Anna May Wong – the Woman that Died a Thousand Times

February 10, 2012

Almost half a century after her death, Anna May Wong (1905 to 1961) has not been forgotten.

As a child, Anna loved going to the movies and even cut school to go.

Between 1919 and 1961, she acted in 62 films. The Internet Movie Data Base says she was the “first Chinese-American movie star”.

To act, Anna had to play the roles she was given. The Western stereotype cast her as a sneaky, untrustworthy woman that always fell for a Caucasian man. The dark side of achieving her dream of acting in movies was that Anna had to die so the characters she played got what they deserved.

Anna often joked that her tombstone should read, “Here lies the woman who died a thousand times.”

Until Chinese started to emigrate to the U.S. in the mid-19th century, they had never encountered a people who considered them racially and culturally inferior.

However, the discrimination against the Chinese in America was only exceeded by the racism and hatred directed at African-Americans.

In fact, in the 1960s, many of the anti racist laws enacted during the Civil Rights era focused on protecting African-Americans, which created a protected class, and since the Chinese—due to cultural differences often did not complain—they were left behind.

In many respects, this racism toward the Chinese still exists in the US today and manifests itself through the media as China bashing, which supports the old stereotype.

When Anna May Wong visited China in 1936, she had to abandon the trip to her parent’s ancestral village when a mob accused her of disgracing China.

After her return to Hollywood, she was determined to play Chinese characters that were not stereotypes, but it was a losing battle. To escape the hateful racism, she lived in Europe for a few years.

Since U.S. law did not allow her to marry the Caucasian man she loved, and she was afraid that if she married a Chinese man he would force her to give up acting since Chinese culture judged actresses to be the same as prostitutes, she never married.

Anna May Wong smoked and drank too much. She died of a heart attack in Santa Monica, California at age 56.

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the unique love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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History Counts – Part 1/2

October 13, 2011

Atrocities abound in the history books concerning treatment of Native American Indians during the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries. The Spanish destroyed the Aztec and Inca civilizations with disease and warfare, and the Catholic mission system in California enslaved Native American Indians.

After the Civil War, the United States military was sent west to drive North American native Indians from the land they had lived on for thousands of years and slaughtered men, women and children—millions died.

Today, many of the surviving American natives live in horrible poverty on reservations.

Then the American government grabbed Hawaii from the native Hawaiian people against their will. (There is a native Hawaiian nonviolent separatist movement asking for freedom from America.)

After the Spanish American War, America took possession of the Philippine islands and waged war against the native people killing
more than two hundred thousand. This went on until America entered World War II.

In fact, the treatment of American Indians has not changed much. The United States government might not wage brutal war against Native American Indians today as they did in the past, but in recent times billions of dollars slated to support Native American Indian tribes on reservations went missing, and no one seems to care where all that money went—except the native Indians.

It would appear that the era of lies and broken treaties has not ended.

If you want to learn more about native American Indians, I suggest you read what the New York Times said about the work written by Vine Deloria Jr., and check out Native American Literature worth reading.


Nearly a quarter of the Cherokee Nation froze or starved to death on the trail to Oklahoma Indian Territory. This video explores America’s darkest period: President Andrew Jackson’s Indian Removal Act of 1830 and the forced removal of the Cherokee Nation to Oklahoma in 1838.

It is best to stay away from Hollywood movies if you want to discover the truth.

When I brought this topic up in a 2010 E-mail conversation with a conservative, evangelical Christian friend, he said what happened in the past does not count today.

I disagree. History always counts. Jesus Christ said, “Let he who has no sin, cast the first stone,” and, “Go and sin no more”, and investigations in Iraq revealed that under President George W. Bush, the CIA was torturing prisoners.


Errol Morris examines the incidents of abuse and torture of suspected terrorists at the hands of U.S. forces at the Abu Ghraib prison.

Most in the West and America have heard about Tibet and the demands by Tibetans in exile that Tibet be free from China to rule itself. We hear claims of human rights violations taking place without much evidence to support the claims, and people that fear and hate Communism (the word not the reality) will believe anything.

The American media recently revealed that tens of thousands of illegal aliens in America (some seeking political asylum) were locked up in detention centers and were not getting proper medical care and were dying because of it.

Unlike Mao’s time, today’s Chinese leaders must answer to the seventy-million Party members scattered throughout China. These people listen to the 1.3 billion Chinese that do not belong to the party. The result: if an elected official is not doing his or her job, that person usually isn’t reelected.

