Socio-Economic Polarization in the Chinatown Community:
How the Rich Reap their Wealth from the Poor
Or Spirit Killers
the winter wind sits in the living room
so we huddle in the kitchen in our winter coats looking silly
and too cold to do anything
but light a candle eat melon seeds
as I wonder
what do we wear when we go outside?
— poem by Frances Chung, p. 25, 1970
from “Crazy Melon & Green Apples”
On November 8, 2009, I picked up the Village Voice because of its headline “The Great Walls of Chinatown Living in Cubicles @ 81 Bowery” by Elizabeth Dwoskin . It reminded me when while traveling through India, a rich X-boyfriend exclaimed, “How can they live like this?” (see photo-”A Delhi Untouchable”) I smiled & knew how & why because I grew up in Chinatown, NYC. Since then, after making me homeless, the X lives comfortably in Provincetown.
Meanwhile, reading the article, I find the writer makes landlord-tenant relations a Catch-22 even with the intervention of Dept. of Buildings’ evictions and judicial system’s re-installment of tenants. It’s a no win unprofitable game for the Chinese in America. Where are the low-income housings? Ms Dwoskin only describes the Bowery as its traditional vicinity for “losers”….never describing the evictions as a racist act benefiting the landlord. Obviously, it is a continuum battle for low-income families. Now, there is every reason for gentrifying the nabe.
© “Untouchable in Delhi” photo by Susan L. Yung, 1991
When Steve Cannon asked me to review the recently opened Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA), he was completely unaware of the can-of-worms he had opened. He wanted me to interview Maya Lin, a blue chip gallery artist who in 1980 had designed the controversial Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial in Washington, DC and most recently MOCA.
In attempting to arrange an interview with Maya Lin, and after a series of calls and emails to PaceWaldenstein Gallery, I felt stonewalled. Maya Lin is presently an Asian American role model where she is in the NYC’s social registry and has a write up in Art in America magazine. She replaces Iris Chang, researcher and author of “The Chinese in America”, “Rape of Nanking” & her last work-in-progress about the Philippines’ WWII Bataan March. In her book, “History of Chinese in America”, Iris analyzed and investigated the psychological impact of the Exclusion Acts of 1867 imposed on the Chinese in America by the federal government. To many it is the beginning of many social injustice campaigns towards Asians. In her book, “Rape of Nanking”, she highlighted the Japanese atrocities committed in China which preluded WWII. By the year 2003, Iris Chang became a sensational historic American writer. After several attempts of politicizing and educating the public by setting up Japanese reparations for Nanking’s rape to China, she became paranoid. She believed the FBI were after her and eventually she committed herself. Eventually, she proved to be better and returned to her husband and child. However, she became deluded again. In 2004, Iris had committed suicide. There seems to be a pattern for mainstream publicists to select their role models for other Asians in America to emulate. There is a stark contrast where the working class Asian is constantly classified as “immigrants” and be treated as “unAmericans” while there are needs for social injustices to be reckoned.
To write this article, I had sent an introduction describing A Gathering of The Tribes’ diverse cultural experiences in Lower East Side to PaceWaldenstein Gallery, a Chelsea blue chip gallery. While continuing to pursue the interview, I joined MOCA’s membership and attended their openings. There, I accumulated many business cards from young girls holding titles such as V.P. of Programming, Curatorial Assistant, Director, Vice President of Development, IT Assistant Developer and many such cards bearing titles often associated as “working interns”. When I submitted my DVD “Democracies in Chinatown: 1974-1994” and portfolio for review, there was no response of either acceptance or rejection. Even reaching/contacting these individuals for an interview had been equally impossible. Finally, Steve said, “The hell with Maya Lin and the lot, just review the f**** Museum!”
There is a 50-year history that has to be revised for mainstream America’s culture, which is totally engrossed with modern “pacifying” new technologies such as text messaging, IPods, IPhones, or other mechanical amusements. The American mind is neutralized into numbing “black box” until there is a leader to be emulated. The only “free form thinkers” with jobs are left to intellectuals working for the CIA, Federal government or those working overseas. Rarely can the “worst” writers exercise such freedoms because it’ll ruin the established writers’ exhortations of national security. A decade into the 21st century, we have become a nation of Big Brothers where one is in constant surveillance and war entails pressing buttons on the innocent. Any trivial act is suspicious.
