Nikki Haley's South Asian heritage is historic part of her presidential campaign
“Asian Americans recorded the fastest population growth rate among all racial and ethnic groups in the United States, study finds.”
While this statistic may seem optimistic, there’s more to the story. The growth of the Asian American population in the U.S. has occurred in tandem with increased reports of discrimination and violence since the start of the coronavirus outbreak.
As our community grows, we are getting louder, we are telling our authentic stories…and we are making news headlines.
Welcome to Crushing the Myth, a weekly newsletter that breaks down the latest AAPI news & newsmakers.
🏆 The Headlines
Nikki Haley's South Asian heritage is historic part of her presidential campaign — The Indian community -- just 1% of America -- helped shape two political stars.
With her announcement this week that she is running for president, Nikki Haley has made a bit of history again -- becoming the first prominent woman of color to seek the Republican nomination.
With Vice President Kamala Harris presumed to be President Joe Biden's running mate if he announces a second run, as he has said he will, it's possible that both major political parties in America could simultaneously have a woman on their ticket for the first time. And both would be South Asian, specifically of Indian descent -- which observers called a massive feat considering the community makes up only about 1% of the country's population and produced two recent political stars.
"This is absolutely a moment," Sara Sadhwani, an assistant professor of politics at Pomona College and co-author of the Indian American Election Survey, told ABC News. "We see South Asians who have largely been on the outskirts of American politics in many ways. This is a moment where we're seeing South Asians step into the limelight."
That representation began at the national level more than half a century ago, when Dalip Singh Saund led a push to change immigration laws so he and other Indians could become citizens. He then became the first Asian American, first South Asian and first Sikh in Congress, in 1956.
There are now five South Asians in Congress, often referred to as "the Samosa Caucus."
Senate confirms first Asian American judge on 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals — Sen. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Cindy Chung’s long public service as a prosecutor fighting hate crimes makes her “precisely the kind of person we want on the federal bench.”
The U.S. Senate on Monday evening confirmed Cindy Chung, the top federal prosecutor in Pittsburgh, to a seat on the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, making her the first Asian American judge to serve on the Philadelphia-based court.
Chung won approval in the Senate on a 50-44 vote, marking the second confirmation of a federal appeals court judge in the new year and the Biden administration’s 99th overall judicial appointment. The Senate last week confirmed DeAndrea Benjamin to a seat on the Richmond, Virginia-based 4th Circuit.
The Biden administration has prioritized diversifying the federal judiciary, nominating women, people of color and lawyers with broad professional experience, including public defenders, to U.S. district and appellate court seats. Twenty-three of Biden’s 30 circuit court appointments thus far are women.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York on Monday in remarks on the Senate floor touted Chung’s long public service as a prosecutor fighting hate crimes and said she was “precisely the kind of person we want on the federal bench.”
The spy who wasn’t? New York police officer wants badge back — Baimadajie Angwang was arrested in 2020 on federal charges of spying for China. The charges were dropped, and now he wants answers and his job back.
On a September day in 2020, New York City Police Officer Baimadajie Angwang kissed his toddler goodbye and was about to drive to work when he was surrounded by rifle-toting FBI agents.
You’re under arrest, the bewildered cop was told. The charge: Being a secret agent for China.
Angwang, a former U.S. Marine, spent six months in a federal detention center before he was freed on bail while awaiting trial on charges that he fed information about New York’s Tibetan community to officials at the Chinese consulate in New York.
Then, just as suddenly, it was over. Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn dropped the charges Jan. 19, saying only that they were acting “in the interest of justice.” They didn’t explain further.
Now Angwang says he wants to be reinstated to the police force, which suspended him with pay while the case was pending. But more than that, he wants answers.
“Why did you start the investigation on me? Why did you drop all the charges?” said Angwang, who was born in Tibet but was granted political asylum in the U.S. as a teenager.
“We want an explanation. We’re demanding it because you owe me,” he said during an interview at his attorney’s office. “You can’t just put me in jail for six months and ruin my name, ruin my reputation and give all this stress to my family members and friends, and then you say, ‘in the interest of justice.’ You just going to leave it like that?”
…heroes — DC announces titles featuring new Asian superheroes for AAPI Heritage Month
…foods — Kimchi was named the top superfood for 2023 in a survey of nutritionists
…star — Sandra Oh discussed Hollywood survival skills, winning the lottery & her interest in telling “messy” Asian American stories
Steven Yuen, Ali Wong in BEEF — The pressure cooker of a revenge fable, centering on two strangers who clash during a road rage incident, hits Netflix on April 6.
Keanu Reeves in John Wick 4 — The latest trailer teases Baba Yaga and new pup as Keanu Reeves fights for freedom across the globe.
A new ad campaign wants to teach people how to stand up to hate and harassment — The 25-second spot, which Comcast is screening to 16.5 million subscribers in 6,000-plus communities nationwide, highlights five approaches that individuals can use in everyday situations involving harassment or hate.
Community leaders, elected officials grieve together at Union Square vigil for lives lost to anti-Asian hate — The Asian American Foundation hosted a vigil in Lower Manhattan Wednesday night to pay homage to those lost to anti-Asian hatred and intra-community violence.
How WA's worst mass shooting isolated Seattle's Chinese Americans — The Wah Mee tragedy shook the Chinatown-International District 40 years ago. The ensuing media coverage further traumatized a grieving community.
🍿 Coming Soon
✍️, Lea @ Crushing the Myth