Candidates in South Jersey Reach Out to South Asians

Maya Rao, Philly, November 7, 2011

Mohammed Z. Islam stepped up to the microphone before a packed gathering of Pakistani American, Bangladeshi American, and Indian American voters Wednesday to make one point clear.

“There is a rumor all over the city that we are joining the Republicans,” said Islam, president of the Bangladesh Association of South Jersey.

That is not true, he said.

Behind him sat a cadre of Atlantic County Democratic politicians, among them Sen. Jim Whelan, who is being challenged by Republican Assemblyman Vince Polistina in South Jersey’s fiercest legislative race.

In an election in which every vote is likely to matter, the 120-member Legislature’s lone South Asian lawmaker, Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula, had trekked to the Kabab Cafe all the way from Somerset County on Whelan’s behalf.

Only the night before, at the same Pakistani restaurant on Atlantic Avenue, Polistina and other county Republicans had reached out to South Asian voters, who have traditionally voted Democratic.

The audience burst into applause when Polistina walked in just past 8:30 p.m. and told the group the election was about reducing taxes and spending, and reinvesting in Atlantic City “so we can give all of you opportunities.”

Afterward, Polistina said he had made appeals to South Asians in 2007 during his first legislative race in the Second District. But this year, he said, he has done more.

“We are reaching out to everybody,” he said.

{snip}

But a day after the GOP rally, the campaign signs in the windows of the Kabab Cafe had changed from Republican to Democratic, and it was Whelan at the mic.

The former Atlantic City mayor hailed the diversity of Atlantic County’s Democrats, noting the number of black, Hispanic, and Asian members.

“When you had Republicans in here, it looked like a bunch of white guys,” said Whelan, who, like Polistina, is white. “I don’t have anything against white guys, let me be clear. But the fact of the matter is, our diversity in this country is our strength.”

Whelan had sounded a similar theme during a rally with U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D., N.J.), son of Cuban immigrants, a few days earlier before a largely black and Hispanic crowd in Pleasantville.

{snip}

Topics:

Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.
  • Anonymous

    Despite the (neo)conservative adulation heaped upon prominent Republicans Hindus like Bobby Jindal and Nikki Haley, this group votes overwhelmingly for liberal Democrats. I was unable to find what percentage of East Indians (aka Hindus, South Asians) voted for Obama, but according to a survey by the National Asian American Survey in October of 2008, 62 percent favored Obama and a measley 12 percent supported McCain. And most Indians are here courtesty of the HB visa program signed into law by George HW Bush in 1990. Just Like his son GW, he was a fraud and a traitor to the conservative cause. How many Democratic voters have been created thanks to this law? Not to mention the Americans who have been rendered jobless and destitute thanks to the HB 1 visa.

  • Anonymous

    Left-wingers tend to start sentences with “The fact of the matter is…” . I’m not sure why that is exactly, but it’s a pretty accurate tell. You’ll rarely if ever hear a right-winger use it.

    Notice that the former mayor’s concept of “diversity” does not include whites. Whites are not an equal part of the diversity he claims to cherish as a strength. Conceptually, he excludes whites in the compliment he pays the crowd and his statement indicates that in his mind, diversity exists in spite of whites, making whites adversaries to it and opponents of it.

  • Byron

    He doesn’t have anything against white guys unless, you know, there are a lot of them in one place at the same time. But, according to this article, when it was room full of non-White guys that was OK?

    Ever notice that a White university is described as “overwhelmingly” White but a black school is “historically” black.

  • Anonymous

    Does S Asian mean indians, pakistanis and even afghanis?

    Or does it mean vietnamese, thais, laotians, cambodians and indonesians?

    In the UK asian means a pakistani muslim. What do the English call chinese, koreans etc?

    Indochina was a good term. It meant below China. Accurate, everyone who could look at a map knew it meant vietnam, thailand, laos, and cambodia. Indonesia is also good, means below asia.

    PC terminology is so confusing.

  • dravidian_pride

    Anonymous #1

    Bobby Jindal and Nikki Haley are not Hindus. They’re Indian Christians.

  • Anonymous

    It sure doesn’t take these people long to figure out how to game the system.

  • Indianapolis / (AWG) Average White Guy

    Note how leftists prefer catch phrases rather than logic.

    ‘Diversity is strength’ is a catch phrase with no substance.

  • rec1man

    Nikki Haley and Bobby Jindal are apostates and deeply disliked by Hindu and Sikh Americans. Many would rather vote for a white christian than a Hindu-Sikh apostate.

