Op-Ed: Texas Asian American Women for Biden — Kamala Harris Embodies the Fight for Justice our Mothers Taught Us
By 172 Texas Asian American Texan Women Leaders, Community Organizers, Scientists, Entrepreneurs, Daughters, Mothers who enthusiastically share their support for Kamala Harris
As Asian American women, the 2020 Presidential Election offers a stark contrast between a pair of candidates who can deeply empathize with us and a pair who cannot.
At the age of 29, Vice President Biden experienced the loss of his wife and daughter in a tragic car accident. He was sworn into the Senate at his sons’ hospital bedside, and for decades thereafter, he would take the train home to Delaware each night to be at home with his children. He has spent his whole career championing causes to support working families — from the Violence Against Women Act to the Affordable Care Act.
Senator Kamala Harris has already made history as the first Asian American and first woman of color to ever be nominated for the vice presidency of the United States. Indeed, as Vice President Biden said, “girls of color are seeing for the first time a different possibility in their identity.” Kamala’s story and that of her family is like so many of ours — and her record as a U.S. Senator, Attorney General of California, and as District Attorney reflect her background and her commitment to public service.
Asian American women have confronted a series of challenges either created or mismanaged by the Trump Administration. As immigrants and children of immigrants who have navigated complex, unfamiliar educational, health, immigration and legal systems, all the while fighting to preserve our culture and language, we carry a responsibility to make it easier for future generations to navigate this country. The Trump administration has only made that process harder for a new crop of immigrants arriving in America in search of better opportunities for themselves and their children.
For too long, we have seen ourselves portrayed as stereotypes — as women with accents, exotified, hyper-sexualized and objectified, whose contribution to society was undervalued. But 2020 brought a different and even more sinister form of racism, as Asian Americans have faced historic levels of targeted xenophobia reminiscent of the Yellow Peril racism of the 18th century. While AAPI women and men are helping fight the pandemic as frontline workers and keeping the economy going as entrepreneurs and workers, the Trump Administration is deflecting responsibility for their mismanagement of the pandemic — and placing blame for the virus on China. With our small businesses at the brink of shutting down, our elders contracting the virus, and our children unable to attend school and college, the current administration needed a scapegoat for its failings and found one in Asian America.
But with Kamala Harris and Joe Biden, we have an alternative that combines competence and compassion. We see in Kamala Harris the struggles we have faced, and the ceilings we have had to break through. In a Biden-Harris administration, we not only see the contributions of Asian American and immigrant women acknowledged, but also represented in one of the highest offices in the land.
Amongst us are those who will cast their first ever vote this year. We face language and literacy barriers to voting, just as we do in accessing the myriad systems of American life — but we know that surmounting these challenges is not only possible but essential. Our votes in the 2018 election catapulted women to achieve many firsts. Asian American women are once again moved to organize, mobilize, and activate our families and friends, this time re-energized by this historic presidential ticket. This year we commit to making another leap towards finally breaking that highest glass ceiling.
We see in Kamala Harris not only ourselves but also our mothers, who taught us to speak against injustice, to stand up for what we believe in, and to love our neighbors. We see in Kamala Harris not only an embodiment of our own upbringings but a shared vision for a fair and equal future. We are so excited to have her represent us, and it is with great pride and conviction we cast our vote for Biden and Harris, a son of Scranton and a daughter of immigrants. Let us collectively commit to building an inclusive America, one that is committed to defending the innate dignity of our lives, that recognizes that diversity is the cornerstone of American democracy, and is welcoming of women from different backgrounds whose voices, perspectives and lives matter to those in the highest offices of this land.