In Lisa Lowe’s Immigration, Citizenship, Racialization I thought it was interesting what Atitaya pointed out, that Lowe was equating culture to citizenship. It seemed like though that was what Lowe was intending, it wasn’t what was happening in America. Now matter how much of American culture an immigrant learns or absorbs, they are still defined by their race as ‘not American’. Culture can make one seem like an American, but politically, they were not.
In Leti Volpp’s Obnoxious to Their Very Nature: Asian Americans and Constitutional Citizenship, she pointed out how America seemed to always doubt the loyalty of an Asian (American) immigrant. No matter how long they’ve been in America, how small or distant their relation to anything considered anti-American, an Asian had a ‘connection’ to their homeland. This phenomenon appeared to rise again in the wake of Sept. 11, when Muslims were targeted for their religion and race, wondering whether they were terrorist or sleeper cells. While ‘innocent citizens’ enjoyed the freedoms and rights afforded by the Constitution, those who were governmental targets appeared to have ‘reduced’ citizenship status because of their (non-existent) affiliation with an enemy. This happened not only after Sept. 11, but after Pearl Harbor, and the case of Wen Ho Lee.