The condescension of The New York Times toward minority conservatives is so thick, you need a Cuisinart electric carving knife to slice it.
On Oct. 12, Times editorial writer Adam Cohen penned a hit piece masquerading as a profile of Bobby Jindal, the remarkable Republican gubernatorial candidate in Louisiana. Cohen began by noting that while Jindal's primary night victory celebration the previous weekend was attended by a diverse mix of whites and Indian-Americans, "there was scarcely a black reveler there."
How many "black revelers" were in attendance at Democratic rival Kathleen Blanco's election night gathering, Cohen did not see fit to print.
Cohen sneered at Jindal's "almost freakishly impressive resume." At 32, the GOP Rhodes Scholar has already turned around Louisiana's bankrupt Medicaid program as secretary of the state's Department of Health and Hospitals; raised graduation rates, retention and private donations as president of the University of Louisiana system; and served as a senior health policy adviser in the Bush administration.
If a young, minority Democrat candidate possessed such a striking record, Cohen almost assuredly would have described it as "extraordinary" or "prodigious." But since the resume belongs to a conservative who happens to be pro-life, pro-school choice, pro-gun rights and pro-free market, "freakish" is what came to Cohen's narrow mind.
None of Jindal's policy accomplishments matters more to Cohen, however, than this: He is "the dark-skinned son of immigrants from India."
Dark-skinned. It wallops you in the head like the high fastballs being pitched at Fenway Park. Dark-skinned. I have met Jindal a few times over the years; he was an Oxford classmate of my husband's. Jindal has a memorable smile, a trademark, fast-paced way of talking, and a boundless enthusiasm about politics and policy. Never did the hue of his skin ever register in my head. (And yet we conservatives are constantly slimed by the media as the bigots!)
I searched Nexis for any reference to Jindal's opponent's skin in the Times and the rest of the media. Grand total: zero. There were, however, three other references to Jindal as "dark-skinned." One appeared in a front-page, Oct. 3 Los Angeles Times article by Scott Gold. Two were from Associated Press reporter-turned-color analyst Adam Nossiter, who described Jindal on Sept. 28 as "moderately dark-skinned" and just plain "dark-skinned" on Sept. 3. Maybe it was the lighting?
Liberal bigotry subsists on the oxygen of sanctimony. Thus, Cohen informed us that it is not he who is racist, but the entire South, which has been "historically fixated on blacks and whites, (and) has had trouble knowing what to make of people who are neither." Mr. Cohen, can you spell "projection"? Cohen then cited a Supreme Court case from 1927 about a Chinese girl in Mississippi who was compelled to attend a "colored" school rather than a white one.
If Cohen wanted to write about 21st-century racism in Louisiana politics, he might have mentioned the ignorant attack on Jindal penned earlier this month by College Democrats of America president Ashley Bell. The race-baiter-in-training sent out an e-mail deriding Jindal as an "Arab American and the Republicans (sic) token attempt to mend bridges long burnt with the Arab American community." So full of hate she can't even get her facts straight.
Cohen ignored the Dems' demagoguery. Instead, he attacked Jindal for "scarcely address(ing) the special problems of Louisiana blacks" -- failing schools, government corruption and affordable health care apparently being "white" problems only. Cohen suggested that black gubernatorial candidates have lost in Louisiana because white voters remain racist, but that if the "dark-skinned" Jindal wins, it won't be because white voters are now color-blind, but because Jindal is a politically white, "hollow symbol" of inclusion.
"If the Republican Party really wants to be inclusive, in Louisiana and nationally," Cohen smugly concluded, "it needs to start finding nonwhite candidates that nonwhites want to vote for."
Such chutzpah the Times has to preach to the rest of us about racial inclusion! For a look at whom the pasty-faced Mr. Cohen parties with every morning, check out the photos of all but one of the 15 ghost-toned, porcelain-skinned and moderately marshmallow-colored Times editorial board members at http://www.nytimes.com/ref/opinion/editorial-board.html.
To quote Mr. Cohen, there's scarcely a black reveler there.
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