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Citizens of Asian AmericaDemocracy and Race during the Cold War$
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Cindy I-Fen Cheng

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780814759356

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814759356.001.0001

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Legislating Nonwhite Crossings into White Suburbia

Legislating Nonwhite Crossings into White Suburbia

(p.21) Chapter 1 Legislating Nonwhite Crossings into White Suburbia
Citizens of Asian America

Cindy I-Fen Cheng

NYU Press

This chapter examines how the fight to end race-based restrictions in housing emerged at the forefront of the federal government's attempts to demonstrate to the world the validity of U.S. democracy. It first considers two Supreme Court cases, filed by Tommy Amer and Yin Kim, to identify the various forces that called into question the practice of race-based restrictions in housing during the early Cold War years. The Amer and Yin Kim lawsuits were embroiled in California's legal campaign to end housing segregation, and thus offered a glimpse into the contestations that were taking place on a local level, particularly in Los Angeles, to invalidate the whites-only housing restrictions. This chapter also explores how the category of blacks came to represent the interests of all racialized groups in the landmark ruling on property rights and concludes with an analysis of the role of Asian Americans in discourses on race and democracy in the United States.

Keywords:   housing restrictions, U.S. democracy, Supreme Court, Tommy Amer, Yin Kim, California, housing segregation, blacks, Asian Americans, race

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