While some Asian Americans, American Muslims, and other people of color have been a part of the excitement inside of the Republican National Convention (RNC) in Cleveland, some, including Democrats and progressives, have been watching from the outside and using social media to comment on the situation.
Members of the Democratic Party have also been holding “counter convention” press conferences each day, a few blocks away from the RNC. On Wednesday, Democratic National Convention chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, as well as Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus members Rep. Xavier Becerra and Rep. Marcia Fudge held a press conference to denounce Donald Trump’s divisive rhetoric and policy proposals.
Fudge spoke at the press conference about how the rhetoric coming out of the RNC makes it seem as if there are two Americas — one black and one white, one rich and one poor. “They still believe the president is Muslim. How stupid is that?” Fudge said. “I don’t support bigots, and that is what Donald Trump is. And I will never, as long as I draw breath on this earth, believe that a person like Donald Trump will be the president of the United States.”
Becerra spoke out about Trump’s doubts that an American born, raised, and educated Mexican-American federal judge could be impartial because of his ethnic heritage, referring to U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel. “I had to wonder are we going back to those days when my dad could not walk through the doors of a restaurant?" he said. "That is not the America we want to see. The speeches that we are hearing do not bring us together. And we certainly cannot talk about being a United States of America. What you are hearing on the convention floor, that’s not America. ”
Some people were curious about the Sikh attorney and vice chair of California’s Republican party, Harmeet Dhillon, who lead a Sikh prayer in Punjabi.
Others spoke back to their television sets as speakers addressed issues that impact Asian Americans and Muslim.
Some said that, while Asian Americans and Asian-American issues were largely missing from the convention, the demographic numbers made then more important than some realize.