On the lighter side, we can enjoy the recent opening of The Museum of Chinese in America. However, its goals are to fundraise in 5-10 years, $8 million dollars to match the loans and investments that the various Federal arts foundations have doled out to its co-founders, Jack Tchen and Charles Lai. They portend to be revisionist historians for the Republican Party. In this unforeseeable time of recession as impugned by the former Bush “Hawkish” Republican regime, there is a desperation to match these loans and grants. The exhibit comprises of the neglected, low-income working Chinese families and peoples of the South China regions who are NYC’s backbone for building this Mausoleum for Chinese in America. However, in times of no Affirmative Action, where minorities can enter and complete colleges as well as work for equal opportunity employers, it only increases a debt-ridden Chinese working class community to be further impoverished. This is another method for deep-pocketed Asian sympathizers and CEOs willing to forfeit a portion of their salaries to non-charitable causes. This fundraising desperation is for “ivory towered” academics, immigrant artists, scholars, economists and politicians to gather and celebrate their minority’s history in America. However, it dismisses the still existing needed social changes that still prevails in ghettoes such as overcrowding, unemployment, English classes for newly arrived immigrants, low income housing, day cares for working parents, cultural institutions for art deprived communities needing arts programs, computer classes, etc.
This mausoleum is two floors, the street level and a basement. It is a walk through from Centre to Lafayette Streets. The main floor is divided into smaller rooms with about half its space dedicated to 6 smaller rooms for exhibits and the rest for a souvenir shop, a contemporary art gallery, a meeting room, a semi-library that also serves as reception or video room and a room with ten computers. The museumgoer can ambulate round the exhibit rooms and return to the main lobby in 5-10 minutes. The basement is for the rest rooms, offices and rooms for lectures, arts & crafts as well as Mandarin classes. It took about 5 years for its construction as specified by Maya Lin. She proudly designed the rooms with cheap “green” materials that is environmentally and allergic safe for public use. For example, instead of steel dividers, the Masonite boards divide the bathroom booths. The steps are wooden slabs braced by metallic frames. There are no luxury rugs, jade ornaments, porcelain or Ming vases. There are a few valuable artifacts encased behind glass scattered among the confusing pretentious timeline. The walls are dimly lit and lined from floor to ceiling with writings and small photos illustrating the years of racial reckonings.
As an Asian American of Chinese descent from the province of Canton, Toisan villages where I had a great-grandfather who had worked on the RR and since 1972, I have persisted and remained active in the Chinatown community and expanded my borders to the Lower East Side as part of other superficial, mundane artists participating with non-profit community arts centers. I barely eke out a living and remain the starving artist who is always creatively productive for 40 years and looking for a market. Thus, the museum seems an ideal location for tourism since it is 2 blocks from Canal St and near Holiday Inn. After several calls and attempts, I learned that it is futile to make suggestions as to what Asian American products might be marketed in the Museum of Chinese in America. (One can go a few doors down to purchase silk goods as well as take some Yoga classes). However, its goals is to collect membership dues, hold fundraising events and browse this small cluttered “historical” exhibit of hard working “Toisanese” people who were the founders of Chinatowns throughout America. Another main agenda is to exhibit the accomplished Chinese Americans of Han descents such as artists, scientists and engineers; to recruit the Fortune 100 Chinese-American descendants as members; and to host celebrity fundraisers entertaining a list of the who’s-who of overachievers such as: David Henry Hwang, Maya Lin, Ang Lee, John Woo, Gary Locke and especially Mayor Bloomberg.
There is an upcoming CEO event celebrating MOCA’s 30th year Anniversary where one has to pay $500 to dine with a “distinguished roster of honorees” and this during a recession.
