Ideological blackening, masculinity and comparative racialization: Situating Southeast Asian Americans

Louisa Schein


This contribution uses a comparative racialization framing to revisit Aihwa Ong’s notion of ideological blackening as applied to Southeast Asian refugee youth. Examining a case study of a Hmong teen in Wisconsin who received a long adult sentence based on his imputed gangster status, it disrupts generalized attributions to East Asian Americans of femininity and honorary whiteness. It interrogates instead the specific conditions that allow Southeast Asian newcomer young men to be treated as racially unmarked but implicitly “blackened” in the American racial order, and thereby sometimes subject to the state violence, excessive policing, and judicial overreach that have been denounced for Black Americans.

Full Text:


DOI: https://doi.org/10.1086/712233