Sunday, July 4th, 2010
For some of you, July 4th marks the anniversary of the day Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum, and Bill Pullman saved Planet Earth from a horde of Martian invaders. For Americans, however, it’s a holiday commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. We also like to set off fireworks.
Fun fact: The Chinese invented firecrackers.
Now, I don’t think it’s too much of a generalization to say that Americans of my generation and earlier were given a largely whitewashed version of history when we were students. That was most certainly the case in elementary school (how many myths about George Washington were presented as fact?), and for those who didn’t have really good history teachers in junior high and high school, they probably didn’t get the whole unvarnished truth until college, if at all.
As an academic, I feel it is my responsibility to shed light on these darkened corners of our own history. The Glenn Becks, the Bill O’Reillys, and the Ann Coulters of the world may cling to a distorted version of our own country’s past, resorting to juvenile name-calling and vicious attacks when anyone dare paint the United States in an unflattering light.
Invincible: Where’s he going with this?
Hero Hua: I don’t know.
We, too, may not wish to look too deeply into our nation’s past for fear of what we might find, but as responsible citizens we must endeavor to search out the facts wherever they may lead. And so, on this Fourth of July, 2010, I present a Hong Kong film that attempted to rectify a typical US history book omission. Do you remember reading ANYTHING about a well-coiffed Chinese laborer having a swordfight with a blind Japanese guy on top of the Statue of Liberty…before obliterating Lady Liberty herself in the process? I didn’t think so.
I guess that goes a long way in explaining the Chinese Exclusion Act.
“Give me your tired, your poor, your super-powered martial artists…”
Happy Birthday, America!