ASIAN VOICES

Asian-American Celebs Joke Voting Is 'Only Area We’re Underachieving’ In PSA

“Get your momma out of the free sample line at Costco” and vote, says comedian Kristina Wong.

Listen. When Michelle Kwan tells you to vote, you VOTE. 

The former Olympic skater joined several other celebrities, including Lou Diamond Phillips and Dante Basco, for a PSA urging the Asian-American community to get out and vote.

It’s particularly important because less than half of all Asian-Americans who were eligible to vote actually did so in 2016, according to the video.

“This is the only area where we’re underachieving,” entrepreneur and model Angela Rockwood jokes. 

In the video ― which was created by group of Los Angeles-based volunteer activists and writers called The Writers Brigade, Word Warriors for Democracy ― the celebrities reveal all the ways they challenge Asian stereotypes.

“I am a very good driver. You’d want me for a getaway car,” actress Elizabeth Ho says. 

And actor Kelvin Han Yee really goes for the jugular in terms of breaking Asian stereotypes. 

“Good driver, not small penis,” he simply says. 

Ultimately, “we’re Americans and we vote ― well, we should vote,” the celebrities say.  

So, as Wong hilariously tells our Costco-lovin’ community, we need to “get your momma out of the free sample line at Costco.”

“Put the adobo on simmer and get out and vote,” Diamond Phillips says. 

Put the adobo on simmer and get out and vote. Lou Diamond Phillips

Indeed, Asian-Americans have the lowest voter turnout of any racial group in the country. And Asian-American millennials have the lowest turnout within that group, too.

There are many barriers preventing Asian-Americans from participating in their civic duty, however. The group has a high rate of limited English proficiency, or LEP, which affects about one-third of the Asian-American population. Almost 77 percent of Asian-Americans speak another language besides English at home. According to demographic data and the policy organization AAPI Data, many Asian immigrants rely on their children to translate the voting process for them. 

“There is not enough assistance for Asian Americans that it becomes a hassle for them to vote since English is not their first language,” the organization writes. 

Moreover, neither Democrats nor Republicans have sufficiently tried to connect with Asian-American voters. The overwhelming majority of Asian-Americans reported that neither party reached out to them regarding the 2016 election, according to AAPI.

But with the midterms looming over us, as A.J. Rafael sings in the video, it’s time to “show our power to vote.”  

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