    South Asians vote per religion, not race

    Very unlikely for a Hindu to vote for a muslim or vice-versa

  • Counterpoint

    “Despite the (neo)conservative adulation heaped upon prominent Republicans Hindus like Bobby Jindal and Nikki Haley, this group votes overwhelmingly for liberal Democrats. I was unable to find what percentage of East Indians (aka Hindus, South Asians) voted for Obama, but according to a survey by the National Asian American Survey in October of 2008, 62 percent favored Obama and a measley 12 percent supported McCain. And most Indians are here courtesty of the HB visa program signed into law by George HW Bush in 1990. Just Like his son GW, he was a fraud and a traitor to the conservative cause. How many Democratic voters have been created thanks to this law? Not to mention the Americans who have been rendered jobless and destitute thanks to the HB 1 visa.”

    For that matter most Jews like East Indians and even all other Asian groups vote overwhelmingly democrat and are leftists. Despite the fact that like Indian Americans both Jews and East Asians are highly successfull, well educated and wealthy. It is very simple – the GOP base is the conservaitve white Christian. I still don’t understand why the GOP has to waste it’s time reaching out to all other ethnic groups whilst ignoring it’s REAL votebank! Indeed, we do live in an insane world!

  • Bernie

    “When you had Republicans in here, it looked like a bunch of white guys,” said Whelan, who, like Polistina, is white. “I don’t have anything against white guys, let me be clear. But the fact of the matter is, our diversity in this country is our strength.”

    Same old racism. Nobody has ever lost a job or come under attack for anti-white comments. This racism is almost enough to make me vote Republican (though they are not much better).

  • HH

    “Diversity” is only a “strength,” or more accurately a windfall, for non-Whites! For us Whites it is dissolution, disaster and death!

  • Anonymous

    #2-“Left-wingers tend to start sentences with “The fact of the matter is…” . I’m not sure why that is exactly, but it’s a pretty accurate tell. You’ll rarely if ever hear a right-winger use it.”

    If you had listened to Donald Rumsfeld’s interviews and speeches, you would be surprised at the number of times he has used it.

  • SunnyvaleSal

    3 — Byron:

    “Ever notice that a White university is described as “overwhelmingly” White but a black school is ‘historically’ black.”

    Quite so! Also, overwhelmingly White is getting to be a smaller and smaller percentage all the time. When I was young, it meant 95% plus. Now in California “overwhelmingly White” areas (according to the media) are 65% White.

  • Anonymous

    This Politician should be run out of Town on a rail.

  • June

    Could someone explain why “diversity is strength?” I’m so tired of this meaningless phrase. Today’s immigrants no longer intend to become Americans in the true sense of the word. They prefer to keep their own launguage, culture, traditions and enclaves. There is no melding as immigrants of old acomplished. As Teddy Roosevelt predicted, we have become a country of “squabling nationalities.” And more’s the pity.

  • john

    Diversity may or may not cause significant problems in any society, depending how adaptable and contributory newcomers are.

    But I can’t think of a single instance in which it was a strength, unless one considers European whites arriving in the US as a positive development, which it was for mankind, though not so much for the original inhabitants.

    Diversity more likely brings with it some level of conflict of interests between the natives and new arrivals. Some adapt fairly painlessly, others are virtually inassimilable. The success of the adaptive process appears to be mainly a function of the intelligence and work ethic of the new arrivals.

  • Futura

    Isn’t it gracious of him to let us know he doesn’t dislike us?

    http://TheOpeningEye.blogspot.com

  • RegvlvsSeradly

    “I don’t have anything against white guys, let me be clear. But the fact of the matter is, our diversity in this country is our strength.”

    He is speaking as a Democrat, and so his statement is entirely true. Without the support of the outlanders, the Democrats would be entirely powerless in NJ.

    The powerful North-Eastern Democratic machines have ALWAYS relied on the technique of pandering to immigrants and using their numbers to swamp the vote of the locals.

    Over time, their earlier voting blocks, Irish-Americans and others descending from later Catholic-European migration, have increasingly gone “native” no longer vote as a block. This assimilation took 100 years and is still ongoing. It is, frankly, amazing how long they were loyal to the Democrats even as their policies became worse and worse.

    What changed? I believe the Dems abandonment of the working class to better accommodate “diversity”. This is the problem of our democracy, that a group with such a vested interest in swamping the native-born as the Democratic Party is able to make laws and policy.

  • Periapsis

    On the contrary, they have everything against white guys, and if they have everything against white guys they also have everything against white women and children too. They just don’t feel they can openly declare “Death to all whites!” yet until they have us on our knees and unable to fight off non-white rule. If that days comes, they will sing a very different, darker tune.