Recently, comedian Hasan Minhaj did a terrific piece on his HBO show, ‘Patriot Act,’ highlighting the issue of not ignoring the Asian American vote in 202o:
The Asian American population has grown large enough to swing elections, but it remains one of the least politically active groups in the country. Hasan travels to Asian American communities to hear the issues that matter to voters and to sit down with two politicians running to represent them––presidential candidates Andrew Yang and Cory Booker. Hasan also reaches out to more conservative voices in the Asian American community, but gets barred from an event featuring Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and U.S. President Donald Trump.
As you know, Asian Americans are the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population. Minhaj makes the point that although we’re seen as the ‘model minority,’ we’re not when it comes to voting – something that we have been trying to highlight and shame Asian Americans into voting:
“Indeed, data on the 2018 midterms shows that the voting rate of Asian Americans stood at 42 percent. In comparison, the voting rate among white eligible voters was 57 percent, AAPI Data points out.
Historically, neither Democrats nor Republicans have sufficiently reached out to the group, with a 2018 survey revealing that the majority of Asian Americans had not been contacted by either party. Karthick Ramakrishnan, founder of policy research & demographic data organization AAPI Data, told NBC News that this is in part due to campaigns lack of awareness, lack of staff capacity, or willingness to devote resources to outreach.”
In this piece, Minhaj interviews presidential candidate Andrew Yang. Interestingly enough, Minhaj shows how presidential candidate Senator Cory Booker has reached out to the Asian American community.
I emailed this link to a lot of my politically active friends and they thought this piece was terrific – which I agree. It provides a lot of background and context to Asian Americans and our civic engagement. Minaj also highlights the fact that Asian Americans are making significant difference in battleground states like Virginia and Nevada (something that presidential candidate Vice President Biden hasn’t ignored).
You can watch ‘Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj’ on Netflix, but normally a good portion of the show is available for free on YouTube.