I can appreciate your points, thanks sfdb. I think the main thing which I am trying to articulate, which I did not do elegantly in my previous post, is that I feel so many of Chinatown’s residents are seemingly trapped in this self-view of 1920s poverty … and they seemingly feel entitled to keep that view of themselves.
And that entitlement and self view traps them into a vicious 360 circle of poverty.
Case in point - hanging laundry outside.
Hanging laundry outside may have been the way to dry laundry at the turn of the 20th century all over this country, but it is not generally accepted practice anymore. Is that really what you want - to keep your neighborhood looking like crap?
Back at the turn of the century, Chinatown was really the only place that immigrant Chinese had opportunities and survive. So I understand the historical context set against racism, and limited opportunities.
These days this is no longer the case. Immigrants from all over the world have immigrated to so many parts of the USA and pushed themselves out of the comfort zone to learn English, learn new customs, and thrive. Example - the Vietnamese coming in the 70s and experiencing business success in Louisiana and the Gulf States in the shrimping industry.
Rhetorical question - If you want to immigrate to the USA, why keep inside your comfort zone and stick around in Chinatown and refuse to adapt? Its not good for the USA, its not good for the immigrant … just stay in China then if you don’t want to push yourself out of the comfort zone. I am mostly directing this criticism to the 50-75 year old folks in Chinatown who seemingly have no interest in participating in broader American life. I don’t see them as a net positive for the USA … especially as we look to compete on the global stage with modern day Chinese people in China! (Like Jack Ma of Alibaba fame).