“People of Color” and immigrants

With regard to immigrant populations, “We must abandon the broad style of diversity politics that [uses the term] “people of color.” Those categories might help us navigate the academy and the workplace, but they only resonate with a small, generally wealthy portion of our population.”

This quote is from an article by Jay Caspian King, who writes for The New York Times Magazine. He wrote on November 20, 2020:

In the wake of the election, there has been a concerted call to stop treating Latinos and, to a lesser extent, Asian-Americans as a monolith. Such a reckoning is long overdue and certainly necessary. It’s fundamentally true that a Cuban-American in South Florida shares very little in common with a Guatemalan fishery worker in New Bedford, Mass. — who, in turn, does not identify in any real way with fifth-generation Texans along the Rio Grande Valley.

Similarly, former Vietnamese refugees in Orange County, Calif., will have a different level of sensitivity toward charges of “Communism” than a second-generation Ivy League-educated Indian-American just up the freeway in suburban Los Angeles. Though the full picture of the electorate is not yet clear, it shouldn’t be surprising that some of these populations ended up ignoring or even championing the xenophobia of the first Trump administration while others found it abhorrent and against their particular interests.

The easiest and perhaps most logical move would be to disaggregate “Latinos” and “Asian-Americans” — and stop treating them as a coherent population whose voting preferences can be explained through the language of polling averages and who can be reached through big-picture Democratic messaging.

Broad antiracist and antixenophobic messaging will not work for growing populations who mostly see themselves outside of America’s racial hierarchy or, in many cases, believe their interests align better with middle-class white voters.





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