Posted: May 9th, 2021
Dylan Rodríguez ends his essay with the following questions:
How has the state-structured influx of Asian and Pacific Rim migrant populations, and the subsequent emergence of contemporary Asian American communities, helped to further displace criminalized Black and Brown populations and amplify what Marable calls the ‘‘subtle apocalypse’’ of mass-based civic death?
How might the 1965 Immigration Act be re-narrated such that it is understood less as an ambivalent emblem of opportunity, liberal democracy, and freedom, and more as a fundamental facet of an American movement toward new forms of mass-based captivity and bodily immobilization, that is, as the harbinger of new forms of ‘‘unfreedom’’ as primary modes of social organization under the logic of white supremacist global capital?
Will it be possible to muster the intellectual creativity and political will to articulate a rupturing critique of the field’s operative structural, political, and theoretical assumptions, in order to develop a radical critique of the prison industrial complex that may fundamentally alter Asian American Studies (and Ethnic Studies) as attempted practices of social transformation?
Choose one of these questions, and give a preliminary answer. Do not worry if your answer is incomplete. It will be. That is fine. Do your best.
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