Education and Labor Relations: Asian Americans and Blacks as Pawns in the Furtherance of White Hegemony

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Michigan Journal of Race and Law

Asian Americans and Blacks have been, and continue to be, racialized relative to each other in our society. Asian Americans and Blacks have come to occupy marginalized positions as the polarized ends on the economic spectrums of education and labor relations, with an expanding "Whiteness" as the filler in the middle as Whites manipulate the differing interests of both subordinated groups to align with White (the dominant group's) interests. Although Whites purport to champion the interests of one subordinate group over the other, in reality the racialization of Asian Americans and Blacks in our country is rooted in the preservation of White hegemony; this racialization is harmful to both subordinate groups and serves to reinforce White hegemony by exploiting areas of White privilege and domination, particularly in the context of education and labor relations. However, many mainstream theories and historical attempts to characterize the racialization of Asian Americans and Blacks (the theory of a monolithic form of racism that just happens to result in differing effects on Asian Americans and Blacks, the theory of a Black- White binary, the racial triangulation of Asian Americans against Whites and Blacks, and the "model minority" myth) fail to fully describe and capture the different positions within a multidimensional social hierarchy that Asian Americans and Blacks occupy. Therefore, we must look beyond these theories in order to fully understand race relations and the position of Asian Americans and Blacks in our society.

Asian American students, Black students, African American students, discrimination in higher education