Theme Of Gregory Nokes Massacred For Gold: The Chinese In Hells Canyon

1989 Words8 Pages

Kenny An
Dr. Williams-Leon
Sociology 32: Asian Americans in the U.S.
May 27th 2015
Massacred for Gold: The Chinese in Hells Canyon “Massacred for Gold: The Chinese in Hells Canyon” is a non-fictional book by Gregory Nokes. This book tells a story of an event that is barely known by many in the Chinese American history and how the author worked to put the story together. Gregory Nokes was working as a reporter and a newspaper editor at The Oregonian (Nokes 5). When working as a reporter, Gregory gained some interest in an event that had occurred over 120 years before where over 30 Chinese gold miners were murdered in Hells Canyon. He found out that the information about what really took place was wrongly told and became obsessed with the quest …show more content…

The government at the time was in a desperate bid to shape their relations with China so that they can improve trade. Covering up the real information about this incident could have been a desperate move to maintain the relationship between the United States of America and China. Nokes is particularly successful in explaining the massacre with relations to the racism against the Chinese immigrants that was particularly famous in the Pacific Northwest. He provides a short chronology of some of the anti-Chinese attitudes to make the readers understand just how deep the cruelty against the Chinese was. He goes on to mention that the cruelty against the Chinese people was also going on in other parts of the United States such as Washington, Wyoming and California. He talks about the 1882 Chinese Exclusion law that prevented the Chinese immigrants from getting fair employment opportunities in the United States of America. Generally, Nokes uses interviews and public records to recreate a new theory about the incident, the motives and the cover-up of the massacre in a bid to protect the locals. Towards the end, he shows how up to now, some of the official sin Wallowa County still want this information to be covered up. Although he does not directly say it, Gregory Nokes is very angry at the American authorities for their …show more content…

The author talks about the federal immigration statute that was generally directed at the Chinese immigrants. He specifically mentions the1882 Chinese exclusion law that was meant to address the issues of unemployment in America by restricting the entry of both the unskilled and skilled Chinese laborers. This law turned the Chinese Americans into ’illegal aliens’ and barred them from becoming American citizens (Nokes 117). Those who were already American citizens were stripped off of their citizenship and were termed as national enemies. However, this is just an example of the many challenges that the Asian Americans have face din their quest to immigrate to America. In1924animmigrationactwasimplementedto totally restrict the Asians from entering the United States of America. During the Second World War over 120000 Asian Americans were imprisoned on grounds that they were enemy aliens. 65% of the imprisoned victims were American born citizens. This book therefore talks about the Asian American experiences and difficulties they faced living in a society that was driven by racial prejudice. The fact that the American government was able to cover up the crime against the Chinese miners despite their efforts to

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