Congress has confirmed that Joe Biden will be sworn in as the 46th President of the United States of America. The path here has been an agonizing wait for many, made more frightening by Donald Trump’s repeated calls for violence and numerous efforts to subvert the results of the November 3rd election. The January 6th terror attack on Capitol Hill, which occurred while Congress was meeting to certify Biden’s presidency, both shocked and gave me pause to reflect on how we, as a country, got to where we are and why some in our Filipino-American community supported Donald Trump.
Shortly before the 2020 election, a poll from AAPI Data indicated that approximately 34% of Filipino-Americans supported Trump. Although this is far below the percentage of White voters who supported Trump (58%) and is more in line with the Trump support among a minority of Asian and Latino voters (34% and 32%, respectively), I am left to wonder how some Filipino-Americans, as members of a community of immigrants and people of color, can vote for a president who ran on a campaign of racism, xenophobia, lies, and White supremacy.
How could Filipino-Americans continue to express support for an administration that has demonized immigrants, flouted the advice of the scientific and medical communities during the COVID-19 pandemic, and actively undermined American democracy through voter suppression and dismantling the United States Postal Service? I am especially perplexed to find some of these Trump supporters in my own family, a family of faithful Roman Catholics, immigrants (both documented and undocumented), nurses, and postal workers.