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  • All right, let's get into it.

  • Look, tonight, I want to talk about the 2020 election.

  • Now, I know it's a year away,

  • but candidates are starting to reach out to key minority groups

  • because they know we matter.

  • It's pander season, baby. You've seen it.

  • Hillary dabbing,

  • Trump with the taco salad,

  • Ted Cruz making matzah.

  • Like, come on, what's next? Pete Buttigieg drinking from a paper bag

  • with Desus and Mero?

  • Oh, wait, that actually happened.

  • And, Asians, guess what?

  • Our pander time is coming sooner than you think.

  • Asian Americans have historically been very minor players

  • in the political process, but that's changing.

  • Asian Americans are the fastest-growing population group

  • in the country, with the number of eligible voters increasing

  • by about 150,000 each year.

  • Voters of color and particularly the new Asian American voters,

  • flip those legislatures, so we know that it's possible.

  • We've seen it happen in other states, but we most recently saw it in Virginia.

  • She's actually underselling what happened in Virginia.

  • In 2000, the state voted Republican for almost every major public office,

  • but over two decades, Virginia's Asian population exploded

  • by 125%, and now...

  • it's entirely blue. Think about that.

  • The capital of the Confederacy

  • is now the capital of hot pot andnh mì.

  • Asians also helped flip congressional seats

  • in the House takeover last year.

  • In Orange County, home to these three districts,

  • the Asian and Pacific Islander population

  • grew 27% in the last decade.

  • In 2018, all of these districts flipped.

  • This population growth is a huge opportunity for Democrats,

  • especially in 2020 battleground states like Nevada and Arizona.

  • There's just one problem, though.

  • Did you know that only 49%

  • of Asian Americans

  • who were eligible to vote,

  • voted in the last election?

  • That's really disappointing.

  • That's insane.

  • Asian American millennials

  • are the poorest performers of all.

  • This is the only area where we're under achieving.

  • All right, I get it. We suck at voting.

  • You could've just hired George Takei to flip us off for 30 seconds.

  • It's the same commercial.

  • Asians almost always have the lowest voter turnout

  • of any racial group, and I get why.

  • My uncle always says, “Hasan, look,

  • you can either make money or make a difference. You can't do both.”

  • You know how it is for us, right? But there's another reason

  • why we don't seem to care about politics.

  • Many of our voters that when we call them, they're like,

  • You're the first person who's ever called in language,

  • in my native language. No one else is outreaching to us.”

  • They say, “Nobody's ever called me before.

  • Nobody's ever talked to me about voting before.”

  • -You don't get phone calls? -No.

  • -You don't get mailings? -No.

  • -Nobody comes knocking on your door? -No.

  • We gotta keep this going.

  • Is anyone texting you?

  • No.

  • Did you finish Game of Thrones?

  • No.

  • And your favorite type of Japanese theater?

  • No.

  • Now, I'm assuming your favorite James Bond film is Dr...

  • -No. -Okay.

  • Is this bit getting old yet?

  • No.

  • I gotta disagree. Now, look, a lot of us don't feel spoken to,

  • but we can't be ignored as a political force.

  • That's why tonight, I want to focus on Asian American voters

  • because despite our growing numbers,

  • politicians in the media ignore us, even when we're running for president.

  • Andrew Yang has a tremendous center of gravity.

  • He's getting ignored for some weird reason.

  • Andrew Yang,

  • I don't know much about his platform.

  • Andrew Yang, who, you know,

  • suffered underneath a media blackout for months.

  • In the last debates, he ultimately received

  • less than seven minutes of airtime.

  • I didn't even know he was running.

  • I saw him next to Joe Biden on TV, and I thought it was Gran Torino.

  • For real, Andrew Yang is one of the first Asian Americans

  • to make a real run for president.

  • But even though he's polling higher than other candidates,

  • Yang gets the least amount of speaking time at the debates,

  • and he is constantly left off of graphics that he should be on.

  • I mean, something here is clearly off.

  • MSNBC has left Yang off graphics at least a dozen times.

  • How has NBC allowed him to go this under-reported?

  • He's a presidential candidate, not internal sexual misconduct.

  • So, if you don't know a ton about Yang's platform,

  • here's a quick taste.

  • The 44-year-old entrepreneur

  • who made millions running a test prep company

  • had zero political experience, but his campaign took off

  • with his proposal to give every American adult

  • $12,000 a year.

  • His supporters are known as theYang Gang.”

  • Yang Gang, yeah

  • I love the idea of a rapper bragging about making $1,000 a month.

  • He's like, “Who needs a Maybach? I'm making $33 a day.”

  • I'll be real.

  • I'm conflicted about Yang.

  • On one hand, he's the Asian guy running for president. Amazing.

  • But on the other hand, sometimes he goes a little too Asian.

  • Now, I am Asian, so I know a lot of doctors.

  • The opposite of Donald Trump is an Asian man who likes math.

  • I'm gonna be the first president to use PowerPoint

  • at the State of the Union.

  • Fuck that! I'm the PowerPoint guy.

  • Dude, look, I don't get why he doubles down.

  • He has a hat that saysMATHon it.

  • And then, he has a pin that also saysMATHon it.

  • And I know that because he wore it when I interviewed him for this episode.

  • I remember growing up as a kid

  • calling out to my brother and my mom anytime I saw an Asian of any kind on TV.

  • I used to watch those kung fu movies on Saturday afternoons avidly.

  • I still freaking love those things.

