This past weekend Louisiana elected its first governor of color since Reconstruction. Unfortunately, we don’t have reason to celebrate a person of color and child of immigrants taking over the state where racism has destroyed countless lives in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
Bobby Jindal is a poster child for the “model minority.” He rejected his Hindu faith for Catholicism, changed his name to Bobby (his given name is Piyush) and became a card-carrying football-loving Republican. How much more ‘American’ does it get?
The bottom line is that Jindal’s politics aren’t just bad, they’re downright racist. His plan for crime: blur the lines between prosecutors, federal and local law enforcement even further to ensure that no former felon can escape his or her conviction. The message: you will never stop paying for your crime…ever. Can you imagine what will happen in the state with the highest incarceration rate in the nation?
His primary targets are drug offenders and gangs. This is nothing we haven’t heard before. The “War on Drugs” has been taking its toll on communities of color for decades. While Jindal was delivering his acceptance speech, the ACLU of New Jersey was grappling with criminal justice reform at their Race Still Matters conference. Roseanne Scotti of the Drug Policy Alliance pointed out the exponential growth of the criminal justice system since Nixon’s “War on Drugs” began in 1969. The prison population grew from 200,000 in 1970 to 2.2 million in 2005 and is on the rise. In Louisiana, Blacks and Latinos represent almost 85% of the prison population. That’s not justice of any kind in my book.
A Pew study projected Louisiana prison growth at 2% over the next five years. With Jindal at the helm, they’re sure to beat that.