Wednesday, November 5, 2008

News: Holy Shit

I was very anxious yesterday. I had nerves the whole day. I don't trust polls. I believed it could happen but I never discredit the power of racism. It was almost 2 years ago everyone told me I was crazy and that this country wasn't ready and that he'd make a good VP and this and that, but I always said "we'll see". Still, as those 2 years came to a close yesterday I drank four gin and tonics before I left for the Long Island Rail Road. Then I stumbled into a Bar Car I didn't know about and drank some more. The Bar Car is a funny place. For two summers I interned for a South Asian hardcore Republican Financial Advisor who I ran into. He always takes the 7:22 train to drink and rub elbows with Long Island's Wall Street crowd. I asked him who he voted for as even two weeks prior he was praising McCain. His response finally set my nerves at ease. He said he took his son into the voting booth with him and voted with young Devan in mind - voted with his heart and not his wallet, as he put it. Sure, it was cliche, but most financial advisors are. (Burn!). If that guy voted Obama I was sure I had nothing to worry about.

I voted in Hicksville, Long Island, piss drunk at this point. I made a point to put on my white voice and say "Hey, How Are Ya!?" and donate to the 5th graders and make conversation with the old people so the racist Craigslist rants I read about Indians in Hicksville not being a part of the community couldn't hold water for me.

-This for example: "Is South Bdway considered 'downtown' Hicksville? I call it Calcutta! With a sprinkling (and growing) of Korean churches. Monster Patel shopping center(s)-no one 'wants' to speak English-but must at times I guess. Koreans-really don't want to speak it, do busines (as the Indian pop here) with any other ethnic background other than their own. Are these people citizens-how can they be-there's thousands and thousands? Just a thought. Feeling like an outsider in my own community."

Man, if there were books involving solely rants like that I would learn how to read. So click, click, click... I voted Working Families Party across the board wherever the candidate differed from the Democratic nomination. Smiled. I got home and drank 2 beers. At this point it had nothing to do with my nerves, I just wanted to drank. By 10 PM I passed out. My parents knocked on my door to celebrate around 11 PM but I wouldn't get up. I woke up at 5 am and ran around the house yelling. Fuck! I still can't believe this.

Unfortunately my homie Ashwin Madia lost his race for Congress in Minnesota but I do not believe this is the last we'll hear from Ashwin. He's a sharp young dude and will hopefully find his way to a position under an Obama presidency.

With regard to other Indians and looking forward, one name that seems to be everywhere this morning is Bobby Jindal. Mark my words, Bobby Jindal will be a viable candidate for the Republican nomination in 2012. Meet Piyush "Bobby" Jindal, the governor of Louisiana:

Brief background: Republican governor of Louisiana, youngest governor in the country, first non-white to serve in his role since reconstruction, first Indian American (punjabi, whattup) governor in US history, former House Representative from Louisiana's 1st district, nominated by Bush to be Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services for Planning and Evaluation, apparently adapted the name Bobby from the Brady Bunch series though his government remains Piyush, converted to Catholicism in high school (WTF), went to Brown, Rhodes Scholar at Oxford, ex-MixKinsey consultant, married an Indian.

Jindal's name was floating around as a Veep possibility for some time. Rush Limbaugh praised him. Mccain traveled to Louisiana. Ultimately it's rumored he turned down the opportunity. When asked about the election prior to his possible role in it, Jindal praised Clinton, McCain and Obama. He was inspired by Obama's rhetoric and recounted a time when Obama introduced himself to the young House Representative, an anomaly in Washington where Senators run around like the own the town. He continues to be brought up by the right-wing as some kind of multi-culti prince who could offer an alternative to Obama, albeit a controvercial one as some still believe the base would never vote for a minority.

"Jindal could do, for the right, what Obama did for the left: unite it around an attractive, well-spoken, advocate, sharing the values of the base, while appealing to the broad constituency necessary to win a national election. He took Louisiana, a basket case under Democratic misrule, and turned it around. While the Democratic Governor and the Democratic Mayor of New Orleans proved woefully inadequate to the task of dealing with Katrina, Jindal handled recent hurricane events with aplomb and competence. And whatever chic a president named "Barack" gets is trumped by one named "Piyush"." - PolitickerNJ

Jindal has already planned to visit Iowa at a fundraising dinner for the ultra Christian conservative Iowa Family Policy Center's "Celebrating the Family" banquet. Although he is Indian, dude goes by Bobby and converted to Christianity. In high school? WTF? Who does that? He is 100% pro-life and his record supports that. He opposes stem cell research. He supports the teaching of intelligent design in public schools. He voted yes on making the Patriot act permanent. Jindal has an A rating from Gun Owners of America. As governor, he has made ethics reform a top priority.

The face and voice might be different but he is a hardcore Republican and often compared to Reagan, so don't get it twisted. Piyush is a squeezer. (Though bigups for marrying Indian, I guess? Maybe that cancels out the whole name change.) Anyway, word, mark my words. 2012 will be big for Piyush.

In local politics, Joe Addabbo defeated Republic state senator Serphin Maltese. Along with one other Democrat victory, the party has taken control of the New York State Senate. This is very big. A good friend of mine, Ali Najmi, was instrumental in this if you ask me.

Ali has been a neighborhood friend of mine since high school and we'd often discuss politics and life as an Indian at a liberal arts college on his porch. Ali started Desis Vote, a non-profit committed to mobilizing South Asian and Indo-Caribbean voters, while at CUNY Law. He set up a debate between Maltese and Addabbo and wrote some hard-hitting questions that brought forth issues of concern to our community. He is an alumnus of Oberlin where he sits on the board of trustees until next year. In addition to starting Desis Vote, he is also an ex-intern at the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund. Mr. Najmi, my friends, is a rising star in the world of politics and the South Asian American community. Indeed yesterday saw a record turnout of South Asian voters in that district so congratulations to him.

"Yesterday was a historic day for America and for the South Asian community of New York City. The communities in southern Queens witnessed unprecedented visibility of South Asian voters at all of the polling sites in Richmond Hill and Ozone Park. Indians, Bangladeshis, Pakistanis, Guyanese, and Trinidadian voters sent a powerful message to the political community of New York: we are eager to add to the governance of this city and state. We will not tolerate incumbencies and political careers based on anti-immigrant policies and rhetoric, or the neglect of our neighborhoods. We will come out and vote. " - Desis Vote

Disclaimer: None of the garbage drivel on this blog is associated with Ali Najmi. He doesn't pal around with bad bloggers.

Warning from Black Jeffrey: "Make sure you carry some bottled water around with you today because there will be PLENTY of salty crackers out there!"

No comments:

Google Analytics