The following clarifies the Museum’s purpose:
Your participation would add so much meaning to this occasion, as our new Museum provides the place for Chinese Americans and people of all backgrounds to experience the more than 160-year history of the Chinese in America- reflect on heritage, and explore identity in America and the world.
S. Alice Mong
In addition, the following website features a video of Museum participants enjoying a $50 per plate dim sum tasting, while in a Chinatown restaurant anyone can dine for $10 per person. The video reveals the museum’s desire to emulate and attract the Asia Society’s high-falutin’ crowd.
In 1976, I had put up the first Chinese American exhibit, “Images from a Neglected Past” at the Immigration Museum on Liberty Island where Jack Tchen was my assistance.
Photo Exhibit of Chinese in America: Images from a Neglected Past at Immigration Museum on Liberty Island in 1976 © by Susan L. Yung
However, for any laymen, the design in MOCA’s exhibit is very cluttered. The show consists of videos and photos in dimly lit rooms with plenty of writings extending from ceiling to floor level and across the lengths of the 4 walls. The text becomes unreadable and the photos too small for the viewer. There are too many items to focus on one wall where photos, texts, artifacts that are encased under glass are only a few inches away from each other. One has to navigate 7 small rooms to encompass the historic experiences of the Southern Chinese immigrant’s arrival to America. It took 227 years from 1492-1776, for Western Europeans to rediscover a route to China via transcontinental traverses through the Western Hemisphere. To develop relations with China, 5 Chinese scholars were sent to Yale College in 1776. Only one, Yung Wing stayed in the States and experienced various persecutions. Eventually, he died a lonely man in a Connecticut boarding home. By the Civil War, more Chinese men arrived to build the Transcontinental RR. Etc. The Museum has fulfilled its mission of placing Chinese American history in context but much of the information is haphazardly scattered and misunderstood that is too long to enumerate.
However, among the clutter, one can find in the first room some encased artifacts like a “Chinese Must GO” cap pistol of 1879-90; a stereo viewer for stereo photos; a Chinese miner’s scale used for weighing gold; a Chinese and English Phrase Book and Dictionary; an imported Stein & teapot of Ming design. The second room’s theme focuses on the Chinese Laundry store with old irons on view and ticket stubs scattered on the walls. It sanitizes the labor entailed to clean Whiteman’s dirty clothes and undergarments. Unfortunately, Jack or Charlie was unable to ascertain the pickled hand that Henry Chang’s mystery books mentions. Room 3 is about media’s distortions, highlighting evil stereotypes of Chinese as well as attempts to showcase the nightclubs of the Chop Suey circuit. Room 4 is an attempt to portray the social clubs like the Rotary Lodge while the 5th room replicates a 1950’s middle class home decorated with WWII memorabilia. Room 6 is a “refurbished” Chinese grocery store situated in a Chinatown. Here, it looks band new and not cluttered as a real Chinatown store . The wood have been reconditioned, varnished and smoothly toned with a few items stacked on its shelves. Room 7 attempts to present contemporary issues that blur the civil rights movement by utilizing the same format, text from ceiling to floor in a dimly lit room. There is an island exhibiting a turntable, an empty wooden lunchbox catering as a playroom for children.
The solution to this clutter is rearranging the show or best to have someone give a small talk as a tour guide. This entails a full time job and would give a needy job to someone. Or else, to alleviate the boredom, a security guard can give a talk about the museum and can also have a discussion of their Diasporas to America.
Upon perusing MOCA’s website, I found an article in the Christian Science Monitor. Jack Tchen and Charlie Lai are credited as the two founders for the Museum’s collections disregarding its hard-earned grassroots origins as initiated in 1974 by me and other Basement Workshop members.
