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Asian Americans and the Election

            With the 2012 Election less than a week away, both current President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney are making their final speeches, campaign runs, and strides to pull out on top on November 6th. One community of voters they may want to address in this final week is the South Asian community. So far, both candidates haven’t paid much attention to these voters, but they probably should.

At the University of Michigan, the United Asian Americans Organizations held a voter registration competition to increase the amount of registered Asian voters at UofM alone. Across the country, organizations such as 18 Million Rising have attempted to also increase the amount of registered Asians and Pacific Islanders for this election. These two populations make up nearly 6% of the United States population, accounting for about 18 million people. Asian Americans are the fastest growing racial group in the country, and regardless of that fact, they might still be the most unrepresented and unregistered voters currently and in previous elections.

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I don’t protest at Occupy because I know that my name has long existed on some intelligence database and I do not know what on earth it will be used for and how I will be targeted because of it – especially if I begin to show my face more regularly protesting at my local encampment. Police target minorities in a disproportionately heavy handed manner than they do our white counterparts, be us all part of the 99% or not. Now with the passing of the National Defense Authorisation Act, Muslim Americans are more afraid than ever. Just this past Friday, mosques all throughout the city of Boston made announcements at their Jumma prayer services about the passing of this bill that extends indefinite military detention to include US citizens.

Why I Am Not Protesting at Occupy - Ayesha Kazmi.

If Occupy protesters are wondering why they are not attracting enough minorities to their causes, this may help to explain things a little bit. Some of you may be reading this and might be tempted to call me chicken shit – and that’s fair. At least on the sidelines, while I warn people about the police, I feel a little bit like I am doing something rather than nothing at all.

The lady hath nailed it. Tres excellente.

(via mehreenkasana)

Although this may not be directly from South Asia, it depicts correctly the concern and discrimination a minority suffers during such protests. You could be Indian, Afghan, Pakistani, etc and you’d most likely go through the same. Especially if the Muslim label’s been plastered on.

(via fuckyeahsouthasia)

What was your way in to draw them? 

I knew what the word means but other than the image of the bejeweled, turbaned maharaja, that’s kind of all I knew. Co-curator Qamar Adamjee said that the maharajas could be this exotic symbol or pioneers in helping championing education and women’s health and all these other things. So it was a contrast of ideas, and the complexity was really interesting to me. She explained that the maharajas were in a lot of ways a conspicuous symbol of wealth and power, and maybe they got caught up in that. So it became relatable to me as a second-generation Asian American. I know it sounds fucking cheesy, but it’s true. Having to traverse being brown, but growing up in America and feeling totally American, and sort of straddling the line, which I think the maharajas totally had to do.

Pixar animator, Sanjay Patel, talks to The Exhibitionist about his new bold, imaginative installation at the Asian Art Museum. Read it now.

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