US Congressman Ro Khanna Campaigns For Joe Biden In South Carolina

Indian-American Congressman Ro Khanna is campaigning in favour of US President Joe Biden in South Carolina, the home state of fellow Indian-American and Republican presidential aspirant Nikki Halley.

“Proud to be campaigning with President Biden in South Carolina,” Khanna posted on X, formerly Twitter.

Biden was in Columbia, South Carolina, the battle ground state for the next phase of Democratic and Republican primaries. While the Democratic primary is on February 3, the GOP primary is on February 24.

“He was fired up in making the case for what he and Democrats have delivered,” Khanna said in support of Biden, the only Democratic candidate in fray. Former president Donald Trump and Haley are the two Republican candidates battling for the GOP race in South Carolina.

According to polls, Trump is leading with 52 per cent, while Haley is trailing far behind with 21.8 per cent. Haley, however, has asserted that she is expecting a strong showing in her home State on February 23. Speaking at the “First in the Nation Dinner” in Columbia, South Carolina, Khanna slammed Haley.

“Perhaps if” Haley “had listened to some Civil Rights history over the years, she’d be more open about sharing her story as a first-generation American,” Khanna said.

“See, as an Indian-American, my parents, my father came here in the late 1960s around when Nikki Haley’s father came here. And you know what? Before 1965, it would’ve been very unlikely for either Nikki Haley’s father or my father to be allowed in this country because this country didn’t let in Indian immigrants, Chinese immigrants, or for that matter, Asian immigrants.

“It is because people like Jim Clyburn were in jail. It is because people like Eleanor Norton organized the March on Washington. It is because John Lewis was beaten on the Edmund Pettus Bridge that this country passed the 1965 Immigration Act that allowed Nikki Haley and my parents to come to America,” he said.

“It is because of people like Mr. Clyde or Mr. Lois, Ms. Norton, that I can stand on this stage as a Congressman and that Nikki Haley can pursue the highest office of the land. Let us not forget history. You see, history is personal, it is personal to me because my grandfather, Amarnath Vidyalankar spent four years in jail alongside Gandhi in India’s independence movement,” he said.

“Gandhi’s movement for Satyagraha of nonviolent active resistance in the pursuit of truth inspired Rustin. It inspired Lawson and inspired Dr. King who had the Bible and the Gandhi reader wherever he went. And let this be clear, the civil rights movement did not just open doors for black Americans, it opened doors for every person of colour in America,” he said.

“Why dwell on the history?” he asked. “When my parents and Nikki Haley and their Indian-American parents came here, they couldn’t get hired at Harvard or Stanford or Yale. Guess who hired them? The HBCUs. That’s why you got so many Indian faculty working there. Let me tell you why history matters because if you don’t understand history, you can’t make progress about the future,” he said.

“If you don’t understand the moral debt that we have, the profound moral debt to the civil rights movement, you can understand your obligations and duties going forward. I feel the weight of that debt representing Silicon Valley, USD10 trillion of wealth in my district, Apple, Google, Intel, Nvidia, Open AI. And you know what the truth is? There are a lot of Indian-Americans now who have become technology leaders, but there are too few black and Latino Americans who are participating in modern wealth generation,” Khanna said.

He told MSNBC that he would be going out to states like Michigan and Nevada to make the case for President Biden.

“We need this President reelected. The President has delivered on the economy, USD7 billion on historic HBCU funding, high-speed internet, support for small businesses, and student loan relief. The country will go backwards if Trump is elected,” he said.

In an interview to CNN on Monday, Khanna said Biden in his speech in South Carolina has really drawn a contrast with Donald Trump. “And it was very effective to say that he has delivered for working and middle-class Americans. Donald Trump’s economy, lost jobs, was just tax cuts for the very wealthy,” he said. 

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