In The Paradoxes of Indian American Complicity: On the Racial Sidelines, Kavitha Koshy offers a timely exploration of Indian immigrant racialization at the turn of the twenty-first century. This book is a call to action for an anti-racist, decolonial practice among differentially racialized peoples. The findings of the research uncover the paradoxes of claiming deracialized, neoliberal identities, while engaging in racial contestation, benefiting from selective immigration while occupying a racialized-human capital-labor "slot" in global capitalism, and experiencing "racialized otherness" through everyday racism, despite proximity to whiteness. Koshy develops a typology of Indian immigrant racialized subjectivity amid anti-Blackness, whiteness, caste-ness, Islamophobia, "forever foreignness," and neoliberal logic.
Kavitha Koshy is lecturer in women’s, gender, and sexuality studies and sociology at California State University, Long Beach.
Introduction: Framing Complicity
Chapter One: Racialized Otherness
Chapter Two: The Paradoxes of a Middling Status
Chapter Three: Complicit in Whiteness
Chapter Four: The Disidentifiers and Relationals—Racialized Immigrant Subjectivity
Chapter Five: A Call to Action—Where Our Paths Cross
Conclusion: Race in Conversation
"This marvelous book enters and illuminates the complex project of antiracist work with verve and delicacy. Kavitha Koshy traverses new and exciting debates on racialization, immigration, labor, community, identity, and activism to present us with a rich structural analysis, an original historical framework, and an exhilarating call to action. This book is a superb assessment of the 'sidelines,' which as Koshy shows, trap far too many Indian Americans from identifying and engaging with the very conditions that limit us."
"Koshy writes a powerfully insightful history of the deliberate entanglement of racialized immigration policies, racial capitalism, and neoliberalism that has constructed Indians in the United States as a ‘model minority’ on the racial sidelines. Extending Vijay Prashad’s pointed question to this model minority, ‘How does it feel to be the solution?’ Koshy asks in the contemporary context of increased South Asian presence in public culture, ‘What does it mean to take up too much space?’ Koshy’s book unflinchingly challenges Indian immigrants in the United States to come to terms with their own complicity with whiteness by tracing the resonances between histories of colonialism, the foundations of a post-colonial society that failed to decenter caste, and the rise of authoritarian nationalism in India with settler colonialism, slavery, liberal multiculturalism, and neoliberalism in the United States. The task, she contends, is to continue to build on a decolonial ethic as the ground to ‘make space’ and build solidarities. An important read!"