Winning the South Asian Vote

In an urge to be of service to my ‘karmabhoomi’, I have been finding my way to the grassroots. Thanks to the many opportunities provided by friends, the journey has been mind-boggling. No matter how anyone may look at the political inclinations of South Asians, bottom line is of quintessence. If those that are running for any office need a place in the hearts and homes of South Asians, in return for their votes, it is indeed a long road. And one may never know what may flip those labyrinthine intellects.

First know our names. If we could attempt to pronounce any name in any language correctly or nearly, it is paramount that one needing our support knows how to say our names. Whether be Mohammad, Haniya, Aadrik, Sunaina or Sukhbir it is not that hard since we’ve faithfully taken care of saying your proper nouns. And unlike our other Asian counterparts we refuse to anglicize. We also takegreat pride in why each of us was named so. There is every chance that there is mythological significance.

Our religions are not sorcery. We come from places which are an amalgamation of thousands of beliefs, regional stratification, languages and sentiments. Indians don’t speak Hindu, our lands are not filled with elephants and snake charmers, and we speak good English because we were taught in it. When we offer something in good faith, it doesn’t change who you are. And the best way to understand us is to respect our foundations and emotions. If you don’t put an effort, we will always remain a mystery.

There are certain intricacies that you must understand. The festivals we celebrate, the cricket (which is not the same as baseball) fervour, what critical race theory means to us, why we are invested in education more than sports, how we idolize the characters in our movies, and our political preferences are purely based on our liking for the person not the principles. Hence, it is very important that the future leaders are not just charismatic but also genuine. We dislike homophobes, chauvinists and racists even if we perpetuate such within our communities. And, curry is not our staple food. We cook more variety that you can ever imagine.

Women who are the backbone of our support system are even more hard to please. A lot of them have been through immense patriarchal pressures, made unparallel sacrifices, created successful households and professions. Their support is fiercely towards their own no matter which faction they may be. Sadly, those that end up breaking their trust will never be forgiven. Never assume their kindness and never underestimate their gift of gab. South Asian women have made undeniable histories and it only a matter of time.

It’s sacrilege to snub them on pretext of equality. If you want them on your side, assure them the equity they deserve by not taking opportunities from underneath them to serve another purpose. The only option here is to uplift those that work hard to raise the per capita income of the counties and country. They will never be below any red line because of the ecosystem they’ve built. Their joint family set-up, elder care without taking advantage of old age homes, and kids staying with their parents even after they are much older are criteria not captured in any survey. But that doesn’t mean they don’t need the support. They totally do!

Even before certain magnanimous events have turned tables, we were targeted. Our people are killed due to hate based thefts, are subjects to hit and run cases that are never solved, are randomly chosen for TSA checks, our background investigations for jobs take longer in some instances, and despite having respectable places in society we are subjected to mistaken identity. We are tired of being called terrorists, job snatchers, and some of us are accused for doing black magic just because we decorate our homes traditionally. Weirdly, we are also called the next white race.

A lot of affection does exist with our non-Asian friends and families but American politics are yet to find the right place. That topic still remains the most dreaded in any of our gatherings. Because we don’t know where we really belong. Some of us think we’ve nailed our alignment but heart of hearts we know we are kidding ourselves. We, our forefathers, and fathers came to United States to build a great nation just like its other ancestors. Yet, we seem to have been trapped under the veil of sophisticated idealogies until someone from amongst us or someone that understands our diaspora leads us with righteousness.

Published by Quotidian Blessing

InfoSec Director|WIT Mentor-Protege Vice Chair|ATA Convention Women's Forum Chair|Published Poet

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