When presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden picked Sen. Kamala Devi Harris as his running mate last Tuesday, Indian American family WhatsApp groups exploded with joy that one of their own might make history as the first woman Vice President, American media reported. Indian Americans forwarded the New York post’s front page calling Harris as “President-in-making”. They sent photos of Harris with her sari-clad relatives, along with videos of the senator from California cooking South Indian dishes of choice, that is masala dosa. Indian Americans voted overwhelmingly for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump in 2016,77 percent to 16 percent, according to the National Asian American survey, which was conducted soon after the election.
Asian American voters survey said it expected Harris to help increase the number of votes Biden receives from Indian Americans, especially among independents. Of those Indian Americans who registered to vote, 46 percent said they thought of themselves as Democrats and 19 percent as Republicans, while 35percent identified with neither party, according to the post-election National Asian American Survey. Now the question arises that , how much does race or racism matter in US elections? Donald Trump always trusted in his supremacist roots and thrived on the same during his elections. After John Floyd’s killing, America’s down under hit the streets and Democrats, of course, were into it fully.
The anger against Trump rule over his failure to contain coronavirus cases and his daily prattle-prattle and the continued killings of black for no reason at all has reworked the social equations to a good extent in the US. However, whether the Biden-Harris combo could convert this into votes is to seen. In fact, though there is a deja vu, it is more confined to Democrats. Even after the nomination of Kamala as the running mate of Biden, there are doubts among the people over her contribution because she has always minimized her Indian identity herself more as a black which makes her constituency and that of the Democrats, now the very same. As for the Indians, Kamala’s identity could also prove to be a dividing force. Indian’s are a rising political force in the country, but they are always fluid with wide ranging preferences. A good segment of Indians is still a neutral block. Trump is banking on them, thanks to Modi. There is another schism, of North and South, among Indians- that is going to be crucial. American elections are all about money. The supremacists and the Republicans are a monolith block, racially speaking. Will the rest of the US raise against Trump? Racism is a factor in the US election now, but it is not only the factor. Can Kamala Harris create the required domino effect?