In the course of her editorial, “The Brown Blessing” (comment, Jan. 30), Jessica A. Sequeira ventures into the same ignorant and prejudiced groupthink that she is supposedly railing against. Her attacks on Bobby Jindal are politically motivated, but instead of taking issue with his policy positions, Sequeira implies that he is not a true “Indian,” whatever that means.
When she writes that Indian-Americans supported Kerry over Bush in 2004 by a ratio of four-to-one, are we to assume that the 20 percent that went to Bush aren’t Indian either? Is liberalism an inherently “Indian” trait? Even as the majority of Indians are liberal, what bearing does this have on Mr. Jindal’s political beliefs? Is he not allowed to believe what he believes solely because the majority of people with brown skin disagree with him? These suggestions are absurd, but not nearly as appalling as her other suggestion: That Jindal is somehow forsaking his Indian heritage by attending Oxford and working for McKinsey. If these measures are the standards by which “race traitors” are judged, perhaps Sequeira should write an editorial denouncing Mohandas Gandhi or Barack Obama or the countless other Americans of color who are succeeding in the world on their own merits.
WILL C. QUINN ’10
January 31, 2008