Most of the article’s interview fabricates a history of these two guys as oppose to a collective group of Asian students from the CUNY’s educational system or from art school graduates. Jack Tchen of Han descent, lauds himself a scholar and historian teaching Asian Studies programs at NYU that is an offshoot of the present defunct Affirmative Action college programs. These affirmative action programs allowed urban ethnic/minorities to enter college and gain a degree as well as have opportunities to become professionals in mainstream society. However, some opted to service their Asian communities in the 70s that culminated in the Basement Workshop, Chinatown Health Clinic, Asian American Legal Defense and Education, Chinatown Children’s Underground (day care), and other grass root organizations. Its ultimate purpose from 1974-1979 was to instigate social changes in the traditional “quiet” Chinatown community. There were many urban civil rights activities occurring in the 70s and 80s and I especially witnessed Basement’s development as well as its demise.
This history will take another generation to dig up and research but for now an institution has become a “Mausoleum that Jack Built”. The Asian American community as a visible area had endured much negligence that underwent a lot of social changes in order for it to quickly catch up to the social stratus of CEOs and world globetrotters to become politically “inclusive” icons for a democratic, capitalistic nation”. The larger social changes of the 70s-80s in America further evolved into institutions such as Betances, Mayo Clinics, pre-K schools, day cares, legal defense communities, tenant unions, domestic workers unions, women’s center to provide shelters for abused women & family members. However, there had been series of budget cuts for understaffed AAFE (Asian Americans for Equal Employment), CAAAV (Chinese Americans Against Anti-Violence) and others groups that they are only limited to newly arrived immigrants.
Originally, the museum’s origins began in 1970 when Asian American students during the civil rights riots and anti-Vietnam protests congregated to formulate various community alternatives and needs that were lacking in a poor urban ethnic community considered “ghettoes”. Various solutions were developed. They were day care centers for working mothers, prevention of delinquent gang members, creating art programs to “keep kids off the streets” and preserve ethnic traditions as well as establish self-sufficient job opportunities beyond the available menial labor occupations. Four years later, in 1974 Asians in America started to rectify various social injustices that had been experienced since the Exclusion Act of 1987 by participating in the forgotten Confucius Plaza and Peter Yu demonstrations. These events were the basis for such a Museum to be in existence 35 years later.
During the interim, Chinatown had undergone many transitional changes: the disappearances of three major Chinatown movie houses that served as sole entertainment for Chinese families. Who remembers Governor, Sun Sing and World Palace Theaters which featured Cantonese movies from Honk Kong; the General Stores that served as post offices or “gossip” stations for the long sojourners looking for work or family members; the Tong Wars where some young gang members found a pickled hand while dumpster scavenging; the phasing out Frank Chin’s first historic social realistic plays performed on the “Great White Way” on Broadway and being replaced with David Henry Hwang’s sophomoric plays; the expansion of Legal Defense issues; development of Unions for working class Asians; attempting to break the glass ceiling employment policies; and the habitual encroaching gentrification that generates into consumer shopping mall mentalities.
After reading this article written in Christian Science and placed in MOCA’s website, I feel its revisionist goals is a set back designed by a conservative Republican party. It only highlights the men who claim to be the pioneers of the Asian American movement. It excludes a quote by Mao “Women who hold up half the sky” which gave inspiration for Asian in America women to participate in Hispanic, Black, Asian and Feminist movements which began in the late 60s. Unfortunately, in 1979, Charlie Lai and Jack Tchen participated in the Basement Workshop that had become the first NYC’s Asian American community arts non-profit organization. This became the beginning of its demise.
Originally, it started in the late 1960s maybe when the Chicago 5 trials during the Republican Convention. Sasha Hohri, a Sensei and former member of I Wor Kuen (an Asian version of the Black Panthers), had talked about her participation in Chicago’s rallies. As Jack is quoted, the show rarely emulates the “heartbreaks others endured.” They only reflect a generation that had become the professional class—the chuppies (Chinese Yuppies), the successful role models. Unfortunately, in my article “A Deceased Role Model: Iris Chang” demonstrates the plight of this writer whose endeavors of popularizing historic mayhems such as the Rape of Nanking by the Japanese, the History of Chinese in America and finally the Japanese imposed “Bataan Death March” in the Philippines during WWII caused her to be highly paranoid and suicidal. Her suicide act indicates the burdens she took upon herself as a crusader to explain and defend her race as well as develops her ethnic pride in America. Her ambitious goals made her a martyr and a pawn in the bigger picture.
