Barbary Coast Mural: History of San Francisco’s Chinatown

Subject: History
Pages: 2
Words: 392
Reading time:
2 min

The Barbary Coast Mural depiction of San Francisco’s Chinatown is an attempt to show the life of the Chinese in San Francisco in the raw, but it reflects a bit more positive picture than it really was. Chinatown was covered with a veil of prostitution and opium dens, and that would not do any justice to the mural. Nonetheless, this state of affairs did not overtly discriminate against the Chinese as it was the government that played the biggest role in holding back, exploiting, and prejudicing the Chinese. In the mural, the Chinese are represented as productive people as a means of an amusing reference to their working and ethical spirit. The mural pays tribute to all the hard work the Chinese did for the United States.

Despite the smooth depiction in the mural, the Chinese faced numerous arguments. San Francisco’s authorities believed Chinese culture to be corrupt and wanted to get rid of the Asian race for the sake of a homogenous population that would only be consisting of the representatives of the superior Caucasian race. These (and, in fact, much more) blatant cases of discrimination had been stopped in 1943 when the act was approved which stated the repeal of Chinese exclusion rights. The Chinese were both the first to be omitted in the opening of the era of immigration constraints and the first Asians to get the right of entry to the United States during the period of liberalization. President Franklin D. Roosevelt alleviated the plight of his office by the means of finding the middle ground measure, linking the importance of the measure to American projected war accomplishments.

An important note would be the reference to the fact that Roosevelt believed that adopting the bill was critical to revising the historical fault of Chinese segregation, and he underlined that the regulation was important as the basis of emerging victorious from the war and creating a protected peace. Ultimately, Asian elimination concluded with the Immigration Act of 1952, even though that Act trailed the pattern of the Chinese quota. This meant that the Act had given only racial quotas to all Asian migrants. Nonetheless, the situation changed as Asians obtained the hitherto unseen liberties that they deserved on the brink of the era of political, ethnic, and social racism.