Reflection Paper on Takaki's Book "Strangers from a Different Shore"

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Reflection

In the third chapter of Takaki’s book, ‘Stranger from a different shore- Gam Saan Haak’, talks about many Chinese immigrants moves to America for getting jobs. At first, the majority of Chinese immigrants went to California for the gold mining or the Gold Mountain. Takaki mention that, at first the Chinese were welcome to the America and offering working opportunities to them. However, because of their skin tone, language, faces were considered to the threat to the mining area. In May 1852, to halt the threat, the committee recommended the enactment of a foreign miner’s license tax. (p.81) Then the new tax required the foreign miners had to paid 3 dollars a month whom did not want to become a citizen. In the mid 1860s, the gold mining profits had been went down, Chinese minors began to leave the gold field and tried to seek another jobs. Some of the Chinese were employed by the white employers for working in the quartz mine. Later on, those white owners realized that Chinese were able to work with less payment than White. After that, white workers started blaming Chinese had been stolen their job. Therefore, companies stopped hiring Chinese workers. And that cause the Chinese were pushed to self-employment. Due to the Chinese were willing to work with fewer benefit, owners ride roughshod over to them. For example, landowners employed Chinese for reclamation work. “The way to pay them wages was the cubic yard of earth dug and used for the levees; sometimes they resorted to tricks to increase their wages. To calculate how much the Chinese laborers should be paid.” (p.89) Is that ‘fascinating’ to know how they paid? The Chinese had been bullied and oppressed by the owners. One of the owner mention that “he would measure the size of the hole in the borrow pit every four to five days. But it was difficult to make accurate measurement due to the unevenness of the terrain. In order to show the depth of the hole they had dug and a record of...
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