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The Dragon Is Unreal

September 01, 1985

What got me was when Benson baldly stated, "and Cimino has not exaggerated his milieu."

Well, let me tell you how. I am Chinese-American, second generation. I have no quarrel with either poetic license or auteur ial interpretations. I am as one with Dantean visions of Heaven and Hell provided they are universal and non-specific as to time and place and personae.

Yes, we all remember the Golden Dragon "massacre," the all too contemporary Charles "Engs" and the total "reality" of social malaise in Chinese-American society. Why should we be different?

But the dilemma facing Chinese-Americans today, identical to that faced by any American minority, is neither material nor even political. It is attitudinal.

Both Cimino and Benson have demonstrated, perfectly, as have countless generations of Kiplingesque Caucasians (and some of my best friends are, Caucasians, that is) their totally, mindlessly (blandly assumed), immanently racist, chauvinist, sexist, utterly romantic and unrealistic misperception of the reality of minority life.

I (we) neither need nor want protection, condescension or hypocritical salvation. All I (we) ever wanted was the willingness to see me (us) as individual(s), each of us singular, like you, regardless of race, creed or, as you perceive it, cultural handicap.

But, what the hell! In your position, I'd probably do the same. No, on second thought, I'd at least try to unlearn my prejudices.


Stateline, Nev.

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