provoking thoughts about the presence of our past

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Not a case of mistaken identity

Indigenous woman says she was punched, told to 'go back to Asia' while walking in East Vancouver

Incident is the latest in a string of hate crimes recently reported in Vancouver

Anybody who wants to can quote me as a “historian” of anti-Asian racism and the politics of white supremacy: 

“Why do we think this is a case of mistaken identity? White supremacy historically has relied on defining non-white ‘races’ as abstract categories that generally are not coherent and blaming non-whites for things that aren’t their fault. That’s what racism as a tool for white supremacy means. Its never a ‘mistake’ to ‘get the wrong non-white’ and we should pause whenever we begin to think that something has gone awry in situations like this--as if, if the target had actually been ‘correctly’ identified as Chinese that we should be less perturbed because it somehow made sense.”

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