How did the townspeople in Summer of My German Soldier stereotype Asians?

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Like many Southerners of the period, many of the citizens of Jenkinsville held racist views about the only Asian family in the community. Mr. and Mrs. Lee owned The Chu Lee Grocery Co., and they were probably the hardest working merchants in the town. He

... was the first merchant to open every morning and the very last to close.

The townspeople referred to Mr. Lee as "The Chink," apparently because of his Chinese heritage. But one day the Lees were gone. A large hole was visible in the store's plate-glass window. Patty had never understood why the family had left in such haste until she remembered a conversation Mr. J. G. Jackson had with her father.

"Our boys at Pearl Harbor would have got a lot of laughs at the farewell party we gave the Chink."

It's obvious from this conversation that the people of Jenkinsville lumped all Asians together after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and even though the Lees were Chinese--and not Japanese--they had been run out of town by the angry townspeople.

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Summer of My German Soldier

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