Messages in Editorial Cartoons

In the cartoon of Dec. 11, three Asian people are ordering from a menu at the "US Restaurant." The caption is: "Let's see, we've eaten your textiles, your shoe industry, your electronics, your auto plants ... hmmm ... I'll have a half order of your aircraft industry."The serious problem with this cartoon lies in the reference to auto plants. Taiwan does not even have the technology required to build a reliable automobile. It has relied on the Japanese for co-production. More important, the cartoon reminds me, quite sadly, of the terrible injustice that occurred in Detroit nearly a decade ago. Vincent Chin, a Chinese-American, was brutally beaten to death several days before his wedding. His two attackers were auto workers laid off during recessionary times not much different from our present economic climate. As a result, the accused blamed their unemployed status on the Japanese and Japanese imports. Unfortunately, the auto workers mistook Vincent Chin for a Japanese. We should learn from history to tread lightly in difficult economic times because society can easily fall victim to scapegoat mentality. Mark Fung, Brooklyn, N.Y.

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.

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