By Guest Contributor: Mark Tseng Putterman (@tsengputterman)
Dear Senator Hirono (@mazieforhawaii),
On inauguration day, you promised your commitment to “resist any attempt the President makes to dismantle the progress we’ve made” on issues of health care, immigrant rights, civil rights, and economic justice. The next day, you joined hundreds of thousands of women and supporters at the Women’s March in D.C. — tweeting: “Aloha trumps hate & we will not back down”.
These admirable sentiments are all the more powerful coming from you, our first Asian American woman senator, and a longtime advocate for Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. But in these times of political crisis, we know that every single vote counts.
That’s why I was so disappointed to see that on January 20, the same day you promised to resist Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda, you used your vote to help confirm his nominee, John Kelly, as Secretary of Homeland Security.
On the historic Election Night of 2012, Hawaii elected Tulsi Gabbard to represent Hawaii’s second Congressional district, making Gabbard the first Hindu-American Representative in American history. In a powerful statement in favour of America’s religious diversity, Gabbard made history that night and joined Senator-Elect Mazie Hirono (also out of Hawaii, and whose vacated House seat Gabbard is filling), the first Asian American woman and the first Buddhist elected to Congress.
Again underscoring the impact of America’s growing diversity, Gabbard will take her oath of office on the Bhagavad Gita, an important spiritual text in the Hindu faith, reports Jezebel. The Huffington Post reports that Gabbard cites the following as her favourite passages out of the Bhagavad Gita:
One can only marvel at how Gabbard’s decision stands in stark contrast to the Republican Party’s post-Election lamenting over the changing face of America, wherein they are both surprised and dismayed to find that Brown people 1) exist, and 2) have a vote. To wit, Bill O’Reilly:
One can only hope that America continues to evolve in its understanding that not every American is a White Christian man. And, Gabbard’s choice to be sworn in over the Bhagavad Gita only serves to strengthen that message.
Since 2001, Reappropriate has been the web's foremost Asian American activism, identity, feminism, and pop culture blog!