Asian Americans are patrolling streets across the US to keep their elders safe

By CNN Newsource |

Asian Americans have turned their pain and outrage into action in ways big and small, including the foot patrols. In a recent speech, Vice President Kamala Harris urged them to also consider using their political power.

“When we saw the targeting, when we’ve seen the hate, when we’ve seen the viciousness of it all, and we’ve all seen that,” Harris said during the inaugural AAPI Virtual Unity Summit hosted by the AAPI Victory Alliance last week.

“As a member of this community, I share in that outrage and grief, and I believe we have an opportunity now to turn that pain into action,” she added.

While Asian Americans make up about 7% of the total US population, they were the fastest-growing segment of eligible voters among all major racial or ethnic groups between 2000 and 2020, according to a recent Pew Research Center analysis of US Census data.

Some AAPI cultures encourage people keep their heads down and remain unnoticed, experts say, but Trump’s immigration policies and his rhetoric about the coronavirus’ origins proved a galvanizing force for Asian American voters last year.

Nationally, Asian American turnout soared to record levels — jumping from 49% in 2016 to 60% in 2020, according to an analysis by AAPI Data, which collects data and conducts policy research. Pacific Islander participation jumped from roughly 41% to nearly 56%.

“But there was kind of a collective realization during the pandemic that folks could not be silent and that we needed to be vocal,” Varun Nikore, president of the AAPI Victory Fund has told CNN. “This has turned many more people in the AAPI community into activists instead of passive watchers of politics on TV.”