Continued on October 14, 2011 in History Counts – Part 2

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

To subscribe to “iLook China”, sign up for an E-mail Subscription at the top right-hand side of this page and then follow directions.

 

Note: This revised and edited post first appeared in February 2010 as An American Genocide, An American Shadow Over the Philippines, In a Dark Mirror Without Reflection, and After Mao.


Why Asian-Americans and/or Chinese-Americans Cannot Eat Bitterness in America

July 6, 2011

On April 25, 2011, Nadra Kareem Nittle wrote, Are U.S. Universities Discriminating Against Asian Students? The answer to Nittle’s question is “YES”.

The reason I researched and wrote this post was because of John Putnam’s Chinese in the Gold Rush and my three part series on The Chinese in America.

After all, how many Caucasions, African Americans and Latino students would have to start at a two or four-year state college if Asians filled 40% of the seats at Ivy League universities? To understand what this means, discover the facts from Recognizing Good Parenting Parts 4 to 8 to learn who works harder (on average).

In The Chinese in America – Part 3, I wrote, “of the continued discrimination against Asian-Americans and Chinese in the US by other ethnic groups, which includes Caucasians, African Americans and Latinos.”

In the US, since the Civil Rights era preferential treatment favored African-Americans and Latinos since Asian-Americans tend to swallow their bitterness instead of protesting violently as the other minorities have.

For example, the NAACP says it fights for social justice for all Americans. However, facts demonstrate that the NAACP tends to favor legislation that focuses on benefits for African Americans. If this were not true, there would be no need for political organizations to serve Latinos and Asian-Americans.

In fact, Africana Online says, “The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) has been instrumental in improving the legal, educational, and economic lives of African Americans.” There is no mention of the other minorities that suffer from racism in the US.

However, Latino Political Clout is growing in America to challenge the NAACP’s voice.

The recent US Census indicated Latinos continue to become a bigger chunk of the American population. With growing numbers come a series of political and social changes to the country. The numbers indicate a growth in Latino political influence will change American politics. Source: rt.com (click on “Latino Political Clout”)

We know that the number of votes a minority such as African-Americans, Latinos and Asian-Americans deliver equals political influence.

African American political organizations demonstrate the power of this influence.

Congressional Black Caucus

California Legislative Black Caucus

Black Leadership Forum

Georgia Legislative Black Caucus

Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus

Oklahoma Legislative Black Caucus

South Carolina Legislative Black Caucus

Latino American political organizations are challenging African-American influence.

Congressional Hispanic Caucus

Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute

League of United Latin American Citizens

National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials

The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO), the non-partisan leadership organization of the nation’s more than 6,000 Latino elected and appointed officials, which has the NALEO Educational Fund — the nation’s leading 501 (c)(3) non-profit, non-partisan organization that facilitates the full participation of Latinos in the American political process, from citizenship to public service.

Mexican American Political Association

California Latino Legislative Caucus

Southwest Voter Registration Education Project (SVREP)

As demonstrated, Asian American political organizations have a long way to go to catch up to African-American and Latino political influence. You may notice two of the Asian-American organization focus on Chinese-Americans, which represents about 3.5 million Chinese US citizens dividing the potential influence of 14.5 million Asian-Americans.


What has the NAACP done to end global slavery? Find the answer at NAACP International Affairs Goal

 Asian-Americans and Chinese-Americans are crippled by their cultures when it comes to increasing political influence in the US since Chinese parents teach their children to eat bitterness.

In China, the tradition of “eat bitter” has been passed down from generation to generation. “Eat bitter” is a literal translation of Chinese "吃苦", which refers to endure hardship including discrimination.

Chinese American Political Association

Chinese American Democratic Club

Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus

80-20 Initiative

Asian Pacific Americans for Progress

The 2010 census shows us minority influence is not equal since there are 40 million African-Americans, 26.7 million Hispanic or Latino Americans but only 14.5 million Asian Americans.  Numbers count since more people shout louder.

Elected officials from local, state and national levels would rather have Asian-Americans claiming racism than the larger ethnic populations that often act out their rage at not getting what they believe they are entitled through violence such as burning and looting businesses and wrecking vehicles during riots.

Discover the Timeline of Race Riots from 1980.

When has the US seen a race riot caused by a mob of Asian Americans? Instead, the few times any action has been taken, Asian-Americans resort to the legal system that may favor the larger, more vocal and violent minorities in America.

