Racist love

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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.[1]

Origin and concept[edit]

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:

The image of East Asian people in North America is an example of racist love.[2][3] 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.[3] 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."[3] 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."[4][5]

Playwright and social critic Frank Chin in San Francisco, 1975. Photo by Nancy Wong
Jeffery Paul Chan.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Chin, Frank; Jeffery Paul Chan (1972). "Racist Love" (PDF). In Richard Kostelanetz. Seeing Through Shuck. New York: Ballantine Books. p. 65. 
  2. ^ Tang, Amy (2016). Repetition and Race: Asian American Literature After Multiculturalism. Oxford University Press. p. 6. ISBN 9780190464387. 
  3. ^ a b c 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. 
  4. ^ McGuffin, Ken (25 May 2012). "Dominant East Asians face workplace harassment". University of Toronto News. Retrieved 12 July 2016. 
  5. ^ Villarica, Hans (May 2012). "Study of the Day: There's a 'Bamboo Ceiling' for Would-Be Asian Leaders". The Atlantic. Retrieved 12 July 2016.