Contrary to Tribe’s goals for diversity, MOCA highlights only the rich & famous Chinese as role models that the present Chinese immigrant can emulate to be reconciled as the American Dream. Having grown in NYC for over 40 years, and actively witnessed as well as survived its hardships, I find the same problems are perpetual and probably unavoidable unless the individual is determined to overcome such obstacles. Therefore, opportunities of choices are constant for individuals to remain or leave. I opt to leave and have an artist life-to enjoy life as an existentialist as there will always be deeper darker Diasporas, cross-cultural polarizations, conspiracy plots, political upheavals, proselytizing, pollutions, global warming, world disasters and other humane natural controversies.
Further Polarization and Stratification
Recently, I attended a MOCA art opening where basically Chinese male artists were highlighted. Here is a brief description:
Chapter II: Crossing Boundaries explores four artists’ diverse approaches to cultural boundaries. Ming Fay, Zhang Hongtu, Long-Bin Chen and Shiyi Sheng relocated to New York from different places at different times, with disparate educational and life experiences. Before the artists’ relocation to New York, issues of cultural identity were scarcely of their concern, as the Han Chinese culture was, and still is, the predominant culture in their homelands. It was only after they had settled into the life and culture of New York that they individually realized they could not avoid cross-cultural issues, both in life and art. A certain hybridity in their works evinces a focus on cross-cultural issues, but their responses to those issues vary greatly in their approach.
These were artists I have not seen for 25 years who originated from Mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong or Singapore. They kept asking me if I speak Chinese to always make me feel inferior and not about my art. All I wanted is to be equally represented in a blue chip gallery and have a glamorous career, also. There seems to be a strong hierarchic development where the Chinese who had suffered the most from the exclusion acts of 1867 to its present repeal of the alienation act in 1964 are marginally excluded from the social registries of NYC. The exhibit seems to perpetuate the glass ceiling effect that is highly practiced in mainstream society. In an economic recession, this becomes a reference point to honor a past as an ethnic culture melded into American mainstream. It little emphasizes the Diaspora of the Sojourner Chinamen who had left their wives to seek their fortunes in a foreign country or the plight of their offspring.
However, after the social drinking, talking to the artists and enjoying the art, one can wander into the permanent exhibit and observe the various highlighted past that Jack Tchen find pertinent to Chinese in America. This exhibit pretentiously portends to set up a foundation of Chinese in America as hardworking laundrymen, restaurant & garment workers, grocerers, RR workers, and sometimes club entertainers who had been persecuted, and especially stereotyped into evil villains by modern media. For some reason, stereotypical issues are Jack Tchen’s specialty:
One room displays cringe-inducing Hollywood movie posters of clichéd characters like Charlie Chan, with a Fu Manchu mustache. …. “yellow-face” performers and outlandish Hollywood type-casting created an inscrutable, sneaky caricature, “the exotic, erotic ‘other,’ ” says Tchen……. “a moment of incredible obstacles and near social death.” Chinese men were forced into “women’s work” – slaving in laundries, chop-suey restaurants, and domestic service – for survival.
Upon further perusing the exhibit, I find little is mentioned of the various struggles, situations and living conditions that most Chinese had endured? Where are the baskets used to dynamite the Rocky Mountains? Are there any remnants of the massacred Coolies in Wyoming? How about the Locke story? Locke is a small town founded by Chinese miners in California or where is the gold spike used in the famous group photos of “Whites” who built the RR. Nevertheless, in the exhibit, the Cantonese (Toisanese) are just the working menial class who had produced a modern generation of scientists, engineers, architects, farmers, playwrights and educators, a social role model for Blacks, Hispanics and others to emulate.
