In a recent piece in Politico titled "Why Are Asian Americans Democrats?", professors Alexander Kuo, Neil Malhotra and Cecilia Hyunjung Mo, make the contention that "microaggressions" and social exclusion has pushed the entire Asian-American community to vote for the Democratic Party.
If you're unfamiliar with the term, microaggressions, according to Fordham University, "are common verbal, behavioral, and environmental indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile or negative slights to marginalized groups."
The professors begin their microcase by pointing to a recent exchange between Senator Pat Roberts and President Barack Obama's nominee for surgeon general, Vivek Murthy, an Indian-American. Roberts invited Murthy to his state to meet a "lovely doctor from India. She's in her mid-30s and she's highly respected by the community. ... And so, I think you'd be right at home, and we would welcome you."
This clumsy statement allegedly proves that Republicans have it in for Indian-Americans. As the authors explain: "However harmless it might seem, this is exactly the sort of exchange that makes Asian-Americans -- the fastest growing ethnic group in the country -- more likely to identify themselves as Democrats than Republicans, and by stunning margins."
Actually, it is harmless. Just as harmless as this line delivered by Joe Biden a few years back: "In Delaware," the VP had explained, "you cannot go to a 7-11 or a Dunkin' Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. I'm not joking." The professors didn't see fit to mention Joe. It might have proven that the GOP doesn't have a monopoly on obtuse white guys. And when I searched for another example of a high-profile GOP politician smearing Indian-Americans with slurs like "lovely doctor" and "highly respected," I came up empty.
As it turns out, the problem is a more subtle one. Asking questions like, "Where were you born?" has the propensity to turn people into Democrats, as well. Evidently, Asian-Americans have the extraordinary ability to discern the ideological affiliation of every person querying them. These racial "microaggressions" claim the authors, are "sadly common and carry the implied message that Asian Americans are not true Americans."
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