defeat an affirmative action proposition in California last year. But he praised Democrats and their efforts to draw attention to the storm of slurs and physical attacks over the past year, which he said have been a galvanizing force, unifying even the least politically involved people from countries as different as China, Vietnam, the Philippines and South Korea.

More Asian-Americans are running for office than ever before. They include Andrew Yang, among the early leaders in the race for New York mayor, and Michelle Wu, the city councilor who is running for mayor of Boston. A Filipino-American, Robert Bonta, just became attorney general of California.

more so among the American-born. But there are things pushing Asians away from the Democrats as well.

Anthony Lam, a Vietnamese immigrant who fled as a refugee in the 1970s and grew up working class in Los Angeles, had usually voted for Democrats. But as the owner of a hair salon in San Diego, he became increasingly frustrated with directives for coronavirus lockdowns and turned off by the unrest during Black Lives Matter protests. When he criticized the looting, he said some white Democrats chastised him.

“They said, ‘You don’t understand racism,’” he said. “I’m like, ‘Wait a minute. You get racism just now? I’ve been living with this for 40 years.’”

Mr. Lam voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016. He supported Mr. Yang in the Democratic primary last year. But he said he eventually voted for Mr. Trump, mostly out of frustration with Democrats.

Despite recent increases in political representation, some Asian-American communities still feel invisible, and some members argue that could lead to a rightward turn.

Rob Yang, a Hmong-American who owns shoe and apparel stores in Minneapolis and St. Paul, grew up poor as a refugee. He has watched the turmoil in the wake of the George Floyd killing in his traditional, largely working-class Hmong community. His own stores were stripped of their merchandise during the Black Lives Matter protests.

Mr. Yang voted for Mr. Biden. He said that he supported the Black Lives Matter movement but that some in his community did not. Years of feeling invisible had frustrated and demoralized them.

The way he sees it, Asians still do not have enough of a voice, and he worries that the pressure of holding everything in for years is reaching dangerous levels. He said he worried that a populist Asian leader, “an Asian Trump,” could have a huge following by tapping into this frustration. “We’ve been holding it all in for so long, it will just take the right circumstances for us to blow,” he said.

For Mr. Park, the insurance agent in suburban Atlanta, the attacks in his city and others across America were a searing reminder that economic success does not ensure protection from the racial animus that is part of American life. It is now up to Asian-Americans, he said, to stand up and claim their space in American politics.

“It’s moving away from the idea that ‘the nail that sticks out gets hammered in,’” he said. “We are realizing it’s OK to stick out.”

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