Governor Bobby Jindal (R., La.) denounced the idea that “it is somehow racist to tell people that if you want to come to America, we insist that you com to be Americans” as he rallied anti–Common Core activists to fight for local control of educational standards.
“To me, it’s nonsensical that we allow people to come into our society and use the freedom that we give everybody to undermine those very freedoms,” Jindal, the son of Indian immigrants, said during an American Principles Project event in Washington, D.C. “We don’t discriminate against anybody who wants to come and live in our country and follow our laws and adopt our values. What does that mean? That means we should be unafraid to teach English in our schools. That means we should be unafraid to insist that when people come here they’re not here to set up their own cultures [to] overtake ours, they’re here to become a part of America.”
The American Principles Project is one of the leading activist groups opposing Common Core, a set of education standards developed by the National Governors Association with the support of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Jindal related the subject of assimilation to Common Core standards by suggesting that the new standards would result in immigrants learning to view American history as a story of “grievances.”
“We risk it all, that American exceptionalism, if we allow the elites – oftentimes unelected, behind closed-doors, with no transparency — to dictate to us how our children are going to learn about American history and civics,” he said.
Jindal, a former supporter of the standards, was hailed at the event as the single-best sitting governor with respect to fighting the issue, which could emerge as a theater in the Republican presidential primaries in light of the fact that former Florida governor Jeb Bush, a prospective rival of Jindal’s for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, supports the standards.