  • Growing up as an Asian American,

  • how did politicians and presidential candidates speak to Asian Americans?

  • I have to be honest.

  • I don't recall them ever actually saying anything specifically.

  • Like, did you ever have a moment where you felt spoken to

  • as a member of the Asian American community?

  • Where you're like, “Wow, that's my guy.”

  • I think I grew up like a lot of other Asian American kids

  • of our generation,

  • where my parents certainly didn't emphasize American politics that much,

  • and they didn't present it as something

  • that my brother and I should necessarily be trying to get into ourselves.

  • Why do you think many Asian Americans have found politics

  • to not be relevant to their lives?

  • I think for most children of immigrants,

  • our mission is to do well in school and get good grades

  • and then get a good job and make some money.

  • And politics doesn't necessarily fit into that vision.

  • What's the biggest issue for Asian American voters

  • -in this upcoming election? -I'm a college student.

  • So, I'm just thinking about paying off my student loans.

  • -Kind of worry about the economy. -Immigration.

  • To help us for the small business.

  • What's most important to you as an Asian American voter in 2020?

  • Representation, really.

  • We see Crazy Rich Asians last year.

  • It's gonna be great. I think representation's great.

  • -So more props to you, man. -Are you going to be voting for him?

  • Well, we'll see where we're going, yeah.

  • I want to know all the candidates first, all right?

  • Do you think a $1,000 a month in every American's hands

  • would grow the economy?

  • I'm actually very iffy on that one.

  • I'm not sure about universal income at the moment.

  • -I appreciate this level of honesty. -Me too, man.

  • -I'ma put it out there. I'ma put it out there. -Yeah! He's keeping it real.

  • I feel like you have had that uphill battle.

  • Your mic getting cut off, them getting your name wrong

  • -a lot of times. -What's up with that?

  • John Yang living his best life,

  • crowd surfing-- Andrew Yang, excuse me.

  • Crowd surfing on the campaign trail.

  • Can you imagine if they just screwed up another candidate's name?

  • Like, would they ever sayFrank BidenorSandra Warren?”

  • And I was like, “You know, that never would happen.”

  • -Do you know who he is? -No.

  • That's fine. But you know who this is?

  • -Yeah, I know who that is. -Would you be interested

  • in the nation's first Asian American president?

  • Shit. Hell yeah. I'm Asian, right?

  • So, you would vote for that person for sure, like, no doubt?

  • Yes.

  • Well, you're looking at him. It's this guy!

  • -Yeah. -You're kidding.

  • He's been doing literally every interview and press outlet he possibly could.

  • -Yang Gang. He's in the Yang Gang! -How are you?

  • Not a plant! Not a plant!

  • -Yang Gang 2020. -Yang Gang.

  • -Look at that. -Yang Gang, right?

  • Yang Gang!

  • As an Asian American voter, have you felt spoken to?

  • Not particularly, I guess.

  • Mainly because I have certain concerns about certain policies that he has.

  • -That Andrew Yang has? -Yeah, yeah, yeah.

  • I had an issue when you were like, “Oh, I'm Asian. I know a lot of doctors.”

  • I feel like you're perpetuating a lot of stereotypes

  • that I just don't feel comfortable you saying that.

  • What's happening is pretty Asian.

  • You're saying you're disappointed in him.

  • Yeah. Yeah.

  • I'll tell you what, if Yang wins,

  • those two are definitely not getting their thousand bucks.

  • But I understand their frustration

  • with the model minority stereotype.

  • It's the idea that all Asians are hardworking, successful, shy,

  • straight-A students and the problem is...

  • we're not all shy and smart.

  • Some of us are dumb.

  • There are dumb Asians.

  • Let's be real. We all have a cousin or an uncle

  • or Dinesh D'Souza. We all have that.

  • Now, the real problem with model minority status

  • is that it pits us against other minority groups.

  • And it erases our diversity.

  • First off, when people think of Asian Americans,

  • they tend to think of people from India,

  • China, Japan, Korea, or the Philippines,

  • you know, the ones with the section at the grocery store.

  • But that's just a fraction.

  • We actually polled our audience before the show

  • to see how many ethnic groups you guys can name.

  • Okay, and you guys did...

  • pretty good.

  • On average, you got nine, which isn't bad

  • if the real answer wasn't over 19 different Asian ethnicities.

  • Three of you just wrote inMandalorian.”

  • He wears a helmet the whole time.

  • There are other huge disparities between groups.

  • Whether it's income or education, Asian Americans aren't a monolith.

  • Now one politician who's been good about recognizing this is Cory Booker.

  • He's a case study on how to reach out to the community.

  • In his home state of New Jersey, 10% of the population is Asian American.

  • So, to talk strategy, I met up with him in Edison, New Jersey

  • a town that is now 49% Asian American.

  • Here, you have this incredible community in New Jersey

  • that is touching every aspect of our culture,

  • except for often politics.

  • I think if you want to represent a state like this or any state frankly,

  • you should have a very proactive outreach to that community.

  • Yeah, man. I'm happy to be here in New Jersey, your state.

  • I'm proud you crossed the Hudson River.

  • Oh, of course. So, in New Jersey,

  • 75% of eligible white voters are registered to vote.

  • Whereas only 55% of eligible Asian American voters are registered to vote.

  • It kind of feels like a chicken and the egg situation

  • where politicians don't want to reach out to the community

  • 'cause there's low turnout.

  • -Right. -And...

  • the community doesn't want to turn out

  • because politicians