When South Asian descendant Kamala Harris undertook the role of Vice President by joining the Biden administration, not only America but Asia too was hopeful of a better representation.
But when Biden failed to nominate any Asian origin person or AAPI descendant ( Asian American Pacific Islander)in his cabinet nominee list, it led to an outrage.
Biden’s Cabinet Nominees: No Asian Americans included
It also led to a feeling of being left out for so many Asians as ever since 2000 every presidential cabinet included an Asian descendant or Asian American.
President and CEO of the Asian Pacific American Institute of Congressional Studies Madalene Mielke stated that Biden’s decision was very frustrating.
She said that the reason Asian Americans voted was that they needed representation in the cabinet.
Mielke also mentioned that despite how Asian Americans played a key role in the voting of cabinet nominees, no one was selected to represent them even after the community had to face various problems such as immigration issues, racism, and also the brutal impacts of the pandemic such as unemployment and poverty.
She remarked that the exclusion of AAPI members is the exclusion of the community itself.
National Director for the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans criticized that even though Biden has done an amazing job in his administration of the nation, he should have included Asian cabinet members as they have more knowledge of the community.
California representative and Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American caucus Judy Chu crafted a letter with the signatures of hundreds of other lawmakers stating about the exclusion of Asians in America’s high powers.
According to the Pew Research Center, in 2020 the number of Asian Americans had doubled at its highest making AAPI the fastest-growing U.S voting segment making a total of 5% of the country’s eligible voters.
Ever since 2000, Asian Americans have been represented in the cabinet when President Bill Clinton first appointed Asian American Norman Mineta as Commerce Secretary.
Former California Congressman and One Nation Commission (an AAPI advocacy group) Co-Chairman Michael Honda stated that Biden’s decision is a critical step.
APAI CEO Mielke adds that the former Trump administration had shown huge racism towards the Asian communities. Therefore it strengthens the need to have strong Asian powers in the present administration.
Santa Clara University’s Ethnic Studies Professor James Lai added that most small businesses are owned by AAPI communities.
Honda states that he hopes the lack of AAPI cabinet members does not affect the community considering the fact that Kamala Harris herself is the Vice President.
AAPI advocates confirmed that they will provide continuous support for the Biden administration at the same time will be observing the selection procedure of Non-Cabinet nominees for any prospects.