Posts Tagged ‘race’


So the two on the left are Asian, and the one on the right is white? Via

A few days ago I was flipping through my RSS feeds when this title came to my attention:

Asian Guys Arrested in Boston Marathon Bombing

The “Asian guys” referred to Azamat Tazhayakov and Dias Kadyrbayev, the two students from Kazakhstan who were charged with allegedly helping Boston marathon bombing suspect Dzokhar Tsarnaev dispose of evidence.

This got me thinking: are Kazakhs “Asian”? Certainly, Kazakhstan is in Asia. But does that mean Israelis and Iranians are Asian, too? What about Turks? Do only Turks from Anatolia count as Asian?

If you take a step back and think about it, Asia, Africa, and Europe are all one big landmass. Why can’t people from Korea claim to be Afro-Eurasian?

Lesson of the story: both race and the continents are arbitrary social constructions.

(On a related note, the Chechen Tsarnaev brothers are literally as “Caucasian” as it gets, yet in the United States, where Caucasian is still used as a synonym for white or European, commentators can’t figure out if they should be white or not. As Sarah Kendzior wittily puts it, they were the “wrong kind of Caucasian.”)