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 and bánh 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
the “Yang 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 says “MATH” on it. And then, he has a pin
that also says “MATH” on 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 say “Frank Biden”
or “Sandra 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 in “Mandalorian.” 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 won’t reach out to them. -You’re right.
-So, what comes first here? I think it’s got to be both,
and I’ve seen this in black communities. If you’re not reaching out to go out there
and register people to vote, you’re not gonna get a big turnout.
You know, in Jersey, we’re trying to make it,
we have Punjabi ballots. We have Korean ballots. We have Gujarati ballots. I mean,
anything that we can do to create a system where we’re going to see more engagement
because the best thing for democracy is more democracy. Actually, the best thing for democracy
would be killing the electoral college, but fine, Gujarati ballots. Baby steps, right? I think he was just want to flex
that he knows Punjabi, all right? Now,
getting Asians to vote is hard enough, but Booker has actually gotten Asians
to support him in a way I never thought was possible. You have received
campaign contributions, significant ones, from the Indian American community,
which is wild. Yes. I’m part of the Indian American community.
It’s very hard to get money out of them. -How do I do it?
-Well, number one, first of all, you run for office, and I’m confident if you ran for office,
you would get tremendous support. No, dude. The last time I was able
to get money from the community, I had to get married. -And you’re very not married, Cory.
-I am very not married. Then, when I found out Indian Americans
just happily have given you money, I’m like, you’re straight-up doing PDA
with Rosario. I’m like, “Dude… You can’t been doing that.” -I– yes.
-With my wife, Cory, we’ll be holding hands
and if I see anyone from the community. I will immediately drop,
James Harden Euro step around the Auntie and keep it moving
as if I don’t know Beena. -Is PDA bad? This is good counseling.
-Yeah, man. -Really?
-Yeah. You’ve never kissed your wife in public? I mean, when I do,
I definitely feel like it’s dangerous. -Really?
-Yes. Okay. I want to counsel you on that. I mean, that’s just another episode. Yes, and that episode would be called
“PDA: Tempting the Gods.” Dude, we don’t do PDA, you know this. Have you ever seen your parents hug? -Have you ever seen your parents kiss?
-No. Dude, if my dad was on his deathbed, my mom would walk over
and just give him a fist bump, like “Hey. It’s been real, bro.
I’ll see you on the other side.” That’s what it’s like. Now, of course, some of the reason
our community likes Cory is because
of what his party actually stands for. The Indian American community is one
of the wealthiest minority groups in this country and generally, people say, you vote with your pocketbook and yet, more Indian Americans are Democrat
than Republican, why is that happening? So, look, the issues that are concerns of the Indian American community
is starting with immigration laws. These are issues that the Democratic Party
is so much better on. We have a guy in the White House right now
that is, in a hostile way, talking down to minorities
and to immigrants. I think honestly, the racism
just outweighed the tax benefit. Yes. The Asian community
could shift elections in Nevada, Wisconsin, -Atlanta.
-Yeah. We already saw it a bit in 2018, finally we got in New Jersey, our first
Asian American congressperson. -Right.
-In Oklahoma, the Asian American turnout rose and that alone made the difference
in flipping a seat. It’s kind of exciting. This sleeping giant
in American politics about to wake up -and to really flex.
-Can I just pitch you a way to definitely get
the entire Asian American vote? The entire diverse span
of Asian Americans, yes. Immigration is the one thing
that connects all of us. -Yes.
-Just go, “Cory Booker, 2020…” -Yes.
-“I’ll let your cousin in.” I actually think that would be
a very good law to have. -“Cory Booker, 2020…”
-Right. “I’ll give you one cousin.” I’m down with that. You’re telling me
you wouldn’t put that on a Camry? I would for sure. My cousin Sahil is dying
to come to America. Now the fact that we’re becoming this
critical of a voting block is incredible. Especially when you consider
how far we’ve come. For decades, Asians weren’t just excluded
from American politics, we were excluded from America. “On the eve of the greatest wave
of immigration in American history, President Chester A. Arthur
signed into law an extraordinary piece
of federal legislation. It was called the Chinese Exclusion Act, singling out as never before
a specific race and nationality for exclusion. It made it illegal for Chinese workers
to come to America and for Chinese nationals already here
ever to become citizens of the United States.” Yeah, in 1882, President Face Pubes signed
the Chinese Exclusion Act barring all Chinese workers
from the country. So large numbers of Japanese,
Korean, and Indian immigrants came to fill the need for cheap labor. But it confused Americans. They’re like, “Hey, I thought
we banned Chinese people. Where did all these Chinese people
come from?” So, just to be safe, Congress passed
the Immigration Act of 1924, which barred nearly all immigrants
from Asia. And just when things
couldn’t get any worse, this happened… “The American Naval Base
at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, bombed just after dawn.” When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, our West Coast became
a potential combat zone. Living in that zone were more than
100,000 persons of Japanese ancestry, two-thirds of them American citizens. “Notices were posted. All persons of Japanese descent
were required to register. The Japanese themselves
cheerfully handled the enormous paperwork involved in the migration.” “Cheerfully?” How was Japanese internment cheerful? They’re like… “The Trail of Tears. The Cherokee Nation
was getting their 10,000 steps in. It was great cardio.” Now, for the better part of a century, America passed laws to dehumanize
and exclude Asians from American life. But that changed in the 1960s. Black America ushered in
an era of progress with the Civil Rights
and the Voting Rights Act. And during that time, another law
rode that wave through Congress. The 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act
signed by President Johnson. “For over four decades, the immigration policy
of the United States has been twisted and distorted by the harsh injustice of the national origins quota system. Today, this system is abolished.” This ended the racist quota system and let in a lot
of highly educated immigrants. Immigrants like my parents and the parents of a lot of people
who work on this show. Like, right here.
