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Indispensable Enemy Or Convenient Scapegoat? A Critical Examination Of Sinophobia In Latin America And The Caribbean, 1870s To 1930s

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Chapter Summary

This chapter seeks to provide a comparative and analytical examination of several cases of anti-Chinese mob attacks and organized campaigns, in order to understand the sources and nature of sinophobia (antichinismo or chinofobia) in Latin America and the Caribbean. By the end of the 19th century, Chinese merchants and shopkeepers had become a "conspicuously successful trading minority". The Chinese in Jamaica experienced two major attacks in the pre-war era, in 1918 and again in 1938. Bahamian historian Howard Johnson makes a pointed contrast between the two incidents: the earlier one targeted solely Chinese as a "racial" group, while the latter was directed more at the middle class of immigrant traders such as Jews and Syrians, in addition to Chinese. Representative Espinoza of Sonora, for one, was too smart a politician to believe that expelling the Chinese would solve Mexico's economic problem during the Depression.

Keywords: Caribbean; Chinese merchants; Jamaica; Latin America; sinophobia; Sonora



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