2021年4月22日 星期四

Amid Awakening, Asian Americans Are Still Taking Shape as a Political Force 美亞裔覺醒 尚待成為政治勢力

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2021/04/23 第329期 訂閱/退訂看歷史報份
紐時周報精選 Amid Awakening, Asian Americans Are Still Taking Shape as a Political Force 美亞裔覺醒 尚待成為政治勢力
In Bid to Boost Its Profile, Islamic State Turns to Africa's Militants 伊斯蘭國靠非洲民兵再起
Amid Awakening, Asian Americans Are Still Taking Shape as a Political Force 美亞裔覺醒 尚待成為政治勢力
文/Sabrina Tavernise

美亞裔覺醒 尚待成為政治勢力

For years, Asian Americans were among the least likely of any racial or ethnic group to vote or to join community or advocacy groups. Today they are surging into public life, running for office in record numbers and turning out to vote unlike ever before. They are now the fastest-growing group in the U.S. electorate.


But as a political force, Asian Americans are still taking shape. With a relatively short history of voting, they differ from demographic groups whose families have built party loyalties and voting tendencies over generations.


"These are your classic swing voters," said Karthick Ramakrishnan, director of AAPI Data.


Historical data on Asian American voting patterns is spotty. Analyses of exit polls show that a majority voted for George Bush in 1992, Ramakrishnan said. Today, a majority of Asians vote for Democrats, but that masks deep differences by subgroup.


It is too early for final breakdowns of the Asian American vote in 2020, along either party or ethnic lines. But one thing seems clear:Turnout for Asian Americans appears to have been higher than it has ever been.


As relatively new voters, many Asian Americans find themselves uniquely interested in both major parties, drawn to Democrats for their stances on guns and health care and to Republicans for their support for small business and emphasis on self-reliance. But they do not fit into neat categories.


Former President Donald Trump's repeated reference to the "China virus" repelled many Chinese American voters, and the Democrats' support for affirmative action policies in schools has drawn strong opposition from some Asian groups. Even the violence and slurs against Asians, which began spiking after the coronavirus began to spread last spring, have pushed people in different directions politically. Some blame Trump and his followers. Others see Republicans as supporters of the police and law and order.


More Asian Americans are running for office than ever before. At least 158 Asian Americans ran for state legislatures in 2020, according to AAPI Data, up by 15% from 2018.


Asian Americans lean toward Democrats — all the more so among the American-born. But there are things pushing Asians away from the Democrats as well.


Despite recent increases in political representation, some Asian American communities still feel invisible, and some members argue that could lead to a rightward turn.


In Bid to Boost Its Profile, Islamic State Turns to Africa's Militants 伊斯蘭國靠非洲民兵再起
文/Christina Goldbaum and Eric


The Islamic State group's self-declared caliphate has fallen, its fighters have dispersed and its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, has been killed.


But two years after it suffered stinging defeats in Syria and Iraq, the terrorist group has found a new lifeline in Africa, where analysts say it has forged alliances with local militant groups in symbiotic relationships that have pumped up their profiles, fundraising and recruitment.


Many of those homegrown insurgencies are only loosely connected to the Islamic State group, also known as ISIS. Still, over the past year, as violence from Islamic extremists on the African continent reached a record high, ISIS has trumpeted these battlefield wins to project an image of strength and inspire its supporters worldwide.


Most recently, ISIS claimed credit for a dayslong rampage in war-afflicted northern Mozambique, where militants with distant ties to ISIS ambushed a key port town. The attack left dozens of people dead, and set off talk on ISIS's online forums of the establishment of a new caliphate there.


"As an organization more broadly, ISIS is hurting," said Colin Clarke, a counterterrorism analyst at the Soufan Group, a New York-based security consulting firm. "To improve morale among its supporters, its leadership is seeking to elevate regional branches showing the most promise in launching attacks and maintaining a robust operational tempo."


The siege on Palma, the town in Mozambique, was the most brazen attack yet by the local insurgency and is part of an alarming rise of brutal clashes involving militant Islamic extremists across the continent.


For over a decade, U.S. military and counterterrorism officials have warned that Africa was poised to become the next frontier for international terrorist organizations like al-Qaida and more recently the Islamic State group.


More recently, U.S. officials have warned that even in its weakened condition, ISIS remains a cohesive organization in its former strongholds in Iraq and Syria, with perhaps 10,000 fighters who have gone underground.


ISIS has forged ties with many of these local insurgencies in what analysts have described as a marriage of convenience: For the militants, the Islamic State brand brings legitimacy and recognition from local governments. ISIS, in turn, has been able to broadcast the local militants' attacks as proof that their global jihad is alive and well.



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