Removals, Other Americans, and the “Pale Promise of Democracy”
This chapter presents a reading of Karen Tei Yamashita’s Tropic of Orange. It considers discussions of multiculturalism in Los Angeles at the end of the twentieth century to understand how narratives of race and indigeneity within the United States have been recycled to provide a justifying logic for the transit of empire mapped onto Asian American bodies. It analyzes how indigenous peoples are discursively transformed into immigrants, while Asian Americans simultaneously become both cowboys and Indians as a means to police difference within liberal multicultural settler colonialism. The chapter concludes with a reading of Gerald Vizenor’s Hiroshima Bugi, which considers the linkages between American Indian history and the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki to end World War II in order to reframe victim narratives within colonial and imperial logics.
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