Asian Americans have had enough of hate crimes and mass shootings. They're organizing to vote in the midterms to fight Republicans inciting racism and blocking guns safety measures.
Asian Americans are a key voting bloc in many swing states. The AAPI Victory Alliance is organizing communities to flex their political power and demand gun safety. Communities who were typically not engaged in the political process and voting are realizing that they have to organize, donate and vote to protect themselves.
- One-third of Asian Americans fear threats, physical attacks and most say violence against them is rising. “Four years of Trump has normalized racism and bullying. His continual example of blaming Asians for the coronavirus is allowing people to openly discriminate against Asian[s].” - Pew Research
- Google searches found spikes for racist terms such as “China virus” and “Kung Flu” spiked throughout 2020. Trump used those terms multiple times that year — including “China virus” as recently as a March 16 interview on Fox News, - Poynter Institute
- The Asian American voting population grew nationwide by nearly 30 percent, or just over 5 million people. In percentage terms, that was by far the biggest increase over the past decade for any major racial group.
This StoryMap shows the distribution of Asian America voters across the U.S. with breakdown by their country of origin. It also shows how they suffer from domestic white terrorists' hate crimes and mass shootings with assault weapons.
Asian Americans growing political power
Domestic terrorists target Blacks and Asian Americans
“We talked about her being targeted for being Asian, with this influx of hatred,” he said. “Similarly [to] the way in which she talked about me, as a Black man, possibly being targeted if I engage with law enforcement. So, we both understood what it was like, but I guess we didn’t let fear constrain our movement.” Peterson, whose father is Black, recognizes that his mourning parallels a collective grief that weighs on Atlanta’s Asian American community. “So I always tell people, it’s not really about my mother, it is about what she represents and what these victims were.”
How Republicans block gun safety bills that would reduce mass shootings
"Gun control is one of many issues in which majority opinion in the nation runs into the brick wall of a Senate rule—the filibuster—that provides a veto over national policy to a minority of the states, most of them small, largely rural, preponderantly white, and dominated by Republicans.
In their opposition to gun control, Republicans in Congress clearly are prioritizing the sentiments of gun owners in their party over any other perspective, even that of other Republican voters. The Pew polling found that significant majorities of Americans support background checks (81 percent), an assault-weapons ban (63 percent), and a ban on high-capacity ammunition magazines (64 percent); a majority also opposes concealed carry of weapons without a permit. Majorities of Republicans who don’t own guns shared those opinions, as did Democratic gun owners, by even more lopsided margins. Even most Republicans who do own guns said in the polling that they support background checks and oppose permitless concealed carry (which more red states, including Texas, are authorizing). Despite all of this, Republican elected officials, in their near-lockstep opposition to gun control, have bent to groups like the NRA in equating almost any restrictions as a sign of disrespect to the values of red America." - The Atlantic
Growing power of Asian American voters
The Asian American population isn’t nearly large enough to decide those states on its own. Although Asian Americans represent almost 9 percent of eligible voters in Nevada, they represent only about 3 percent in Georgia, Arizona, and North Carolina. Yet the rise in voter participation has proved crucial for Democrats in several closely balanced states. A growing number of Asian American voters—mostly in the Washington, D.C., suburbs—were central to tilting Virginia blue over roughly the past 15 years. They played a comparable tipping-point role in Democrats’ victories in Georgia last year, at both the presidential and senatorial level. Some 60,000 more Asian Americans voted in the state in November than had in 2016—an increase that far exceeded Joe Biden’s narrow margin of victory there. “In Georgia, they delivered this election for Joe Biden,” Nikore said. “And then they delivered Joe Biden the Senate.” - The Atlantic
AAPI Victory Alliance
"Asian Americans still represent a small sliver of the population in all but a few states. But grew rapidly, increasing its population nationwide by nearly 30 percent, or just over 5 million people. In percentage terms, that was by far the biggest increase over the past decade for any major racial group. Among adult citizens eligible to vote, Asian Americans have doubled their share, from 2.5 percent in 2000 to 5 percent in 2020, according to calculations by William Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program.
The states with the largest populations of eligible Asian American and Pacific Islander voters are Hawaii and California. But the groups’ numbers have also increased in Sun Belt states that are becoming tipping points in American elections. “Think about where we are growing the fastest: It’s Texas, it’s Georgia, Arizona, North Carolina, Nevada." - The Atlantic
AAPI Victory Alliance works to build Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) political power across the country by providing education on progressive issues; creating and advocating for policies that affect our communities; and building alliances with organizations to help AAPIs exert their power and be the margin of victory at the local, state, and national levels.
"Attacks have prompted local and federal politicians to call for strengthening law enforcement responses to hate crimes – including an anti-hate-crime bill passed by Congress weeks after the spa shooting – progressive Asian American organizations have focused on non-carceral approaches to public safety, particularly in light of the Black Lives Matter protests against police brutality and institutional anti-Black racism. After the shooting, the civil rights group Advancing Justice Atlanta and about 2,000 other organizations issued a statement urging policymakers to focus not on policing but rather, on “addressing our communities’ immediate needs, including in-language support for mental health, legal, employment, and immigration services”. - The Guardian
Stop AAPI (Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders) Hate is a coalition tracks and responds to incidents of hate, violence, harassment and discrimination. Its aims to advance equity, justice and power by dismantling systemic racism and building a multiracial movement.
The Sikh Coalition works to protect the constitutional right to practice your faith without fear. It does this through the community, courtrooms, classrooms, and halls of Congress with integrity, selflessness.
Indian American Impact is a national organization that elevates the voices of Indian Americans, South Asians, and all historically excluded communities to ensure that every level of government reflects the diversity and values of the people it serves.
Asian Americans Advancing Justice is the nation’s first Asian American legal and civil rights organization. Since 1972, it has been fighting with Asian American and Pacific Islander communities for civil rights and systemic change that builds a more just and caring world.
TakeAway: Organize and vote to demand gun safety and overcome Republican obstruction.
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