Posts Tagged ‘visual and therefore a visceral betrayal’

The Somewhat-Racist Italian Flag Light-Pole Stickers of North Beach and What One Chinese Dude Did About Them Ten Years Ago

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

One thing that me and our local real estate cabal agree upon is the sanctity of Broadway as a neighborhood dividing line on the east si-iiiide of San Francisco.

So I’ll admit that any area above B’Way isn’t a part of Chinatown. Fine.

But, you know, Chinese/Asian businesses started a foothold in North Beach proper, above B’Way, back in the day and certain people didn’t like it, not one bit.

So, these Italian light pole flags started going up a few decades ago as a response to the encroachment, the Asian Invasion. Take a look below.

Now I’ll tell you, one person who didn’t cotton to these flags was furniture store owner Ed Yee. You see, he preferred American flags. Read all about his campaign against colori italiani in this bit by Ilene Lelchuk from all the way back in aught-two. Ed’s windmill-tilting even made the Fox News back then.

But, after some blowback from people like Louis Calabro of the “European American Issues Forum” the City Family came down on Ed so his campaign to put up American flags on the Italian poles ended.

Count them, go ahead. These things are all over the place:

Click to expand

Oh well.

Back in the 1800′s, people in North Beach would throw rocks at Chinese and Chinese Americans who ventured north of Broadway. You know, to send a message about who belongs where.

These days, we “defend” the Italian-ness, the whiteness of North Beach in a different way.

O.K. fine.

But I don’t approve.

We ought to take all these stickers down.

In closing:

“It’s a visual and therefore a visceral betrayal. Stop it!”

John Malkovich, Transformers III: Dark of the Moon