SM’s paper bag test

I would think it’s obvious that Nikki can pass much better than Jindal can. In case you need convincing, look at the two images below. They’re grabbed at random to show each candidate side by side with somebody white.

Here’s Bobby, clearly much darker than Kenneth the Page:

Here’s Nikki in a girl scout troop:

Nikki pretty much fits in, while Bobby stands out.

29 thoughts on “SM’s paper bag test

  1. Nikki pretty much fits in…

    I don’t think so. She and that girl in the green shirt behind her both stand out a bit. It might be because they are non-blondes. I don’t know.

    By the way, I think she can “pass” in places where people are less conscious about racial differences and are quite diverse, like NYC or any major US metro. I’m not sure, SC with its history of racial polarization, is one of those places.

  2. This was a quickie, I’ve seen photos of her with her husband where they have the same skin tone. And like I said, desis have been contacting me because they had missed the fact that she was white.

    I’d like to see poling data on this, but I’ll bet most of SC thinks of her as white as well.

  3. With all that’s going on in the Gulf and Jindal’s handling/leadership (whether you agree with it or not) – this is what SM chooses to blog about – his color??? The fact is that many are seeing a “brown” person getting significant coverage in the media in the midst of this tragedy and I think that would be actually worth exploring…

  4. …seriously?? Did you just go there?

    I understand the point you’re trying to make, Ennis – but (perhaps because my dearest friend is black, and had a VERY light-skinned father and a VERY dark-skinned mother…AND I’ve heard my share of “you’re too dark/stay out of the sun” comments) I don’t appreciate the comparison and reference.

    Not cool.

  5. Nikki Haley does NOT look white. Maybe Hispanic.

    She is light by Indian (or african) standards though…..

  6. @Margin Fades:

    The photo post is an addendum to the posts below on religion, where I remark on the fact that she can pass. It should really be a part of that post.

    Is the phrase “paper bag test” offensive? Sure. Does it accurately make the point I’m trying to make? Yes.

    Email me if this doesn’t clear things up.

  7. desis have been contacting me because they had missed the fact that she was white.

    Frantzian slip?

  8. Nikki Haley does NOT look white. Maybe Hispanic.

    Hispanics can be white, black, brown, and yes, even Asian (Alberto Fujimori)

  9. Piyush chose right – faith and then party. He learned v. early that a wingnut holy roller politician is never judged by performance, only by what is professed. If things go well it is because the principles worked, if they go badly it is because the times are bad or the other guys are wicked. Piyush sold himself to the cause of power, pelf and vanity a long while ago. This is the guy who gutted Louisiana’s healthcare system, as he is now gutting everything else in the state. Nikki, as Razib says, mayn’t be a holy roller (not because she caucuses with the Methodists but because she does have a life) but she read the signs a while ago as she slowly jettisoned her demonaical past. Pity because SOP for covert soul harvesters in Indian Punjab is to claim that Simran = In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with god, or Wahe Guru = Jehovah, much like the execrable Messianic Jews/Jews for Jesus movement Things got so bad that a few years back Sikhs in Punjab moved a complaint against these harvesters before the state minorities commission. Nikki could have been a secret Sikh or simply gone easy on the faith part. But then once you start compromising there is no end to it. So now it is the Christian Broadcasting Network that is demanding she prove her faith. Maybe she can consult Piyush, and work with Dinesh D’Souza or Ravi Zacchariah and polish up on some invective, write some article disavowing her lost past and how she is so sorry for all those relations of hers who are surely going to roast in hell if they don’t see the light. The pressure to conform religiously is intense for all minorities. Yusuf Yohana became Mohammad Yusuf to become the captain of the Pakistan cricket team. In the Sri Lankan cricket team at least two Muslims have become Buddhist to integrate better with the team, following the example of politicians who first returned to Buddism from Christianity and then dropped the practice of using Christian first names, switching to Pali.

    It is no coincidence that Af-Am GOPers are fierce table thumpers because that is what makes them acceptable to the wingnut base of the GOP.

  10. More Jindal and Haley bashing on Sepia Mutiny today. I guess somethings never change.

  11. @Suki:

    How am I bashing either? Most of what I’m saying in point #2 comes from quotes from a conservative Christian source, the one linked at the bottom. If you want to say the Christian Broadcasting Network is anti-Christian, go ahead, but you really don’t make any sense to me.

  12. How am I bashing either? Most of what I’m saying in point #2 comes from quotes from a conservative Christian source, the one linked at the bottom. If you want to say the Christian Broadcasting Network is anti-Christian, go ahead, but you really don’t make any sense to me.

    Look at the history of this website when anything about Jindal and Haley comes up. A large portion of the comments are left are very negative. How many comments in the past few years have attack them for there choice of religion or how desi they are.

  13. the 2nd pic is biased. everything and everyone appears all browned up…the walls, the lighting, the flack jackets they handed out to the kids so they meld into nikki’s skin tone. i suspect foul-play.

