Racist love

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Racist love is a term used by some Asian American social activists to describe a form of racism.

Origin and concept[edit]

The term was coined by Frank Chin and Jeffery Paul Chan in a 1972 article entitled "Racist Love." Chin and Chan differentiate between the terms racist hate and racist love. They distinguish between unacceptable stereotypes, such as Fu Manchu and the Yellow Peril, which represent minorities who cannot be controlled by whites; and acceptable stereotypes, such as Charlie Chan and his Number One Son, which represent minorities who can be controlled by whites. Hence, acceptable stereotypes form the basis of racist love. When the perpetuation of such acceptable stereotypes reached a point as to be embodied and perpetuated by the race of people it represents, this race, as a social, creative, and cultural force, would have been successfully neutralized by white supremacy. Chin and Chan write:

White racism enforces white supremacy. White supremacy is a system of order and a way of perceiving reality. Its purpose is to keep whites on top and set them free. Colored minorities in white reality are stereotypes. Each racial stereotype comes in two models, the acceptable and the unacceptable. The hostile black stud has his acceptable counterpart in the form of Stepin Fetchit. For the savage, kill-crazy Geronimo, there is Tonto and the Hollywood version of Cochise. For the mad dog General Santa Ana there's the Cisco Kid and Pancho. For Fu Manchu and the Yellow Peril, there is Charlie Chan and his Number One Son. The unacceptable model is unacceptable because he cannot be controlled by whites. The acceptable model is acceptable because he is tractable. There is racist hate and racist love.[1]

Criticism[edit]

Authors Sau-ling Wong and Jeffrey J. Santa Ana criticize Chin for being misogynistic, homophobic, and for glorifying stereotypes of aggression:

Frank Chin, perhaps the best known of the androcentric cultural nationalist writers, relies on misogyny and homophobia in his attempt to delineate and construct a (hetero)normative Asian American manhood. In his critique of racist Hollywood caricatures of Asian men, for example, Chin glorifies stereotypes of aggression in black, Latino, and Native American men.[2]

Daniel Kim writes that Chin's work suggests that the self-contempt Chin and Chan write about comes not from conforming to "positive" stereotypes of Asians, but from becoming like the "white man":

...the moral violence we inflict on our assimilated identities is perhaps intended for the "white man" we glimpse within the shape of our 'Americanized' selves, the 'white man' we wish to beat out of ourselves but cannot.[3]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Chin, Frank; Jeffery Paul Chan (1972). "Racist Love". In Richard Kostelanetz. Seeing Through Shuck. New York: Ballantine Books. p. 65. 
  2. ^ Wong, Sau-ling C.; Jeffrey J. Santa Ana (Autumn 1999). "Gender and Sexuality in Asian American literature". Signs 25 (1): 171–226. doi:10.1086/495418. 
  3. ^ Kim, Daniel (1998). "The Strange Love of Frank Chin". In David L. Eng and Alice Y. Hom. Q&A: Queer in Asian America. Philadelphia: Temple University Press. pp. 270–303.