Are Asian Americans People of Color?

Are Asian Americans White? Or People of Color? (Naseem Bhangal and OiYan Poon)

Even though anti-Asian racism is not the same as anti-Black racism, both types of racism still reinforce and result from structures of white dominance. Systemic white supremacy affects different populations in different ways.

Identifying as Asian American is not a biological destiny or question of geography, which would suggest a passive orientation (i.e. individuals are born Asian) rather than an active choice to identify in solidarity against matrices of oppression—internal and external—to the Asian American community. For those drawn to the term as a political tool for organizing, solidarity is key and requires individuals to reflect on and claim “Asian American” as opposed to being defaulted into the racial category.

Answering whether Asian Americans identify with other solidarity terms is not simple and often reveals individual identity development, sociocultural politics, and availability of critical education.

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