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The Chinatown WarChinese Los Angeles and the Massacre of 1871$
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Scott Zesch

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199758760

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199758760.001.0001

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“Us” and “Them”

“Us” and “Them”

(p.81) 5 “Us” and “Them”
The Chinatown War

Scott Zesch

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on racially motivated violence and injustices committed against Chinese immigrants in Los Angeles during the late nineteenth century. It first considers the reaction in the press regarding such violent incidents, especially when it comes to the Chinese women and their occupation, before assessing the attitudes of Angelenos and non-Asians toward the town's Chinese residents. It then examines the difficulties encountered by Chinese immigrants in trying to blend into their Californian communities, citing language and cultural barriers. The chapter also describes the hysterical fear of a “Chinese invasion” that prevailed in California in the 1870s, with particular reference to Chinese laborers. Finally, it looks at the rise of anti-Chinese outbursts in Los Angeles that persisted until 1871 and how the Chinese responded to the brutalities committed against them.

Keywords:   violence, Chinese immigrants, injustices, Los Angeles, press, Chinese women, Angelenos, non-Asians, Chinese laborers, brutalities

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