The two readings we have to do before class is “Introduction” and “Domesticating Labor” in Collies and Cane: Race, Labor, and Sugar in the Age of Emancipation by Moon-Ho Jung, and “The Racial Triangulation of Asian Americans” by Claire Jean Kim. We are reading two parts of Jung’s book and the introduction starts with a Chinese guy called Tye Kim Orr’s journal from China to Singapore to Guiana, Trinidad, Cuba, and finally reached Louisiana. Orr who is the main character of the book and he symbolized the first Chinese immigrant to the U.S. during the 19th century because he tried to help Chinese to migrate to the U.S. He was educated and has the ability to communicate with people in English. The introduction also includes a preview for each chapters of the book and it is all about the history of Chinese immigrants in the U.S. and how the “Coolie” identifies the Chinese immigrants.
In the chapter “Domesticating Labor”, it is a chapter about the Chinese immigrant movements in the U.S. During the beginning of 19th century, there was a high demand for Chinese labor because of their low salary, but that also created hatred toward the Chinese immigrants because the whites consider the highest class, and black is the lowest. Asian was ranking between them or with the blacks. Jung demonstrated an example from the New Orleans Times “presented the Chinese as the vehicle to kill the Fifteenth Amendment, which was to extend the ballot beyond ‘the intelligent white or Caucasian race,’ many of whose members, let alone blacks and Asians, lacked the capacity to vote”. Jung also listed the examples of “workingmen’s movement” and “Sham- Democracy” which demanded the end the Chinese migration. This chapter tells us the history of Louisiana’s planters associated with Chinese labor, how they prefer “China men” instead of “Negroes”. Posters were also being used to against the Chinese labor, and it also provided negative images of “nation of immigrants” to the public.
Jean’s “Racial Triangulation of the Asian Americans” is different from Jung’s book because this is like a research paper done by Jean to support her questions and themes. In the introduction part of the paper, she stated her purpose of writing this paper and arguments. Jean argues that “Asian American specifically have been racially triangulated” with the whites and blacks. Her definition to racial triangulation is how dominant Whites valorize subordinate Asians relative to subordinate Blacks on cultural and/or racial grounds in order to dominate both groups. Jean then followed with the research of history and how these supported her thesis. Compare to Jung’s work, her paper is based on her personal thoughts and opinions with the supporting materials she provided, and Jung is focused on the past historical facts to demonstrate us the readers the 19th century society of the U.S.