39 thoughts on “Liveblogging 2010 election on Twitter

  1. Nikki Haley is the new Governor of South Carolina!

    So now there are two indian-american governors, both in the South, both second-generation, both converted christians, both youngish, both with two children, both punjabis…

  2. Sigh. I was really hoping I voted for my first winning desi candidate today. Or that at least some desi Democrat would win, somewhere. Next time, kids, next time.

    • Kamala Harris will be the next AG of California. She is a Democrat, (half) Desi, so there you go.

      Although Nikki Haley won, it seems that she underperformed and eked out a small single-digit win in a very Republican state in a Republican wave election. I wonder why that is….

  3. You can add Hansen Clarke to the list of of Desi (Bengali descent) Dem winners. I think that would make him the 3rd Desi-American ever to serve in the US Congress.

  4. Thanks, Delurker. When I left that comment I thought Harris had lost. We’ll see. Never heard of Hansen! Somehow missed the Mutiny coverage of him.

  5. here is hansen clarke:

    http://www.voanews.com/english/news/usa/First-Bangladeshi-American-Elected-to-US-Congress-106618549.html

    dad bangaldesh, mom african american, raised muslim, converted to catholicism

    and his wife, choi palms-cohen.

    http://arborweb.com/articles/ann_arborite_choi_palms-cohen_full_article.html

    adopted from korea by a catholic woman and jewish man, raised in both religions, and now agnostic.

    that’s the real america :=)

  6. a minor note: it says that hansen clarke was born in 1957. that means his father was a citizen of pakistan when he was born, and it says that his father died when hansen was a “child.” that strongly implies that his father died before an independent bangladesh. anyway, not too hung up on that detail, but might be a touch more accurate to say he is a bengali, as his father was never a citizen of bangladesh.

  7. I wonder if Hansen Clarke changed his name as an adult, or if his mother remarried and he took his stepdad’s name.

  8. Razib — do we know when Hansen’s dad left the Desh? It’s possible he left before 1947, in which case he was never a Pakistani either. A very unreliable Daily Star Article says his dad was from Sylhet district, which was part of Assam, not Bengal, in British days.

    Clarke is his mom’s last name. His dad was a Hashem.

    All of which is quite unimportant. His life story is far more interesting than his ancestry. Look up how he (eventually) made it to Cornell.

  9. Googling some more, Clarke’s father may have left Sylhet before partition.

    Clarke’s father Mozaffar Ali Hashim migrated to the USA during an era in 1930s.

    I guess Clarke’s father’s story is probably pretty interesting too. How do you get from Sylhet to Detroit in the 30s?

    • I’ve met quite a few people whose families left India before partition, but they still consider themselves to be “ethnically” whatever country their ancestral town would end up turning into. It breaks by religion too. So the Hindus will call themselves either Indian or Punjabi, Bengali, etc. while the Muslims will call themselves Pakistani or Bangladeshi. In some cases,

  10. Good stuff Razib. But even if his father died, he may still have strong ties to his father’s family, and they’re probably in Bangladesh, so I think that allows him to transfer the identification from Bengali/East Pakistani to Bangladeshi. I mean, obviously he’s still also Bengali. And if Bangladesh ever puts up an overseas citizen program for its diaspora, like India is, then he might be eligible–not that a shiny new congressman would be interested in that.

    • “And if Bangladesh ever puts up an overseas citizen program for its diaspora”

      What does this mean? Bangladesh already allows Dual Citizenship, and the offspring of Bangladeshi citizens in diaspora can apply for dual nationality as well.

      • “offspring of Bangladeshi citizens”: What I meant to say was the offspring of those of Bangladeshi heritage in diaspora can apply for dual nationality. That law was passed in 1974, very early into Bangladesh’s inception.

        The language movements for Bangla gave “Bangladesh” an identity very soon after the 1947 partition, and so post-1970, most people in now-Bangladesh identifies as Bangladeshi.

        So is the case of most identity-politics of modern nation-states of the postcolonial world.

        There is nothing odd about Hansen Clarke identifying his father as Bangladeshi.

  11. I’ve met quite a few people whose families left India before partition, but they still consider themselves to be “ethnically” whatever country their ancestral town would end up turning into. It breaks by religion too. So the Hindus will call themselves either Indian or Punjabi, Bengali, etc. while the Muslims will call themselves Pakistani or Bangladeshi. In some cases,

    yeah, this is what happens in places like mauritius from what i have read.

    my own personal preference is to focus on ethnicity rather than nationality because bangladesh is such a new country, and its distinctiveness from west bengali identity is still evolving and much of it post-dates my residence in the USA. and also, like some bangladeshis i apparently have great-grandparents who were born and raised in what is today india. specifically, delhi and assam proper (not sylhet).*

    • i found out the last only in the past week after prodding my father about the high load of east asian ancestry i have and how it could have come to be.
  12. p.s. just so people don’t get the wrong impression, all of my grandparents were resident within east bengal at partition. my non-bengali ancestry seems to date to the late 19th century peregrinations of people who were muslim professionals or children of muslim professionals who arrived in bengal to serve muslims who had become newly orthodox in their belief after reform movements.

