Racial Conflict
1.Utilize the following readings and past class materials for our midterm!
?Zia, Helen. “Detroit Blues: ‘Because of You Motherfuckers’” (35-54)
?Winant, Howard. “Racism: From Domination to Hegemony” (126-139
?Yancy, George and Judith Butler. “What’s Wrong with ‘All Lives Matter’?” from New York Times (January 12, 2015)
?Linshi, Jack. “Why Ferguson Should Matter to Asian Americans” from Time.com (Nov 26, 2014)
?Wong, Julia Carrie. “‘Which Side Are You On?”: #Asians4BlackLives Confronts Anti-black Prejudices in Asian Communities” from Salon.com (Mar 8, 2015)
Recommended Reading:
?”One of APALC’s First Cases, Vincent Chin Tragedy Catalyzes Asian American Activism” from Asian Americans Advancing Justice
?A Center for Asian American Movement Building @ seeding-change.org
Lee, Erika. “Chinese Exclusion Act and the Origins of American Gaetekeeping” (143-161)
?Lim, Zi Heng. “For Asian Undocumented Immigrants, A Life of Secrecy” from The Atlantic (May 14, 2013)
?”Asian Americans become a more prominent voice in immigration debate” from Southern California Public Radio (August 2, 2013)
?Lee, Traci G. “Bush Facing Backlash over Comments on Asian Immigrants” from MSNBC.com (August 25, 2015)
The readings sets for the next two weeks have been combined (and I’ve also reduced some of the readings from what’s listed on the syllabus), because they are relevant for the midterm. The midterm involves a multistage writiing process: you will brainstorm/explore an idea (using Forum Discussion #6), submit a rough draft, peer review your classmates’ essays; revise; and submit a final draft via Turnitin.
The readings revolve around the idea of racial hegemony and conflict that are not only tied to Asian American experiences but also are at the forefront of discussions today, especially in the last year with more movement around police violence in black communities. The Winant article provides some theoretical context to understand the functioning of racism in the 21st century, Zia’s piece examines the issue of anti-Asian violence in historical context, and the other articles talk about Ferguson and the Black Lives Matter movements. Read ALL the pieces before you begin working on the discussion prompt and preparing for the midterm. With that said:
The primary reading for the midterm is Winant’s “Racism: From Domination to Hegemony.” The minimum word count for the midterm is 1,500 to 1,800 words. Failure to meet the word count will result in grade penalties. Utilize the readings listed above to make your points, but you are allowed and encouraged to use outside sources (as well as past readings). However, the foundation for your essay must be based on understanding Winant and the readings for this week. It is up to you to decide how you want to utilize these articles. I will not set a limit of how many articles you need to use… unless people keep asking me. Use your own judgement, but it should be sufficient. (TIP: Using only one article = not sufficient)
PROMPT: Using your understanding of Winant, this weeks’ readings, and our past discussions of Asian American communities, assess Winant’s position on how racism operates today through hegemony (NOT domination). How is his idea of racial hegemony illustrated in terms of the discourse that we have seen around Ferguson, police brutality, and the Black Lives Matter movements? How are Asian Americans implicated within the racial hegemony, and what actions do you think can be taken to address underlying social issues? Or, are Winant’s assessments in need of reconceptualization. If so, how? Your paper must have a clear argument and must use specific examples from readings or outside sources. Include proper citations and works cited page in an MLA format.
* IMPORTANT ARTICLE TIP: To best understand Winant’s argument, you have to understand the concept of hegemony. Winant’s primary contention is that we are living in a time when overt and explicit policies/practices of racism have been eliminated (or are frowned upon) YET inequality (especially along racial lines) manages to persists. The nature of racism has shifted… ideologically, everyone always gives lip service to ideals of multiculturalism, diversity, equality, “color-blindness” and traditionally racist laws have been overturned. Everyone agrees that “racism is bad.” But — and this is important — racism isn’t just about having prejudicial feelings or stereotyping people, it’s specifically tied into the creation of hierarchies of power. Racism marginalizes groups in relation to each other and can have material consequences on people’s lives (instead of just “hurt feelings”). Racial hegemony actually makes it more DIFFICULT to address racism, because when people point out that something may have racist effects, others can simply shrug it off by claiming that that particular event might be just an exception rather than the rule. Or they’ll contend that things are “not as bad as they were before.” Thereby leaving the potential for the same racist consequences to perpetuate themselves.

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