Ming Fay, the artist and writer, Susan L. Yung
Daniel Lee, photographer
To see more photos, go to: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tribesgalleryphotos/sets/72157623138771551/
Contrary to the museum’s hype, here is an excerpted write up from an article in Time magazine:
Yet there is no pan-Asian prosperity, just as there is no such thing as an “Asian American.” There are comfortably middle-class, fourth-generation Japanese Americans, and there are prospering new immigrants from Taiwan and South Korea, all driven by an admirable work ethic. There are also fragmented Filipino families headed by women, and Hmong tribesmen who know little of technology and are dependent upon public assistance. “There are people without hope in the Asian-American community,” says Michael Woo, the lone Asian member of the Los Angeles city council. It is a strange notion to those whose only awareness of Asian Americans is of whiz-kid scholars and hardworking greengrocers.
Recently, I got invited to meet at a bar, Butterfield 8, an Asian networking group to support Asian Women’s Centre (AWC) that provides safe houses for abused “immigrant” Asian women. This upscale bar is located in the 30s on the East Side where White “corporate” men were congregating. As I scanned the ambience and wondered why we were cordoned to a corner of the bar, I made small talk and explained over a glass of wine to the newly selected AWC’s director, a young Vietnamese woman, that Butterfield 8 is the phone # of a prostitute based on a movie performed by Liz Taylor. I asked, “Who selected this place?” A Chuppie said he did and gave me his business card which had a title as Sir Adam Chan. He is a technical writer for Cambridge University Press, and smiled slyly. Our conversation was interrupted as one guy commented on his fancy shirt. The men and women were only communicating to their own sexes and rarely seemed to talk to each other. To break the ice, I suggested ordering appetizers and instead got colder stares as the Asian women continued talking about their managing jobs and the men about their latest investments. Obviously, this is not a group I can participate. The only woman mingling was a recruiter for World Financial Group who convinced me to attend a workshop. Later, I declined her “work-at-home” job offer.
Again, I found this polarization prevalent when a recent research about Asian women in America, in their mid 30s-40s, have the highest rates of suicides. Most of these women are single and have achieved some form of careers. How appropriate because I can list several suicides in my lifetime. Katherine Tsoy, a Korean roommate, at the age of 40; Barbara Tsao, wife of Peter Kwong, Professor and Chinatown researcher; Iris Chang, writer; Frank Chin’s ex-wife, Elizabeth Chin, a writer who immolated herself like the burning Vietnamese monks protesting the war. Recently, last winter, I wrote about a Japanese woman who became homeless. Upon her boyfriend’s request, I obliged my sofabed for several nights as a place to rest. She in turn also died via suicide. There seems to be a gender generational class struggle added to the class of apathetic Asians that remains as an insular community. In summation, the perpetual stereotyping of Asians in America still prevails.
Contact: Joel Schwarz
University of Washington
US-born Asian-American women more likely to think about, attempt suicide
Although Asian-Americans as a group have lower rates of thinking about and attempting suicide than the national average, U.S.-born Asian-American women seem to be particularly at risk for suicidal behavior, according to new University of Washington research.
The study shows 15.93 percent of U.S.-born Asian-American women have contemplated suicide in their lifetime, exceeding national estimates of 13.5 percent for all Americans. The finding comes in a study published in the current issue of the journal Archives of Suicide Research. Lifetime estimates of suicide attempts also were higher among U.S-born Asian-American women than the general population, 6.29 percent vs. 4.6 percent.
Data from the study were drawn from the larger National Latino and Asian-American Study and were based on bilingual interviews with almost 2,100 individuals at least 18 years of age. Two-thirds were immigrants from Asia and women made up 53 percent of the respondents. Participants included 600 Chinese, 520 Vietnamese, 508 Filipinos and 467 other Asians, including Japanese, Koreans and Asian Indians.
“It is unclear why Asian-Americans who were born in the United States have higher rates of thinking about and attempting suicide,” said Aileen Duldulao, a UW doctoral student in social work and lead author of the study. “There is the theory of the ‘healthy immigrant’ that proposes immigrants may be healthier on average than U.S-born Americans, because of the selectivity of migration or the retention of culturally-based behaviors. But it is unclear if this theory is the mechanism at work with regard to our findings.”