  14. Nikki Haley does NOT look white. Maybe Hispanic.

    Pardon your ignorance, but hispanics can be of any race: Zoe Saldana, William Levy, Salma Hayek, Franklin Chang-Diaz, etc.

    For that matter, desis can be of any race, too: Katrina Kaif, Rozonda Thomas, Mervyn Dymaly,e tc.

  15. Piyush would stand out even if he looked white – just like Rand Paul spouted his junk sporting a Kathakali mask would or Blankfein (Goldman Sachs) would in a Kabuki mask. Piyush’s policies are bare inches above quackonomics – just like that Northern rock guy who got the Bank of England to bail him out and now decries government bailouts. Piyush is finding his “compassion and innovation” isn’t worth tuppence and is finding some way to ask for gummint help without which his state will become uninhabitable. But then he is in the right party where performance is irrelevant.

  16. That someone is apparently being criticised for their skin colour – not actions or opinions – is bizarre. Is there an optimum skin shade all people desi should be judged against ?

  17. @wunderbar How is he being criticized? I’m making a simple point, that Bobby can’t pass and Nikki can, and this shapes their political strategy.

    @Suki: Look at this post. How am I criticizing either of them for their color or religion?

  18. there’s a lot of interesting comments that can be made before the troll-fest ensues. instead, some of you decide to dawg on ennis in a useless display of self-righteousness. puke

  19. There is a broad spectrum of “whiteness”, just as there is wide variation in the look of Indians. How do I know Nikki Haley can “pass”? Because like Ennis I have heard non-desi friends expressing surprise about her ethnicity when she is identified as a “minority candidate”. She does stand out in sea of very light haired & complexioned Scots-Irish, but given her name and looks people would likely assume that she was Southern European married to a local boy. More accurately, I would describe her as contextually white. In other words if she were walking down the street with the extended Randhawa clan, which is likely to include at least a few people of a more typical Indian phenotype like Jindal, she would readily be classified as Indian instead of white

  20. Ennis, good to see you blogging again, but man, five posts on essentially the same subject? Perhaps there’s still time to consolidate them.

    BTW, did anyone notice that the one film personality Nikki Haley looks most like, is the most googled person in the world – Katrina Kaif (i.e., not so much the other KK – Kareena Kapoor whose name came up). What’s most interesting is that Katrina Kaif has recently starred in a movie by Prakash Jha, which is, of all things, about politics, called Raajneeti (‘politics’ in Hindi).

    Raajneeti is an out and out political film, at last, and the only love in this story is love for power and yet more power.To attain that kursi, anything goes. Fathers are killed, sex is used as blackmail, daughters are deployed as bargaining chips and entire families destroyed, all in the name of raajneeti.

    Also, Nikki Haley and Knotts have a history – here they go at each other in the SC Legislature. (The clip is posted today by her campaign, but it is from earlier.)

  21. Four posts: (1) Nikki’s pagan past and pious present, (2) SM’s paper bag test, (3) That’s the Raghead-in-Chief to you (updated), (4) The Manchurian Gobi Candidate

    The first two are essentially one post, but the three column format makes it hard for people to read a single long post. This should have gone up weeks ago but I was busy. The Raghead-in-Chief was written from the early report of Knott’s comments, and was earnest political analysis. The MSM is still working off of this version of remarks. The Manchurian Gobi Candidate was written after a longer purported version of his comments became available, and was humor.

    It’s the Andrew Sullivan model of blogging, more shorter posts on a running topic rather than a single omnibus post. I don’t know if it’s a good or a bad idea, but I thought I would try it. I wont usually have the time for this though.

  22. Wow, some people have issues with skin colour – FWIW, Punjabi skin tones can vary enormously. My mother is very pale, she gets mistaken for Italian often, whereas I am pretty brown & proud of it.

    Nicky is also a very common Punjabi nickname. I have a cousin whose real name is Harpreet, her nickname is pronounced Nik-ay, and she writes her name down as Nicky. I have a brother called Bobby.

  23. Nicky is also a very common Punjabi nickname.

    Right. Because ‘Nikki’ translates as ‘little one’ (female) in Punjabi. (Did people note how Nikki Haley spells that phonetically, not privileging the anglicized ‘Nicky’).

  24. 18: Biden had to apologize for calling Obama “lightly coloured” (or some such). Reducing people to their physical characteristics is cringeworthy – whether it be skin colour or bra size.

  25. Ennis, I get your point… she doesn’t have stereotypical “Indianness” about her… she don’t have an Indian name, she is rather light as well, I don’t think people would realize that she is of Indian origin right away unless they read up on her.

    From her pictures it looks like she and her kids have a similar complexion/hair to me (i.e. olive toned, dark hair) and her daughter actually has blue eyes (she actually uses her Indian name here too which is interesting: so I could see why people could just assume she is white. But I think she is also on the borderline and could be just as easily construed to be of Indian Ancestry… People generally assume I am white (which I am) but if they hear my fiance is Indian and/or that I studied Indian culture the first question is always “Oh, are you from India?” or “Are you part Indian?” and I don’t think I look Indian at all personally, but that is how people’s minds work I guess… ethnicity= looks + context.