian-American politicians in the South — all 2 of them

Salon has a piece on how our own Nikki Haley and Bobby Jindal work to carve out a place for themselves in the GOP of the South. An excerpt:

There’s no doubt that the religious conversions of Haley and Jindal, the two most prominent Indian-American politicians, have powerful personal and spiritual roots. But it’s also inarguable that being Christians with Anglicized names has made it easier for them to create bonds with the overwhelmingly white and deeply religious voters who dominate Republican politics in the South.

That basic imperative, to project an identity that voters aren’t threatened by, is one that all minority candidates in all regions of the country can relate to. But for Indian-Americans, who are only now stepping into American politics in sizable numbers, figuring out how to do so is still a work in progress…

Find the whole piece here.

7 thoughts on “Prominent Indian-American politicians in the South — all 2 of them

  1. Kathryn Fenner

    They point out how sometimes she’s “white” and sometimes she’s “minority” as the situation suits her.

    The comment from the guy who thinks of his Indian girlfriend as white with a tan, is telling.

  2. scout

    I wouldn’t ever have thought that Nikki was Indian if the media hadn’t told me so. Not that it matters one wit to me, but I suspect that she is not sad that it is not obvious to people not paying close attention.

  3. Ralph Hightower

    Even though Nikki Haley and I share the same home town, Bamberg, I was attending college at USC when Nimrata Nikki Randhawa was born, so I do not know how Nikki “stood out in class”; my younger brother and sister were also older than Nikki to be in the same school, elementary, junior high, or high school. I do know that my mother liked to shop at Randhawa’s shop when it was in Bamberg.

    Just because Louisiana elected a first generation Indian-American does not mean that South Carolina has to do the same.

    I am all for electing people that demonstrate competence as elected officials. I hold elected officials to a higher standard and Nikki Haley’s “Do as I say, not as I do” is more of this insane hypocritical logic of SC Governot Mark Sanford.

    I think you mentioned about the color choice of clothes that Nikki Haley likes to wear. Thank you for bringing her choice of wearing white to my attention. “Boss Hogg” of the Dukes of Hazzard TV show always wore white. He and Nikki also share the same tastes in cars; both drive white Cadillacs.

  4. Barry

    This weekend I had someone respond to me that I was against Rep Haley because she was Indian (when I had just listed 3 specific reasons why I wouldn’t support her – none of which had anything to do with her personally ).

    This apparently is the angle of attack now in the twilight zone.

  5. Barry

    Again- I am still waiting for any thinking person that plans to vote for her to tell my why they want 3rd term of Mark Sanford

  6. Doug Ross


    1) To keep Harrell and Leatherman and Knotts and McConnell and Cooper, et al in line from wasting more tax dollars on Innovista-like boondoggles

    2) To use the office as a bully pulpit for open government (not open emails): voting on the record, making all financial transactions available to the public;

    3) To advocate for changing the structure of government to eliminate the fiefdoms and patronage jobs

    4) To hold the Department of Education responsible for either leading us out of the dropout disaster or getting out of the way. And also to get more dollars directly into the classroom by taking them away from useless testing, public relations crap (blue ribbon, red carpet, palmetto’s finest), and consultants who do nothing.

    5) To alter the tax code to make it fair, simple, and business-friendly

    I’m also waiting for some thinking person who plans to vote for Sheheen who can do so without using the words “Sanford” or “working together”. What are five specific things he will do?

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