Friday, November 16, 2012
The New York Times hosted a Room for Debate on the following questions: Why are some immigrants and their descendants considered simply “American,” while others are still thought of as “outsiders”? How does an immigrant group come to be thought of as native?
I contributed to the discussion. My piece which focused primarily on the link between race, immigration and citizenship. I argued in the essay that because of the history of systemic denial of formal and equal citizenship in the United States, it should not come as a surprise to all that some immigrant groups, particularly those of color, are presumed to be not truly Americans. Thus, a discussion of the reasons why why some immigrant groups are considered Americans while some continue to be deemed outsiders would be incomplete without addressing the links between whiteness, citizenship and what it means to be an American.
Here's the link to the full conversation.