Indian-American woman emerges key player in Democrats’ offensive communication strategy against Trump govt

Sabrina Singh
Sabrina Singh
Sabrina Singh

WASHINGTON: Sabrina Singh, whose grandfather was instrumental in formulating a historic legislation in 1946 that enacted a quota of 100 Indians to immigrate to the US per annum, is now a key player in the offensive communication strategy of the Democratic Party against the alleged divisive policies of the Trump administration. Singh, who joined the Democratic National Committee (DNC) last year as its spokeswoman and deputy communications director, alleged that the ruling Republican party has created a toxic environment and is struggling with telling the truth.
The Democratic leader said she is inspired by the works of her grandfather Sardar JJ Singh to fight the divisive policies of the Trump administration. As head of the India League of America, JJ Singh was a key figure among Indians in America fighting for the right to US citizenship. Some 18 months after Donald Trump entered the White House, Singh said, the Democrats has gone on the offensive. Democrats certainly have the wind at their backs right now. We’re holding the administration accountable and we’re not going to let up until November and onwards till 2020. We just have to keep harnessing the momentum to keep charging forward, she told PTI.

“What one sees every day is the Trump administration lobbying new attacks at different groups whether it’s Latino’s or Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI). The Trump administration has not done their job of their promise of ‘draining the swamp’. I think, if anything, it has gotten swampier, Singh said. In 1940s, JJ Singh along with a group of fellow Indians mounted a nationwide campaign against racially discriminatory policies of the US which led the then president Harry Truman to sign the Luce-Celler Act on July 2, 1946. The Act allowed a quota of 100 Indians to immigrate to the United States per annum.
The Act also permitted Indian nationals already residing in the US (of whom there were approximately 2,500-3,000 at the time) to become naturalized American citizens. JJ Singh, who was born in Abbottabad (now in Pakistan), came to the US before Independence. After partition he and his family moved to Delhi but soon returned to the US.

Prior to the Luce-Celler Act, Indians were barred from becoming US citizens and they were allowed to enter the country only as visitors and tourists. It’s a really important time to be working at the DNC. It’s a really important time to be a woman of color working in Washington, Singh said.
While the environment can be tough to wake up to see a tweet from Donald Trump saying ‘fake news, this is rigged and that is rigged and everyone’s out to get me’, I think we’re seeing a lot of incredible activism, she said referring to various popular protests against the Trump Administration. Ahead of the November mid-term, Singh said the focus of the DNC under its chair Tom Perez is to get as many seats as possible from the Congress to elected posts at local level.

People are excited about the mid-terms. People are ready for change. People are seeing that Trump is not delivering on some of the things that he campaigned on, she claimed. Responding to the criticism that the Democratic Party has now become a party of protests and marches, Singh said, we are holding the administration accountable. And one way to do that is to rally and to protest and to speak out. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with people going to the border to protest the administration’s policies that are separating families. We are not just anti-Trump. We are organizing and making sure that we are electing leaders at all levels…We are going to fight to make sure that women have the right to make the choices about their own reproductive health, she added.
Singh alleged that the White House strategy is not to tell the truth to the press or the public. You see Sarah Sanders or Raj Shah get in front of the podium every day and essentially lie to the American people, she alleged. At the same time, Singh noted that Trump uses Twitter very effectively and is able to reach his base. Many of his supporters like that he is very honest and truthful, but I think it’s also a bit scary for many people in this country to see Trump attacking our allies over twitter, or name calling sitting senators, and members of Congress, whether it’s racial slurs or derogatory names, she said. PTI

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