A South-Asian support group for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has slammed President Donald Trump for tearing apart communities and failing to denounce white supremacy while a strong Indian-American supporter of Trump said he has united minority communities, views that highlighted a clash between Indian-Americans over policies of the two leaders.
Jay Kansara, former director of Government Relations at the Hindu American Foundation and a Trump supporter said that Trump has done very well with Hispanic voters even though the Democrats are still trying to claim victory in states such as Michigan and Wisconsin.
He said this is an indication that the Democrats have "simply not accepted the reality that Trump ...actually united minority communities - African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans."
Jay Kansara was part of a discussion during a virtual post-election political analysis hosted by leading nonprofit Indian community organisation "Indiaspora''.
Responding strongly to Jay Kansara's assertion, National Director of South Asians for Biden Neha Dewan said, "I think we might be living in different countries" when Jay Kansara says that Trump really united the minority communities.
"Because I think that probably maybe the first that I've heard. Our community certainly has been torn apart with the Muslim ban, the spike in hate crimes in our communities. So I'm not sure where the unity part of that comes in. I must have been sleeping over the last four years," Neha Dewan said.
She added that she "cannot really think of anything" that Trump has done for "our community."
"That's the part that we've really been hearing from our community. Our community has been suffering from COVID-19," whether it's people on the frontline or small businesses that have suffered as a result of it.
"And that's just not it. Immigrants who are here legally and want to have a shot at life and all of a sudden (Trump is) suspending H-1B applications."
Jay Kansara, holding up a placard that read ''Indian Voices For Trump'', said he had voted for President Barack Obama twice but could not vote for Hillary Clinton because "I knew the damage that she had inflicted on the world as Secretary of State, and I knew the damage that Biden had done as Vice President."
He asserted that Trump has actually had the back of minority communities such as Asian-Americans and added that the President stands for equity in education and equal opportunity.
Neha Dewan shot back saying "talking about equity in education, I'm at a loss as to what that even means from this administration because all we've seen is just white supremacy. When you have the president of a country who does not even denounce white supremacy, I''m not even sure where the minority piece in that comes in".
She also added that with Trump it has been, "If I win, it's because I won. If I lose, it's because they've cheated".
Now that it looks like Trump is losing, she said "it can't possibly be because the people have not spoken for me, it's because they've cheated and that's what we're seeing. Lawsuit after lawsuit, making stuff up. But this is par for the course, this is to be expected. This is not something new. I don't think this is a surprise for anybody".
She, however, noted that it is surprising to see members of the Indian-American and South Asian communities not seeing and acknowledging the carnage that has been inflicted on them by the Trump administration.
They "just blindly sort of drink the Kool-Aid and say 'well this person has been amazing for our community and unity''. It just blows my mind."
Jay Kansara responded that the number one way in which Trump has united minorities, particularly first-generation immigrants, is "against this notion that America will become a socialist country. And unfortunately, the Democratic Party is no longer the party of JFK (John F Kennedy) who was absolutely the most ardent enemy of communism during his time as well as a great friend to India."
"Most immigrants believe that they do not want to stand in breadlines that Nancy Pelosi can hand them out bread. They do not want to sit at home while their businesses have been shut down for these arduous lockdowns while Nancy Pelosi again gets to go to the salon," he said.
Jay Kansara added that the "Democratic dictatorship" needs to be countered and the Republican party has a very strong chance of countering it in 2022.
He also added that Kamala Harris, Biden's running mate, could lose her seat when she goes for her Senate re-election if there's a strong Republican candidate against her.
As Biden inches closer to securing the Electoral College votes, Neha Dewan said there is a sense of hope in the campaign.
"It's not over until it's over but for the first time in so long we have hope."
She said South Asians for Biden was formed in December 2019 and the group is also celebrating the inroads that we've made with our community with regards to organising, celebrating our differences, joining hands, speaking to people who have never voted before and who've taken an interest.
"Just from a grassroots perspective, we feel like we have won with our community and of course there's a lot more to be done. This is a movement that I believe has started and there's a lot of hope for sure," she said.