Asian American History

  • Sadly, Hatred is Very Much American

    by Ralph E. Shaffer

    "Lieutenant Cable, and Oscar Hammerstein, had it wrong in "South Pacific."  Americans don't have to be "carefully taught " to hate. Historically, it's been inherent, one generation after another. The only change has been the target."

  • What Do John Dewey's Century-Old Thoughts on Anti-Asian Bigotry Teach Us?

    by Charles F. Howlett

    A century ago, the American philosopher and educator took a sabattical to China and concluded that, if encouraged to learn about other cultures, White Americans could be brought to acceptance of Asian Americans and other immigrants as equal participants in democracy. COVID-inspired bigotry shows this dream remains unrealized.

  • Without Asian American Studies, We Can’t Understand American Racism

    by Min Hyoung Song

    The establishment of Asian American Studies and ethnic studies programs has been essential to putting Asian American scholars (and scholars of Asian Americans) in position to engage the mass media around events like the Atlanta shootings. As those programs are under fire, it's time to recognize their value. 

  • What Comes Next?

    by Stephanie Hinnershitz

    In 1979, Asian American leaders testified to Congress about problems of discrimination, opportunity and hostility facing their communities. The official response largely enshrined a "model minority" myth that obscured ongoing problems behind a celebratory narrative of inclusion. Waves of anti-Asian violence in the 1980s belied that story, and warn us not to minimize the climate of hostility Asian Americans face today.

  • The Dehumanizing Logic of All the ‘Happy Ending’ Jokes

    by Anne Anlin Cheng

    "The figure of the eroticized-yet-degraded Asian woman can be readily found in movies and onstage. One of the most visibly racist, sexist, and inhuman tropes to emerge out of Western imperial history, this woman nonetheless hardly registers in the public consciousness as someone who has suffered discrimination.

  • Historians Address the Metro Atlanta Shootings

    Historians try to untangle the threads of anti-Asian prejudice, misogyny, evangelical religion, masculinity and gun culture that appear to have contributed to the killing of eight people in Atlanta-area spas.

  • Racism, Sexism Must be Considered in Atlanta Case, Experts Say

    Historian Ellen Wu explains that the particular racial and sexual stereotyping of Asian American women derives from the history of immigration, moral panics over prostitution, and the involvement of the United States military in a series of wars against Asian people. 

  • Rage and Retribution

    The bungled police statements after the Atlanta shootings reflect the way that moral panics about sexuality have historically worked to make Asian immigrant women the targets, rather than the protectees, of law enforcement. 

  • The Deep American Roots of the Atlanta Shootings

    Emerging facts about the Atlanta shootings last week suggests that the incident reflects the sexualized portrayal of Asian women that grew out of colonialism and American military involvement in Asia.

  • The Atlanta Shootings, Vincent Chin and America's History of Anti-Asian Racism

    by Kevin M. Kruse

    Vincent Chin was murdered in the Detroit area in 1982. His killer's identity was never in doubt, but authorities hid the anti-Asian animus motivating the attack, helping the attackers to receive only probation on manslaughter charges from a judge who publicly defended the character of the attackers. 

  • Violence against Asian Americans is Part of a Troubling Pattern

    by Stephanie Hinnershitz

    Since the late 19th century when mobs of white workers attacked Chinese communities in the West, Asian Americans have taken the lead in documenting racist violence when public authorities have failed to do so.