This is Jeejung’s family. She’s one of our animators.
Right over here, yeah. This dude right here,
this is Apollo’s dad, Filipino Shaft. Yes. Apollo works in animation. This is Prashanth’s family, okay?
Back in the ’80s. Look how crazy this photo is. White House, brown family, no fence. It’s a different America. Okay? We went from 900,000 Asian Americans
before this law to over 19 million today. Yeah, we are all children
of this one piece of legislation. If it weren’t for the 1965 act, this studio would be a laser tag arena. And there are also a lot of people
who probably wish that was the case. The immigration system
must put the needs of American workers
and families first. If Democrats were ever to seize power, they would open the floodgates to unvetted, uncontrolled migration at levels you have never seen before. You think you have it bad now? You would never have seen anything
like what they want to do. Okay, I can’t tell if he’s being racist
or introducing Cirque du Soleil. He’s like, “They want to do something… you’ve never seen before.” Right, okay. I wanna see that. Now, this kind of all-caps racism is driving more Asian Americans away
from the Republican party, but that hasn’t stopped them
from trying to win us back. Do you guys remember
that bizarre campaign ad that DJT made to try to get
the Indian vote? Yeah, it was about 35 years ago in 2016. I look forward to working
with Prime Minister Modi. We love the Hindus. We love India. “I’m Donald Trump,
and I approve this message.” We love the Hindus. That sounds like something
your white grandfather says when he meets someone from Thailand. He’s like, “Oh, you’re from Bangkok?
We love the Hindus!” You’re like, “Grandpa, don’t do that.” Now, I know I’ve played
that cough syrup nightmare before, but I had to because it marked the start
of a long love fest between Narendra Modi and Donald Trump, and that love fest climaxed
this past September in Houston, Texas. Tens of thousands of Indian Americans
packed into a Houston stadium Sunday for an event called, get this,
“Howdy Modi!” -“Howdy Modi!”
-“Howdy Modi! In Houston with
President Trump. Both of them patting each
other on the back saying what
great leaders they are, what great friends they are.” A very Texas welcome to
the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Yeah, a Trump rally, in Texas, full of Indians. Such a weird combination. Like, think about it. You have gun nuts and vegetarians. Like, one side of the stadium is like,
“We shouldn’t put animals in cages.” And the other side of the stadium
is like, “You’re right. We should only put kids in cages.” Look, when I heard about this,
I knew I had to be there. It’s fucking nuts,
but they wouldn’t let me in because they didn’t like some of the jokes
I’ve made about Modi on this show, so I got kicked out. And you know what’s fucked up? While they kept me outside, they played this clip inside
on the jumbotron. “This is home. This is us. We’re entrepreneurs and comedians.” They’re like, “We’re entrepreneurs.
We’re comedians. We’re traitors to the motherland.” Now, since I was stuck outside,
I figured, why not talk to the community, see what’s going on. I wanted to know if supporting Modi translates
to supporting his orange brother. -Did you guys vote for Trump in 2016?
-Yes, I was very active, -Okay.
-and I’ll be active in 2020 as well. If you’re a supporter of India,
Prime Minister Modi, the BJP, you can only be with President Trump. Are you a big supporter of Donald Trump? No. I’m a sometimes Trump guy. I’m looking for a Democrat. -You didn’t know that he was opening?
-No. Oh dude, it’s the Jay-Z
and Beyoncé of ethno-nationalism. That’s okay. Who’s Beyoncé in this situation? The hot bod? -Who? Modi?
-Yes. -No he doesn’t have a– He doesn’t have a 56-inch chest.
He would be a linebacker in the NFL, man. Dude, he wouldn’t stop talking
about Modi’s chest. It goes on for three more minutes. If he ever meets Narendra Modi,
Modi’s gonna be like, “Hey, eyes up here. I have a brain, you know.” Being at the Howdy Modi rally
was such a trip. But while I was there, it really hit me. Asian Americans are becoming
a powerful political force. And it’s a force that will not hesitate
to get up in your face. -Do you feel like we’ve arrived now?
-We have. I think we have. I see the change coming– Oh, come on. Okay. I am. Come on, we’re brothers. Okay. “One, two…” Yeah. Look, honestly, I wanted that picture as much as he did,
because look, this is a true story. My family knows him! That guy is friends with my parents. I didn’t know he was gonna be at
Howdy Modi, but I saw him again last week. He came over to our house
for Thanksgiving dinner in Sacramento. That’s how tight-knit our community is. It made me realize two things. Our community is big enough
to fill up a football stadium, but we also all know each other. There are 19 million Asians
in this country, but only nine WhatsApp threads. Dude, we are one group chat away
from changing history. That’s why we can’t keep waiting
for politicians to speak to us. If we do, we’ll never be listened to. We’ll only be pandered to and personally, I don’t want to see Pete Buttigieg
eating a samosa in Jackson Heights on an elephant.
You don’t gotta do all that, man. Just focus on the issues we care about. And maybe… just let in one of our cousins.