Monday, October 24, 2016

Why many Caribbean-American Hindus are supporting Trump


     In all my life in United States I have historically been a democrat to heart but, sometimes change comes in the most unexpected ways. That change may be difficult and it may be tougher to digest when it seems to flow against the traditions we have settled ourselves into. However we were not sworn in as Democrats or Republicans on taking the oath, we were sworn in as citizens of the United States and so we must think of her interests first before our respective parties. We must also think what will benefit us as a community, a Hindu community who hail from the Caribbean or West Indies region.

     The Republicans party has always been projected by the opposition to be the conservative set who are against the interests of minorities but, a check back in history presents us with the narrative that it was Republicans like Abraham Lincoln who freed slaves and many times set this country on the right path it was meant for. The time has come when we have to think of America’s economic and political interest and safety and if that includes considering the Republican candidate Trump then we must consider it thoroughly.

     Donald J. Trump is a New Yorker like many of us and he knows business, also like many of us he has risen to the top of his game and yes he had some business anomalies but which of us have not been through this? Being from an Indian Hindu Caribbean background, given our community’s penchant for business we are quite aware of the ups and downs of business. But overall he has been successful. He just might be able to bring America back from economic meltdown.

     Hindus represent a minority group here in the U.S.A. but the Hindu American community is one of the most well off economically in the U.S. bringing in way above the average American income, having the highest number of entrepreneurs and the highest education levels. We are successful people and we are hardworking people, all traits that are highly prized within the Republican Party. It is time we step out of the shadows of the usual stigma associated with being a minority group and be recognized by the greater American political spectrum. A step into the Republican spotlight will bring recognition to Hindus and hence Caribbean Hindus especially from Trinidad and Guyana.

We need to stop being just followers as a community we need to learn to be bold and to lead. Instead of running from the Republican Party as the media tells us let us be bold, let us help change it, evolve it and this election we Hindus can enter into the history books. Let us show that our vote matters. Under the current administration Hindus have begged many times for Diwali to be recognized as a holiday in New York by the same people who expect our vote this general election. We were blatantly told no that the school calendar has no more extra days left to include us. Let us go to those who are giving us respect and recognition, time for some change and maybe that change will be better for us, but we won’t know if we don’t at least consider Trump.

     Trump is holding a rally in New Jersey in October to address the Hindu community. He will also be talking about the genocide, exodus and persecution of Hindus going on in South Asia. As Caribbean Hindus many of us have been isolated from information about the situation of Hindus in other countries where they are facing genocide and persecution and are refugees because of their Hindu religion. Since the media doesn’t cover Hindu genocide, many of us want to help refugees, little do we know members of our community as refugees themselves. Trump is the only major political American candidate who is willing and brave enough to reach out to us. We should consider reaching out to him. He has our interests in mind.

Other Hindu organizations are also endorsing Trump including Republican Hindu Coalition, Indian American Intellectuals Forum and Hindus for Trump, a Hindu youth campaign for Trump on Twitter and Facebook. The HRC founding member Shalabh Kumar has donated almost a million dollars to Trump’s campaign because he understands how Hindus can forge a new path and succeed even as Republicans.

Trump sees India, our ancestral home as a key U.S. ally. Mr. Kumar notes many of our Hindu values echo that of the Republican Party such as “free enterprise…and human development comes from individuals, families and communities, and not from government, which only spends taxpayers’ money without much regard for its value…self-sufficiency…we are the least dependent on government,” he also noted that, “the Democrat Party platform focuses on ethnic victimhood.”

Mr. Trump recently hailed the Hindu American community as one that, “has made fantastic contributions to world civilization and to American culture and we look forward to our shared values of free enterprise, hard work, family values and a strong American foreign policy.” We must consider those who are considering us.

Trump is fresh on the political scene. He is not a trained politician with a sweet tongue as we all know but, whatever he thinks we are guaranteed to be told upfront, he does not say one thing and do another. Many of us, like our fellow Americans are tired of the political games going on in our government that seem to serve almost every other interest beside us, the American people. At least with Trump we can expect the raw truth. For far too long Hindus have had their heads in the sciences and not the social sciences, we need to understand and engage in the political scene to safeguard our interests and not flutter in the wind as soon as the dog whistle blows.

My consideration and support for Trump is based also on everything he promises, to respect all citizens regardless of their background, not to engage the US in unnecessary wars, he will put American interests first, bring this country to greater economic success and work with allies who have America’s best interest and the safety of the democratic world.


Vassan Ramracha.
A Caribbean-American Hindu
Writer and Activist 

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