I don't know if this is my bad, or his, really. I should have realized that once committed to blather, blathers gonna blather, blather, blather (h/t, Taylor Swift). What I did not actually entirely realize was that he had a defense ready--go on. Seated? Arm rests--clutch them.
After the remarks, Jindal was grilled by CNN about the remark. “Look, I’ve heard from folks here that there are neighborhoods where women don’t feel comfortable going in without veils,” Jindal said. “That’s wrong. We all know that there are neighborhoods where police are less likely to go into.”
When pushed about backing up his statements with facts, Jindal added a qualifier, calling them “so-called no-go zones.” A Fox commentator who talked about no-go zones in London and Birmingham provoked a response from British Prime Minister David Cameron who said he nearly choked on his porridge when he heard about the remarks.
“I think that the radical Left absolutely wants to pretend like this problem is not here,” Jindal said. “Pretending it’s not here won’t make it go away.”
Ew. So, he saw that 60 Minutes episode where Muslim brothers were disrespecting women and generalized it to all neighborhoods that had a Muslim population? And then conflates it with neighborhoods that police won't go into (like, we talk about the "Philly Roll" as being something even cops did in certain neighborhoods in North Philadelphia, but even that is, actually, urban legend, and no--not a problem with Muslims). Then he implies that the "radical Left" isn't really up for a conversation about Islamic extremism unless they--what, ignore him talking about things that aren't true?
My blog has covered Islamic extremism bunches. I also know the "no-go" thing is bullshit. I'm not the most Left, but I'm fairly Left. I'm calling bullshit.
I think I hear a dog whistle here. It's about immigration, really. Folks from wherever need to assimilate. Get pronounceable names and practice the right religion, even (I kid, I...well?).
I just think that's naïve. (Here's where I kind of reject part of what President Obama says about assimilation also, too.) Anwar Al-Awlaki and Nidal Malik Hassan were actually born right here in the US. They were ostensibly "assimilated"--until they weren't. Jihad Jane and John Walker Lindh had no connection with Islamic countries by birth at all. They just fell into extremism because it felt like something bigger than themselves. The problem is pretty much all over: we are defining issues as "us/them" and viewing weapons or violence as the natural resolution when the dichotomy is false and the goals should be achievable politically where democracy actually exists (if, by goals, we mean stuff like equality and economic justice--if we mean women don't drive and have to bag their heads, I guess, well, no.)
The long story short is, first, I don't think we can adequately address a serious issue by passing around false information and then expect it to make people consider plausible or appropriate solutions. No points for being out of touch, potential 2016 Presidential Goat Rodeo participant Bobby Jindal! The second thing is, being critical or even grandstanding on a problem is not the equivalent of effectively addressing it. Unless I see Jindal reach out to Islamic leaders who actually disprove his nonsense about assimilation, like Mayor of Rotterdam Ahmed Aboutaleb, or invest a minute in trying to locate those so-called "No-go zones" he pretends exists to meet with this potentially dangerous element that the whole continent of Europe should be standing on guard about? I will be dead unimpressed with the education he allegedly has and is letting be wasted by ideology and some hopeless ambition.