I suspect that “Eating Bitterness” was influenced by Taoism, Buddhism and Confucius while in the West the warlike and often-violent religions of Christianity and Islam do not follow the same path.

______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

To subscribe to “iLook China”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions.


The Chinese in America – Part 3/3

June 9, 2011

Almost half a century after her death, Anna May Wong (1905 to 1961) has not been forgotten.

In fact, her life is another example of the continued discrimination against Asian-Americans and Chinese in the US by other ethnic groups, which includes Caucasions, African Americans and Latinos.

The first indication of this discrimination and racisim in the US against Chinese and/or Asian Americans appeared during the  California Gold Rush, which John Putnam wrote of in Chinese in the Gold Rush.

As a child, Anna loved going to the movies and even cut school to go to the show.

Between 1919 and 1961, she acted in 62 films. The Internet Movie Data Base says she was the “first Chinese-American movie star”.

However, to act, Anna had to play the roles she was given. The Western stereotype cast her as a sneaky, untrustworthy woman that always fell for a Caucasian man. The dark side of achieving her dream of acting in movies was that Anna had to die so the characters she played got what they deserved.

Anna often joked that her tombstone should read, “Here lies the woman who died a thousand times.”

Until Chinese started to emigrate to the U.S. in the mid-19th century, they had never encountered a people who considered them racially and culturally inferior.

The discrimination against the Chinese in America was only exceeded by the racism and hatred directed at African-Americans.

Then in the 1960s, many of the anti racist laws enacted during the Civil Rights era focused on protecting African-Americans, which created a protected class.

Since the Chinese—due to cultural differences—often did not complain, they were left behind.

In many respects, racism toward the Chinese still exists in the US and manifests itself through the media as China bashing, which supports the old stereotype.

When Anna May Wong visited China in 1936, she had to abandon a trip to her parent’s ancestral village when a mob accused her of disgracing China.

After her return to Hollywood, she was determined to play Chinese characters that were not stereotypes, but it was a losing battle. To escape the hateful racism, she lived in Europe for a few years.

Since U.S. law did not allow her to marry the Caucasian man she loved, and she was afraid that if she married a Chinese man he would force her to give up acting since Chinese culture judged actresses to be the same as prostitutes, she never married.

Anna May Wong smoked and drank too much. She died of a heart attack in Santa Monica, California at age 56.

Return to Part 2 or start with The Chinese in America – Part 1

This post first appeared on November 10, 2010 as Anna May Wong – The Woman Who Died a Thousand Times

______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

To subscribe to “iLook China”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions.


An American Shadow Over the Philippines

February 16, 2010

After the Spanish American War, America took possession of the Philippine islands and waged war against the native people killing more than two hundred thousand. This went on until World War II.

An American flag flying over Fort Santiago in Manila, Phillippines-c1920s

In fact, the treatment of American Indians hasn’t changed much.  The United States government might not wage brutal war against Native American Indians today as they did in the past, but in recent times billions of dollars slated to support Native American Indian tribes on reservations went missing, and no one seems to know where all that money went or care, except the Indians. It would appear that the era of lies and broken treaties has not ended.

If you want to learn more about American Indians, I suggest you read what the New York Times said about the work written by Vine Deloria Jr., and check out Native American Literature worth reading. It’s best to stay away from Hollywood if you want to get closer to the truth.

It is always good to have the facts before passing judgment, and history does count.

Discover In a Dark Mirror Without Reflection

______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

To subscribe to “iLook China”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions.


American Genocide

February 15, 2010

Christ once said let he who has no sin cast the first stone.

The topic of the next few posts will be about minority native treatment in China and America. As I have done before, I will compare China to America. This post will focus on the United States with some historical background.

Atrocities abound in the history books concerning treatment of Native American Indians during the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries. The Spanish destroyed the Aztec and Inca civilizations with disease and warfare. The Catholic mission system in California enslaved American Indians.

After the Civil War, the United States military was sent west and drove North American Indians from the land they had lived on for thousands of years and slaughtered men, women and children—millions died. Today, many of the surviving natives live in horrible poverty on reservations.

Trail of Tears

Then the American government grabbed Hawaii from the native Hawaiian people against their will. (There’s a native Hawaiian nonviolent separatist movement asking for freedom from America.)

It is always good to have the facts before passing judgment, and history counts.

Discover more at An American Shadow over the Philippines

______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

To subscribe to “iLook China”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions.