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What We Can Learn from History

- By Richard T. Chu

Richard Chu

 

The anti-Asian xenophobia we are experiencing today is not the first instance of anti-Asian discrimination. We have seen in history several cases of such xenophobia: the exclusion of the Chinese in 1882; race riots against Filipino farm workers in the 1920s; the barring of Japanese, Korean, and other Asian immigrants under the Immigration Act of 1924; the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II; the crackdown against the Chinese suspected of being communists in the 1950s; the rise in anti-Japanese sentiment in the 1970s due to the economic slowdown in the U.S. automotive industry; the unjust deportations of refugees from Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam; the racial profiling of Indians and...


Colloquies

How Would an Inclusive Community Talk about China?

- By Sigrid Schmalzer

Today I want to ask us to consider how discourse on university campuses—both highly visible statements at the center of social media storms and far more routine communications—reinforces the enduring prejudice in the US that sees China as fundamentally alien and disconnected from “us.”

And I want to ask, how would a truly inclusive community talk about China?

In January 2019, the director of graduate studies in the Biostatistics department at Duke University sent a warning email to graduate students. Faculty members in the program had asked her to help them identify students who had been speaking Chinese “very loudly...


Colloquies

Recuperating Multiracial Labor Solidarity as a Meaningful APA Politics

- By Cedric De Leon

Lessons from the Filipino Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee

What is a meaningful politics for Asian Pacific Americans (or APAs) at this historical conjuncture? Put another way, when APAs experience anti-Chinese racism under COVID, in a time of murderous racial violence by the police against Black people, what is to be done?

For clues, I turn to the example of Filipino farmworkers in the Great Delano Grape Strike of the late 1960s in California.

Migrant agricultural work was and remains back-breaking work, paid by the piece or the bushel and marked by unsafe working conditions and substandard housing, often lacking basic sanitation and adequate plumbing.

The...


Colloquies

Documenting and Contextualizing Anti-Asian Racism During the COVID-19 Pandemic

- By C.N. Le

Since the start of 2020, racist and xenophobic incidents against Asians and Asian Americans have spiked, with the website StopAAPIHate reporting over 2,600 incidents of harassment, bullying, verbal assault, and violence since mid March, with many, many more going unreported.  Each of these incidents are painful but important to hear about. One recent example from their site, an encounter in Marietta, Georgia, is particularly notable: “I was in line at the pharmacy when a woman approached me and sprayed Lysol all over me. She was yelling out, You’re the infection, Go home! We don’t want you here. I was in shock...


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