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Settler Colonialism by Settlers of Color: Understanding Han Taiwanese Settler Colonialism in Taiwan through Japanese American Settler Colonialism in Hawai’i


My paper evaluates the United States settler colonial framework in relation to Han Taiwanese citizenship, independence, and rights to the island now called Taiwan. I use parallels from the Japanese American occupation of Hawai'i to investigate how white settler colonial logics, such as multiculturalism and the settler-colonial Unconscious, are instilled in East Asian settlers through the promise of democratic rights and sovereignty. Settlers of color, therefore, complicate the binary between the “colonizer” and “colonized” as demonstrated through the simultaneous oppression of people of color by the white settler state and the oppression of Indigenous peoples by settlers of color. With this, I reflect on the following questions: What does it mean to claim independence on land that is stolen Indigenous land, and how is this narrative further complicated when these settlers are people of color? Similar settler colonial tactics and commitments to capitalism are utilized by both the U.S. and Taiwan; therefore, it is imperative for Taiwanese and Taiwanese American people to recognize this and reject the white settler colonial framework to truly be in solidarity with Indigenous peoples.

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