chapter  8
Systemic Racism
Other Americans of Color
ByJoe R. Feagin, Kimberley Ducey
Pages 39

From the first stages of the development of systemic racism in the seventeenth century, African Americans were placed at the bottom of this country's racial hierarchy, with the only other non-European groups — the Indian societies — mostly being destroyed, forced beyond white-controlled territory, or in a few areas enslaved for a time. Realizing racial classification as near-black on the white-to-black status continuum means consignment to extreme oppression, Asian immigrants and their descendants have often tried to break out of this white-determined racial classification. Chinese immigrants were sought as low-wage workers who would set a model of hard work for other workers. When Chinese labor was imported in the 1850s, whites already had in place a well-developed system of black oppression and racist framing. Mexican, other Latino, and Asian immigrants to the United States in the last century have usually had the ability to maintain strong links to their home country. In national surveys Asian Americans report much discrimination.