  13. Wow, this is fascinating. Both the half-desi americans who got elected to very prominent positions in government yesterday, Harris and Hansen, had an African-American parent. Considering that such mixes are small in number this is all the more remarkable.

    Hybrid vigor?

  14. So now we have desis who were raised Hindu, Muslim and Sikh getting elected to high office after converting to Christianity.

  15. I was elated to see Nikki Haley win governorship. She’ll be a frontrunner for POTUS nomination (is she keeps her nose clean and doesn’t bomb in office) somewhere down the line.

    What Indians see in the Dem party is beyond me. The west coast cabal has no respect for Asians and I should point out it was George W Bush of all people that elevated the relationship between America and India, the same relationship that Obama has neglected.

    As for jumping on folks for converting or race being an issue, call me when India elects a biracial person to office.

  16. You know. Things could be worse. At least we do not have indian politicians running the country. Did you see the sidebar story about some Maharashtra Chief Minister being asked to resign by Sonia Gandhi only to have her reject that resignation later? All those rich Indians bragging about India becoming a superpower, dream on. Cheney would fit right in over there. Chris Dodd would be like a Mr Clean in India by comparison with some of the cretins who run that country. Can you imagine Sonia Gandhi running even a village in Italy?

  17. Can you imagine Sonia Gandhi running even a village in Italy?

    Not very familiar with the caliber of Italian politicians are we?

    Let’s just say Indian pols would have no problems fitting in.

  18. RK: I was told that there was no such Bangladeshi program, but didn’t check and it seems I was misinformed. Thanks!

  19. What Indians see in the Dem party is beyond me

    make a distinction between indians and indian americans. indian americans of 1.5 or 2nd gen i meet are all invariably liberal or libertarian. the exceptions are christians. there are a rump of us who are republican-leaning for a variety of reasons, but we’re in the minority, and the rise of social conservatives (the tea party seems to have gone in that direction) seems to be accelerating the process.

    • make a distinction between indians and indian americans

      Why, because the Indian electorate is to the left of the Indian American electorate on economic policies? :P

  20. Razib is correct. You just can’t lump Indians and Indian Americans in the same boat. You got the generational divide in addition to the cultural divide. Younger Indians with the exception of the Jindal types and the Rutgers asshole tend to be more liberal socially than your average republican. However fiscally you will see younger Indians more diverse and do not subscribe to typical liberal thinking on the solutions needed to fix the country and improve the stock of minorities. But those of us who are not on the same page as liberals when it comes to specific solution do not vote for Republicans because we still prefer the overall bigger goals of the liberals.

  21. I just said “Indian” sort of like I would say “black” instead of African American.

    I’m not GOP cheerleader by any means, and am a libertarian, myself. I just tend to see GOP has guiding American at disaster at 75 mph, while Dems are 100 mph. Both are dominated by corporatist fascists.

  22. I wouldn’t lump in all Indian-Americans together either. I consider myself an American and keralite and very rarely an “Indian”. We have nothing in common with the northies (most of the people on SepiaMutiny) and little in common with Tamils.

  23. just tend to see GOP has guiding American at disaster at 75 mph,

    AfriDesi, one would say the republican war on terror wasted more than a trillion dollars and sent the country soaring towards disaster at 200mph. All the social programs that Obama added are just a fraction of that.

  24. Pravin,

    Medicare/SS is the biggest debt threat in actuality. GOP’s War on Terror makes up for Dem’s War in Vietnam I guess, let’s not forget the Dems were baying for an Iraqi invasion back in 1998.

  25. “Both are dominated by corporatist fascists.”

    Well then I’m a Fascist. Whatever the dominant political ideology in America is, thats I’m that…because thats the most successful one in the history of all of humanity. Fascism was a respectable position at one point that was undermined because its the one ideology that can’t be separated from its atrocities, with communism coming in a distant 2nd.

    But of all its characteristics, corporatism or a corporate-govt alliance is one of its least defining characteristics. This is getting close to the Hitler was a vegetarian argument.

    • But of all its characteristics, corporatism or a corporate-govt alliance is one of its least defining characteristics

      Not sure what the original comment intended, but that’s likely not exactly what corporatism means in this context. It has more to do with conceiving of the nation as a singular entity than it does with corporations though apparently the two are linked. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporatism Anyway, i don’t know that much about this but I thought I would mention this as I found it interesting.