In fact this has always been true: Indian wars were central to the history of this country since its origins and race relations in the West have always centered on the interactions between whites and natives, Mexicans, and Asians.
It is clearer than ever that race relations in the United States are not limited to the central black/white axis.
This development resonates powerfully today in the discrimination faced by the millions of immigrants from the global South over the past forty years, while white European immigrants face virtually none.
And lately the Bush administration has formed a new link between war, racism, and attacks on immigrants in his permanent war on terrorism at home and abroad. While Asian Americans were this country’s first aliens ineligible to citizenship, today Arab Americans are its most prominent racialized enemy aliens.1By the time the first Asians began to come to these shores in any numbers (the Chinese in 1852), basic patterns of U. race relations had been set by more than two centuries of Negro slavery and Indian wars.
And virtually all of this small proletariat was constituted by European immigrants who, in turn, came to play a key role in the developing trade unions and urban political machines, thus developing certain levers of power to defend and expand their rights.