Racist love is a term used to describe a dominant racial group approving of racial minorities, but only under the condition that the minorities behave according to racial stereotypes that make them easy to control.
Origin and concept
The term was coined by Asian American authors 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" stereotypical behavior, which characterizes people of color who cannot be controlled by whites, and "acceptable" stereotypical behavior, which characterizes people of color who can be controlled by whites. Hence, "acceptable" stereotypes form the basis of racist love. 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.
If the system works, the stereotypes assigned to the various races are accepted by the races themselves as reality, as fact, and racist love reigns. The minority's reaction to racist policy is acceptance and apparent satisfaction. Order is kept, the world turns without a peep from any nonwhite. One measure of the success of white racism is the silence of that race and the amount of white energy necessary to maintain or increase that silence.
The image of East Asian people in North America is an example of racist love. A 2012 study by the University of Toronto found that East Asians who behave dominantly in the workplace are generally "unwelcome and unwanted by their coworkers" and "at greater risk of being mistreated and harassed in their work environments" compared to white coworkers with identical behaviors. Furthermore, the study found that "East Asians who violated racial stereotypes were the ones targeted for racial harassment; East Asians who 'stayed in their place' did not experience more racial harassment than other employees." Researcher Jennifer Berdahl emphasized: "In general, people don't want dominant co-workers, but they really don't want to work with a dominant East-Asian co-worker."
- Chin, Frank; Jeffery Paul Chan (1972). "Racist Love" (PDF). In Richard Kostelanetz. Seeing Through Shuck. New York: Ballantine Books. p. 65.
- Tang, Amy (2016). Repetition and Race: Asian American Literature After Multiculturalism. Oxford University Press. p. 6. ISBN 9780190464387.
- Berdahl, Jennifer; Min, Ji-A (2012). "Prescriptive Stereotypes and Workplace Consequences for East Asians in North America" (PDF). Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology. American Psychological Association. 18 (2): 141–152. doi:10.1037/a0027692. Retrieved 12 July 2016.
- McGuffin, Ken (25 May 2012). "Dominant East Asians face workplace harassment". University of Toronto News. Retrieved 12 July 2016.
- Villarica, Hans (May 2012). "Study of the Day: There's a 'Bamboo Ceiling' for Would-Be Asian Leaders". The Atlantic. Retrieved 12 July 2016.
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