As New York Knick Jeremy Lin hits the court, Asian-Americans find power in politics


Jeremy Lin could not have arrived at a more propitious time for the NY Knicks and LATFOR. Lin, an Asian American Ivy League graduate, is the talk of New York as he is lighting up the NBA. He outscored future Hall of Famer Kobe Bryant, while leading the Knicks to an upset victory over the Lakers.

During Jeremy Lin’s breakout week, LATFOR held its Queens public hearing on a draft redistricting plan that creates four Asian majority districts. One could not help but make the connection. For me, both represent a coming of age for Asians in New York. Opportunity breeds success.

There is growing respect for Lin’s basketball skills and an equally growing sense that Asian political representation is due. The Knicks depleted roster gave Lin the opportunity to crack the starting lineup. The census and redistricting has provided the Asian community with an opportunity to participate in as well as excel in the electoral arena.

While saying it’s not perfect, Common Cause/NY acknowledged the LATFOR draft plan as a “significant improvement in Asian American representation” and a “step forward in recognizing the rapid growth of this community.” Sounds like a description of Jeremy Lin.

Just days before Lin’s breakout, Rev. Al Sharpton and several black civil rights leaders held a news conference denouncing the draft redistricting plan. It was Rev. Sharpton’s analysis and remarks that caught my attention. I thought he was wildly off-base in juxtaposing loss of “a black seat in Buffalo to have an Asian seat” in Queens.

Rev. Sharpton’s remarks at first blush seem divisive. It was sort of like saying, Mike D’Antoni‘s decision to keep Lin cost a black player a starting spot. Basketball might be a zero-sum game but political empowerment is not. (Continued…)

Read the full OpEd via As New York Knick Jeremy Lin hits the court, Asian-Americans find power in politics.

Read related posting – Pet Peeve of the Week

About SquarePegDem

A former state legislator turned NY Post editorial board member, thought-leader, public affairs consultant and commentator, columnist and blogger. Michael has appeared on Al Jazeera America Tonight, NY1/Inside City Hall, FoxNews.com LIVE, YNN/Capital Tonight, The Brian Lehrer Show, The Fred Dicker Show, The Capitol Press Room, and The Daily Show. His op-eds have appeared in the NY Post, City and State, The Legislative Gazette, Bronx Times, The Troy Record, Buffalo News, and the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. To schedule speaking engagements, email MBenjamin9@optimum.net.
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One Response to As New York Knick Jeremy Lin hits the court, Asian-Americans find power in politics

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