Latinx and Asian Engagement/Complicity in Anti-Blackness
2. From Racialization of Bodies to Anti-Blackness Ideologies
What Is Anti-Blackness?
the socially constructed rendering of black bodies as inhuman, disposable, and inherently problematic endures in the organizational arrangement and cultural ethos of American social institutions, including K–12 schools, colleges, and universities. The origins of antiblackness are rooted in plantation and chattel slavery, and its logic endures to the present day.
3. Anti-Blackness in Latinx Communities in a (Mainly) U.S. Context
3.1. Who Are Latino/s/Hispanic/Latinx Peoples?
3.2. So What? What Does Anti-Blackness Have to Do with Latinx Communities?
Latinos are not “confused,” as the U.S. census wants us to believe… it is the preference for whiteness and its twin flight from Blackness that is a more accurate reflection than any presumed Latino cultural expression on the census form.
For one, about 10% of the population of the U.S. is made up of people who identify as white and Hispanic or Latinx. Thus, many people who are Latinx are also white. Yet Latinx peoples have faced a host of white supremacist discrimination, from segregated public facilities and schools to lynch mobs and forced deportation. However, Latinx people can be of any race; thus one must look further into the particular ways white supremacy shapes the life chances of Latinx people. Those who are able to pass as white are more often able to live more financially secure lives than those who are not. We can thus gain a glimpse of the schisms and tensions within Latinx identity. Latinx is simultaneously racialized in the U.S., meaning non-white yet inclusive of a wide range of white people. It further calls into question the seemingly stable racial categories of other people, such as white or black. Latinx identities reveal the impossibility of deriving race from biology or physiognomy. They also reveal how complex intra-Latinx solidarity can be.(p. 361)
The United States does not appear all that unique. Much like what occurs across Latin America (even in countries with relatively high levels of “fluidity”), skin color is a major factor in ethnoracial categorization and has a powerful effect on how people choose to self-identify.
4. Anti-Blackness in Asian Communities in the U.S. Context
4.1. Who Are Asians/Asian Americans?
In the nineteenth-century immigrants from Asian countries did not think of themselves as “Asians.” “Coming from specific districts in provinces in different nations, Asian immigrant groups did not even consider themselves Chinese or Japanese…members of each group considered themselves culturally and politically distinct.”(p. 19)
4.2. So What? What Does Anti-Blackness Have to Do with Asian Communities?
5. The Racial Hierarchy
racial ambiguity became adjudicated, disciplined, rationalized, or subject to divination in disparate cultural forums; what remains constant…are the narratives in which this interstitial community was placed: they were represented as either backsliding into blackness or extolled as exemplary citizens “accepted” by southern whites.(p. 12)
two different types of racialized hierarchies, thereby allowing more than the metrics of standard anti-African American racism (“the color line”) to be theorized. Not only did it achieve this by giving primacy to the “citizenship line,” one marked by the poles of “Foreigner” and “Insider,” but also by racialization processes that triangulate groups into their respective social positions, such as “relative valorization” and “civic ostracism.”(p. 468)
6. So What Now? Rethinking Solidarity and Future Possibilities
The disparities in Black and Brown communities are sobering and necessitate a broadened conversation that highlights solidarity as a tool. What is the rationale for this kind of solidarity? Put simply, we are one, a symbiosis of variables in a greater function; we are each other’s keepers, and if they come for one of us, they come for us all. Within the nuances, Black and Brown people are biologically and culturally one entity.
By living on the slash between “us” and “others,” las nepantleras cut through isolated selfhood’s barbed-wire fence. They trouble the nos/otras division, questioning the subject is privilege, confronting our own personal desconocimientos, and challenging the other’s marginal status. Las nepantleras recognize that we are all complicit in the existing power structures and that we must deal with conflictive as well as connectionist relations within and among various groups.
growers resorted to the well-known tactic of “divide and conquer” to undermine the union. The Pittsburgh Courier reported her speech: “Mrs. Huerta pointed out that “most of the field workers are Mexican–American, Filipino, Negro, and Puerto Rican.” The growers, she said, “try to … play one race against the other … and actually perpetuate race prejudice … “It is not just a question of wages.” “It is a question of human dignity and equality,” she asserted.(as cited in Ortiz 2018, p. 155)
because the black/white binary is central to the construction of our racial ambiguity, it necessarily shapes our resistant possibilities, both in maneuvering the model-minority construction to evade violent targeting by the racial state and in rupturing model-minority erasures of state-sponsored racism.(pp. 269–270)
Institutional Review Board Statement
Informed Consent Statement
Data Availability Statement
Conflicts of Interest
We use “multiracial” to distinguish our mixed-race heritage, with parents and ancestors from different races.
Importantly, anti-Indigeneity is also a problematic part of Latinx and Asian conceptions of identity, but the focus of this project is on anti-Blackness. We wanted to recognize that these overarching systems of oppression are connected to maintaining white supremacy (Kim and Jung 2021; Urrieta 2017).
Sociological perspectives are generalized and have some limitations; we are looking at an argument that is more holistic in order to push our communities forward. This is nuanced and messy.
We include this quote as an acknowledgment of Latinx and Asians as Brown, although not all Latinx/Asians identify as Brown. Race and color are conflated and assigned a consequent racial status, but they remain distinct and dependent upon local context (Harpalani 2015).
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Aronson, B.; Stohry, H.R. Latinx and Asian Engagement/Complicity in Anti-Blackness. Genealogy 2023, 7, 37. https://doi.org/10.3390/genealogy7020037
Aronson B, Stohry HR. Latinx and Asian Engagement/Complicity in Anti-Blackness. Genealogy. 2023; 7(2):37. https://doi.org/10.3390/genealogy7020037Chicago/Turabian Style
Aronson, Brittany, and Hannah R. Stohry. 2023. "Latinx and Asian Engagement/Complicity in Anti-Blackness" Genealogy 7, no. 2: 37. https://doi.org/10.3390/genealogy7020037