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Cold War America and the Appeal to See Past Race

(p.191) Conclusion
Citizens of Asian America
Cindy I-Fen Cheng
NYU Press

This book has explored how race and Cold War civil rights defined the superiority of the American political system by focusing on the racial formation of Asian Americans. More specifically, it has highlighted the ways that the racialization of Asian Americans as the foreigners-within enhanced the political significance of blurring the color line through desegregation policies and immigration reform. It has argued that the extension of equal rights to Asian Americans not only affirmed the ability of U.S. democracy to safeguard the rights of all but also demonstrated the nation's goodwill toward all people in Asia. At the same time, however, the federal government limited the rights of Asian Americans in order to maintain the credibility of the American political system. This book concludes by discussing an emerging racial paradigm that sees Asian Americans not as citizens of America or as representatives of Asia. Instead, it recognizes Asian Americans—along with Latinos, blacks, and whites—as members of the global family of man.

Keywords:   race, Cold War, civil rights, Asian Americans, racialization, desegregation, immigration reform, equal rights, U.S. democracy, Asia

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