Andrew Yang, the first Asian American man to run for president as a Democrat, suspended his campaign on Tuesday after making no headway in New Hampshire. Despite failing in his campaign, his candidacy made strides for the Asian American community. His campaign was never expected to achieve the notoriety it did, but his presence in the primaries proved that Asian Americans belong in public spaces other than the stereotypical doctor or engineer.
Yang shied away from identity politics , claiming that such antics were divisive. However, he was always aware of what he presented to the Asian American community — an example that went against stereotypical notions of what an Asian should be. Asians are often expected and are raised to never rock the boat, to just deal with the status quo. However, Andrew Yang challenged that notion nationwide at the executive level. Yang's campaign showed that the "model minority" did not just make qualified professionals but also qualified leaders.
Furthermore, Yang battled with implicit racism during the campaign. He was left off graphics by mainstream news organizations , despite polling better than many other candidates who were included, and also misidentified . This sparked discussion on whether this reflected the manner in which greater American society views Asian Americans — and, honestly, it does.
I see racism toward Asian Americans frequently overlooked. Instead, society focuses on discrimination against African Americans and Hispanics — which, of course, is important, as they experience greater amounts of violence and hate than Asians. However, that cannot be used as an excuse to disregard an entire race. In politics, media, and any field other than science, Asian representation has been severely lacking, with the presence of other minorities on the rise. This pushes young Asian American dreams into a box of doctor or engineer. This 2020 campaign finally showed that Asian Americans can pursue any dream they want.