Biden, Harris offering solace to grieving Asian Americans

Biden, Harris offering solace to grieving Asian Americans
President Joe Biden, accompanied by Vice President Kamala Harris, right, speaks about COVID-19 vaccinations in the East Room of the White House, Thursday, March 18, 2021, in Washington. Source: AP Photo
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Daily US Times: The year 2020 was a year of political success newfound influence for Asian Americans. But it was also a time of vulnerability to racist assaults to these communities.

That painful dichotomy will be on display Friday when President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, who has a Sourth Asian background and the first person of South Asian descent to hold national office, visit Atlanta just days after a white gunman killed eight people in three spas, most of them Asian American women. The attacks on the Asian Americans come after a spike of anti-Asian violence nationally.

The presidential trip was planned before the shooting took place, as part of a victory lap aimed at selling the benefits of coronavirus pandemic relief legislation. But President Biden and Vice President Harris will instead spend their trip consoling a community whose growing voting power helped secure their victory in the state of Georgia and beyond.

As the fastest-growing racial demographic in the United States electorate, the political influence of Asian Americans was felt across the country. Two Korean American Republican women made history with their congressional victories in California. The Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, typically dominated by Democrats, has its largest roster ever, including Pacific Islanders and Asian Americans and others who represent significant numbers of Asian Americans.

Georgia state Senator Michelle Au, a Democrat who represents part of the growing, diversifying suburbs north of the city, said: “We’re becoming increasingly more visible and active in the political ecosystem.”

Yet, the Senator said, “What I’ve heard personally, and what I have felt, is that people sometimes don’t tend to listen to us.”

You may read: Asian Americans grieve, organize in wake of Atlanta attacks