Because human capital, self-discipline, and consumer power are associated with whiteness, these
attributes are important criteria of non-white citizenship in Western democracies.
740- Conditions that go into processes of subjectification as citizens. It is worth keeping in mind
that when we attend to the pragmatic construction of belonging, we see that official racial
categories are reproduced by everyday American activities of inclusion and exclusion, separating
the civilized from the primitive
Racial oppositions are not merely the work of discriminatory laws and outright racists but the
everyday product of people's maintenance of their "comfort level" of ~ermissible liberal norms
against the socially deviant newcomers who disturb that sense of comfort.
New Asian Immigrants in Metropolitan Countries
-Overall, the Bay Area, with a population of over 6 million, has "emerged as the Western
Hemisphere's first genuine Pacific metropolis," with one out of every five residents being
of Asian background (Sun Francisco Chronicle, December 5, 1988).
-In 1986 an initiative was passed declaring English the state's official language; in 1994
another initiative called for the denial of health and educational services to illegal
immigrants (mainly from Latin America). Both measures appeared to set limits to the
increasing cultural and economic diversity of the state's population(California state)
In a stunning move, the regents of the University of California system recently banned
affirmative-action programs in admissions and hiring, setting off a national debate on official
sponsorship of multiethnic representation in different areas of society.
But what appear to be attempts to make all immigrants adhere to standardized, "color-blind"
norms are in fact attempts to discriminate among them, separating out the desirable from the
undesirable citizens according to some racial and cultural calculus.
California's Governor Pete Wilson has been quoted as saying that affirmative action promotes
"tribalism," a code word for coloured minorities that presumably excludes Asian Americans (Sun
Francisco Chronicle, July 23, 1995). In the debate, Asian Americans have been referred to as
"victimized overachievers"-"victimized," that is, by other immigrants and minorities presumably
not certified as overachiever^."^ Such discourses "whiten" Asian Americans while using them as
a "racial wedge" between whites and minority "tribals."
The fight over affirmative action is an excellent example of "whitening1' and "blackening"
processes at work, where racial difference or skin color is variously encrusted with the cultural
values of a competitive society.
As Thomas Archdeacon has observed, "ethnicity is a dynamic force that keeps America's
national, racial, and religious groups in constant flux