Om det asiatiska bidraget till den kritiska rasforskningen och intersektionalitetsteorin

På grund av den svart-vita dikotomin i USA, d v s kort och gott fixeringen vid antagonismen mellan svarta och vita amerikaner som om rasrelationerna i USA bara handlar om svarta och vita, har både latinamerikaner, urfolksamerikaner och asiater hamnat i skymundan i den amerikanska rasismens moderna historia och inte minst har den gamla alliansen mellan svarta och asiater glömts bort.

Inte många vet t ex att Malcolm X dog i famnen på Yuri Kochiyama, som var en av de över 100 000 japan-amerikaner som internerades i koncentrationsläger under kriget, eller att en av de första medlemmarna av Black Panther Party var Richard Aoki, som f ö också han hade internerats i ett läger under krigsåren.

Under 1990-talet uppstod den kritiska rasteorin eller kritiska rasstudier i USA bland svarta forskare liksom den vidhängande intersektionalitetsteorin men inte många vet att även asiater fanns med i sammanhanget. En av dem som var med och grundade den kritiska rasteorin eller kritiska rasstudier tillsammans med svarta amerikanska forskare var Mari Matsuda som här berättar om ursprunget till den kritiska rasteori-forskaren Kimberlé Crenshaws intersektionalitetsteori som från början handlade om den särskilda utsatthet som 100 000-tals asiatiska kvinnor från Nordost- och Sydostasien lever under som har invandrat till USA som partners till vita män.

Mari Matsuda: Critical Race Theory is not Anti-Asian

“Contrary to the experience of being “the Asian in the room” that had to bring our issues to the fore, we were part of an intellectual community in which Black participants understood that racism against Asian Americans was part of the legacy of U.S. white supremacy. It was Kimberlé Crenshaw who first brought up, at the Wisconsin meeting, the issue of particular forms of racialized misogyny deployed against Asian American women through media imagery. She was one of the first scholars, of any race, to push for an analysis of US immigration law in increasing Asian immigrant women’s vulnerability to intimate partner violence. Intersectionality theory came out of this crucible, with Asian women critical to the analysis. This was all back in the 80’s.”

(…)

“That is what Critical Race Theory is, and Asians have been at the center of it. If I start a citation list, it will go on for pages – many brilliant scholars using CRT to analyze anti-Asian racism. Suffice to say, Asian American thinkers were central in the development of CRT, and we were pushed and supported by our Black and Latinx colleagues. Attacks on CRT are boring and repetitive and will always find an audience because white gatekeepers love to pretend they care about Asians by elevating Asians who will attack Black people. I have responded already – in We Will Not Be Used; in my book Where is Your Body; Beyond and Not Beyond Black and White, in a CRT anthology; in Planet Asian America, etc., etc. I am sending this short statement to you, since the record is not known to people who were born yesterday, and I wanted to state it plain.”