Do Irish-Americans exist? Should Americans of Irish descent be happy to call themselves Irish-American? These questions have been in the media spotlight recently thanks to comments by Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal. Governor Jindal said recently that he does not believe in ‘hyphenated Americans’, getting a furious reaction from prominent Irish-Americans.
Governor Jindal, who may be running for president in 2016, appeared to criticise Americans who maintain a sense of identity other than a purely American one. Jindal, whose parents were Indian, said “If we wanted to be Indians, we would have stayed in India. It’s not that they are embarrassed to be from India, they love India. But they came to America because they were looking for greater opportunity and freedom.”
Irish-Americans and others have hit back, saying it is perfectly acceptable to be American and also proud of your roots. The term ‘hyphenated Americans’ has long been used to insult the descendants of immigrants and imply that such people were more likely to be disloyal to the United States.
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