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Asians’ Indeterminate Racial Positionality Under the Contexts of BLM Movement

Sat, September 1, 4:00 to 5:30pm, Hynes, 111

Abstract

Mainstream media outlets have reported on the stark racial divide between black and white Americans on Ferguson and New York grand jury decisions. Yet, the question of where Asian Americans stand in the black and white palette used to paint incidents like Ferguson often remains unquestioned and unvoiced. Building on studies of intra-group coalition, competition, and racial triangulation, this paper uses survey experiments to examine whether if Asian Americans are positioned indeterminately that often leave them vulnerable to collateral damage in a climate often black-white, which reinforces the myths of black criminality and the model minority simultaneously. The primary questions motivating this paper are: 1) What are Asian Americans’ views and attitudes towards the #BlackLivesMatter movement like? 2) What are the differences between blacks and whites in their relative attitudes toward Asian Americans concerning the #BlackLivesMatter movement? 3) Are there any prospects of truly meaningful coalition building between Asians and blacks regarding #BlackLivesMatter movement? And 4), from the findings, what can we infer and contribute to a more accurate portrayal of Asian Americans’ position within current racial hierarchy? Incidents like in Ferguson will continue to occur, as they are not separate cases but a pattern. The findings of this research can highlight the need to examine the racial tension in the US by revealing how the image of a racial minority can be manipulated to influence interracial dynamics. It will also advance race research by moving from a unidimensional color-line approach to a multi-dimensional field of race relations.

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