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Politics & Policy

Eric Swalwell’s White Male Privilege

Rep. Eric Swalwell speaks during the second night of the first Democratic presidential candidates debate in Miami, Fla., June 27, 2019. (Mike Segar/Reuters)

Eric Swalwell is upset about the failed nomination of Neera Tanden:

There is nothing that Democrats can’t reduce to crass racial terms these days. But if he’s really interested in what to say, Swalwell might tell women “of South Asian descent” that they’re already incredibly successful Americans. He might tell them, among other things, that thanks to their high educational attainment and strong work ethic, Asian Americans have higher household incomes than any other group in the country (over $87,000 per year, on average); that, among Asian Americans, Indian Americans have the highest household incomes of all, at over $126,000, and that they are followed by Taiwanese Americans, Filipino Americans, Indonesian Americans, Pakistani Americans, and so on; and that Asian American women topped white men in average earnings for the first time last year.

In addition, Swalwell might tell little girls “of South Asian descent” that they can become directors of the Federal Reserve Bank or the CEO of Pepsi or the vice president of the United States, but that not even they are imbued with the God-given right to be OMB director if the U.S. Senate decides otherwise. And he might finish by warning them that if they choose to become acerbic, partisan hacks, and eventually suffer setbacks for having become acerbic, partisan hacks . . . well, that’s their own fault.

In return, those little girls might ask Swalwell why, given his concern for blunt representation, he, and not a young woman of South Asian descent, is representing “one of the largest Indian-American districts in U.S.”?

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