Where Did The “Asian Fetish” Come From?

Where does the Asian fetish come from, and how can we connect the dots between early anti-Asian exclusion laws and the 2021 Atlanta mass shooting that targeted Asian spas?

In this episode, Dolly and Adrian try to make sense of the 2021 Atlanta mass tragedy, reconciling it with the existence of the 1875 Page Act that explicitly banned “immoral” Chinese women. Dolly interviews scholars who study race and gender to learn about how orientalism has shaped the West’s understanding of both Asian men and women, and how we can learn from Black feminists about combating these dangerous stereotypes that impact Black and women of color.

A People’s History of Asian America is a series of thoughtful visual essays and explainers, hosted by Emmy award-winning journalist, Dolly Li, and Asian studies scholar and professor, Adrian De Leon. Each episode offers informed and empowering perspectives, helping to break down common microaggressions and racist stereotypes through the tools of ethnic studies. This series covers what your classic American school history textbook may not.

– Dr. Rena M. Heinrich, Assistant Professor of Theatre Practice in Critical Studies at USC
– Dr. Jaimee Swift, Founder and Executive Director of Black Women Radicals

Additional Footage:
– Black Women Radicals (blackwomenradicals.com)
– The Asian American Feminist Collective (https://www.asianamfeminism.org/)

Additional Reading:
“Black and Asian American Feminist Solidarities: A Reading List”, Black Women Radicals

“The Roots of the Atlanta Shooting Go Back to the First Law Restricting Immigration”, The Nation

“Miscegenation Laws in the United States, Explained”, Teen Vogue

“Black and Asian Feminist Solidarities”, Asian American Writers’ Workshop

#AtlantaShooting #StopAsianHate #Intersectionality #PHAAonPBS


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