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Asian Innocence, Black Guilt: What David Dao Tells Us About Violence and the White Imaginary

If you've been online in the past week, you've seen the video. A shaky camera follows David Dao, an older Asian man, as he is dragged by aviation police down the narrow aisle of a crowded United flight. His stomach is exposed, and his glasses hang precariously below his nose. Moments after his removal, he somehow reboards, blood dripping from his mouth and ear, moaning: "I have to go home," and, "Just kill me." 

One week and dozens of think pieces later, there is much to glean from the messy national conversation about race, policing and violence that ensued in the aftermath of Dao's bloody removal from United 3411. At its core, the spectacle of Dao's removal is a reminder of the tenuous relationship between Asian racialization and a US carceral state founded on the conflation of Blackness and criminality.  Read more.

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