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Someone We Can All Claim

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Barack, Michelle, Maya, Konrad and Kids

Barack, Michelle, Maya, Konrad and Kids

 Last winter Time magazine wondered if Obama had an Asian American problem.  Now a few are pondering if he could be America’s first Asian president.

Referencing Obama’s book “Dreams from My Father” both Jeff Yang and Sam Cacas cite Obama’s Asian influence as he grew up.

“To some African American leaders, notably the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Obama’s continued reminders of the duty of parents to their children and citizens to their society sound elitist and patronizing,” Jeff Yang writes. “To Asian Americans, they sound … well, they sound familiar. They’re at the core of the ethical foundation many of us have inherited, that fusion of post-Confucian philosophy and immigrant ethos the media often calls “Asian values.” Aspiration tempered with pragmatism. Strenuous effort and rigorous accountability as the bedrock of success. Moderation in all things, humility in times of triumph, patience in periods of tribulation. ”

And Cacas writes, “Obama’s zen-like reactions to opponents’ often disrespectful, equivocal attacks are cool, calm truth. And sometimes silence — perhaps a nod to his Asian cultural influence — is a refreshing way for a politician to conduct himself, as opposed to the eternal zero-sum attack mode to which the public has been exposed for too long.”

Perhaps its upbringing in a dominant Asian culture that has influenced his demeanor and helps him to relate to Asian Americans.  Last week during the Democratic convention Asian grassroot groups such as Asian Pacific Americans for Progress and Asian Americans for Obama were in attendance.  Barack’s sister and brother-in-law were in attendance, encouraging Asian Americans to get involved.

“He really was an extraordinary son and brother and he is an extraordinary father,” Sotoero-Ng said to USA Today on Aug 25.  “And I want to encourage people to take in that human dimension. I do not feel as though it is at all unrelated to the kind of president he’s going to be.”

In early August America’s largest Asian American pac called the 80-20 Initiative endorsed Obama.  Last spring the pac was pushingfor Hillary Clinton over Obama because Obama disagreed with the wording of the questionnaire.  After a few things were hashed out Obama came back with a yes to all of 80-20’s questions.

“I know we’ll probably pay more taxes,” Charles Zang, a Republican from Michigan said. “But the most important thing for Asian Americans is equal opportunity and justice…I hope during the next election, the Republican will do more for the Asian American community.”

I guess that Obama is not only change we can believe in but also a candidate all of us want to change.

He’s really ours, though, but we can share.


Written by rentec

3 September, 2008 at 6:50 am

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