Evidence supporting this idea was previously found among Mexican-American and Latino American immigrants. However, Duldulao said, the health of immigrants tends to decline with the number of years they spend in the U.S. and start adopting behaviors that are less healthy than those found in their homeland.
The suicide data echo a 2006 study that showed Asian immigrants to the U.S. have significantly lower rates of psychiatric disorders than American-born Asians and other native-born Americans. That study’s lead author was David Takeuchi, a UW professor of social work and sociology who is also a co-author of the suicide study. Seunghye Hong, who recently earned her doctorate in social work from the UW, also contributed to the suicide study.
The new research also found that:
a. The percentage of Asian-Americans who reported thinking about suicide increased the longer they lived in the U.S.
b. Young Asian-Americans, between 18 and 34, had the highest estimates of thinking about (11.9 percent), planning (4.38 percent) and attempting suicide (3.82 percent) of any age group
c. Asian-Americans who were never married reported the highest lifetime estimates of thinking about (17.9 percent) planning (7.6 percent) and attempting (5 percent) suicide.
d. There were few major differences by ethnicity, although Chinese (10.9 percent) and Filipinos (9.76 percent) reported the highest rates of thinking about suicide.
“This study highlights the fact that we may be underserving Asian-American women born in the U.S,” said Duldulao. “While there was little evidence of sociodemographic differences in suicidal behaviors among various Asian-American groups, there was some anecdotal data from people working in the community. It is important for service providers, as well as policymakers, to know that U.S.-born Asian-Americans, particularly the second generation, are at high risk for mental health problems and suicidal behavior.
“In most cultures suicide is just as unacceptable as it is here. It is pretty much a taboo. That’s why this study is important and why Asian-American communities need to talk more about suicide and mental health,” she said.
The researchers used a modified version of a World Health Organization questionnaire to assess whether and at what age people had suicidal thoughts, made suicide plans or attempted suicide.
On Thursday, Dec. 3, I was busy attending NYU’s Asian/Pacific/American panel discussion about Soviet Union, China & USA relations during the 1930s. The panel were scholars from mainland China & Russia who talked about multicultural(ism), interracial, internationalism, reconstruction utopianism, Avant Garde “factography”, anti-Colonialism, bi-racialism, racial ambiguity, natural integration of Global humanity, visions of contradictions, “white terrorism” in Shanghai is similar to “White Racism” of Black Jim Crow in the South, Indigenism, Red Guards in China is same as Jacksonian Republic (congruent of national expansionism to rid indigenous peoples), a utopian dreamer of revolutions, Alex Kuo says “Men need to kill after killing animals to extinction.” (theory) and the last reference is “international transactionism.” GO FIGURE!!!!!
It was like get out your dictionary since no one talked about Marxism-Leninism, Bolsheviks, Stalinism, John Reed, or Ho Chi Ming who had $5 mil from British banks to spend in Vietnam etc. I sat there for two hours comprehending this new talk. At least I learned that Langston Hughes had a Chinese American girl friend named Sylvia Chin who was a dancer. They did collaborations, developing a “reconstruction utopianism”. Another talked about Ding Ling (a favorite writer) who wrote about peasantry in China and had been abducted by KMT comrades where Alice Smedly rallied international elite writers to be involved in Global politics-a prelude to democratic civil rights, Amnesty International, and global human rights issues.
I think most of the members frowned on peasantry because no one from the panel provided any solutions to their present plight except the mobilization of the minorities to Tibet, Mongolia, Zhejiang & other remote areas for relocations. One of the panelists emphasized the Hans as a minority in China when most Chinese know the Hans are the dominating tribe of China. They are the Mandarins who made it China’s national language.
Nevertheless, refreshments were served. It was just soda and tortilla chips with dips. (yummy)
Unfortunately, I could not join a former coworker and photographer friend who had retired from American Museum of Natural History and emailed me about her foray at the Met. I responded with “Wisht I was @ the Met viewing Robert Frank’s exhibit. I remember, John Ranard & I were walking down Bleecker St. between Bowery & Lafayette St., & he’d say, “That’s Robert Frank” as we passed this guy.