Skip to content Nikki Haley, Bobby Jindal and on-and-off relationships with Indian American identity

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Haley and Jindal, the only two Indian Americans to be elected governor, did not respond to NBC Asian America’s request for comment.

Jindal — born Piyush, not Bobby — has dismissed his Indian identity at times, rejecting the label “Indian American” and referring to his skin tone as just a “tan,” while also looking to wealthy Indian families like the Kailases, big Louisiana landowners, for political and financial support.

That’s simply false,” said Yuki Yamazaki, a half-South Indian, half-Japanese psychotherapist who studies Asian Americans, colorism, and the model minority myth.

“When you’re growing up in America and you have your Indian roots, there’s naturally a clash.

“It also erases the disparities within our own Asian American and South Asian American communities, ignoring working-class, caste-oppressed, religious minorities within our populations who must contend with institutionalized racism everyday,” she said.

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