Thursday, February 21, 2008

AsianWeek Endorses Obama

AsianWeek's cover story this week features the staff's endorsement of Obama. The article points out that the mainstream media polls don't accurately portray the opinions of Asian Pacific Americans.

Here's a link to the story and the article pasted in below:

Asians for Obama!

By: AsianWeek Staff, Feb 21, 2008

Presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama scored a triumphant landslide win Tuesday in his native Hawai‘i, the state with the largest percentage of Asian/Pacific Islanders in America. Obama garnered 76 percent of the vote in Hawai‘i, which has an APA population of almost 71 percent.

This win is only the latest real evidence that Asian Americans are moving decisively toward a candidate whose platform is change. Former Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta, who served in Bill Clinton’s Cabinet, also endorsed Obama, calling him the only candidate who will both “change and unite America.”

Obama’s candidacy stands not just for change, but the ability to make change. That is the message which resonates with Asian Americans: We want change, and we have the intelligence and ability to make change happen. Indeed, the simple act of voting provides a chance for Asian Americans to do something to make change. And, as Tuesday illustrated, they’re doing it in droves.

It’s sad that the mainstream news media is so out of touch with our community, that their reports have consistently challenged Obama’s support among Asian Americans. Using polls of questionable validity, they have splayed on about Asian Americans widely supporting Sen. Hillary Clinton. But those pollsters have always misread the APA vote. The problem is methodology: English-only polls undercount those who speak primarily an Asian language. Multilingual polls underrepresent English-speaking Asian Americans.

No doubt, the diversity of language and culture make it difficult to gauge APA political sentiment, but this calls for more careful methodology, not the false media hype about Asian Americans voting against Obama. Even Time magazine was momentarily carried away in the hysteria, jumping to the conclusion that AsianWeek had endorsed Hillary Clinton’s candidacy, despite AsianWeek’s strong front-page endorsement of Barack Obama (Time quickly issued a correction).

It is true that many Asian immigrants arrived in America during the 1990s, making them more familiar with Bill Clinton’s presidency. But no one should discount how Obama has energized APA political involvement to levels we have never seen before, particularly among the next generation of young Asian Americans.

Obama has brought tangible hope to all Americans. The reality of Asian American support for Obama presages the destiny of this country. Within our lifetimes, most Americans will be people of color, including the president of the United States.