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Posted by: slskipper ( )
Date: February 06, 2019 12:23AM

Get out now while you still have a shred of self respect.

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Posted by: ificouldhietokolob ( )
Date: February 06, 2019 11:17AM

Who's Gerritt Gong?

(I'm not in Utah, and I'm not up on the current GAs, so...?)

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: February 06, 2019 12:46PM

Gong is a new apostle.

He was a serious student when younger. I think he was a Rhodes Scholar. He did a fair bit of work in the US government and ran a big division of a Washington thinktank, so a reasonably competent and experienced man.

But his family is extremely Mormon. I think his father rose pretty high for a Chinese man, and it's not surprising that the son would follow in the old man's footsteps. With his ethnic background, his very conventional carriage, and his academic and professional credentials, he's just the sort of non-white man the church would want.

I don't think he has much integrity left, however. He sold his professional and personal life to the church decades ago.

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Posted by: 3X ( )
Date: February 06, 2019 08:46PM

"Very conventional carriage"?

Conventional with respect to what?

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: February 06, 2019 08:55PM

He acts, dresses, and speaks exactly like a church bureaucrat. He also presents a note of deference, like an aspiring church leader. The Q15 would naturally feel comfortable with him.

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Posted by: 3X ( )
Date: February 06, 2019 09:37PM

Glad I asked ...


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Posted by: Hedning ( )
Date: February 07, 2019 11:52PM

I met Gong and his wife Susan I think about 27 years ago, they were part of a group of very educated mormon friends, and I have had dinner with them and been to mutual house parties. Gerrit seemed to be very well connected with republicans in Washington as I remember his conversations only vaguely but it sounded like he knew all the right people to get the positions he went after. I believe he was a Rhoades Scholar, and was certainly very knowlegable and well spoken - to the point where it was a bit of distraction, that each sentence was like he was delivering a pithy disseration, I found that annoying, but my impression was he was a very smart and decent person. His wife's father Elder Lindsay, was a GA, a 70 I believe, and her brother Bruce Lindsay was head anchor at church owned KSL for many years and became an executive for the Church Broadcasting company and was extremely tight with the GAs of the Church. Both he and his wife are very smart and seemed to be quite concerned about social injustice - and yet they were very much in the mould of Church Leaders, who knuckle down and follow the prophet because it is our duty.

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Posted by: Brother Of Jerry ( )
Date: February 06, 2019 02:55PM

His name rang a bell from my BYU days, so I did some wikipedia exploring.

First, Gerrit - one "t".

Second, he was named after Gerrit de Jong, a BYU professor whose family Gong's mother lived with for a time when she was a BYU student. The De Jong Concert Hall in HFAC, BYU campus, is named after him.

Third, Gong's mother is ethnic Chinese from Hawaii, and his paternal ancestors came to the US from China in the late 19th century.

There must be an interesting story there, because the Chinese Exclusion Act was passed in 1882, which banned Chinese immigration to America. I've been reading up on both walls and immigration because of some recent threads here on the subjects, and I learned a surprising amount. (That's a diplomatic way of saying I was not aware of the depth of my ignorance on the topics).

The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 did what it sounds like it did. Chinese women had been banned from immigrating a few years earlier. Much to my surprise, the act remained in effect until 1943, when a quota of 105 Chinese immigrants per year was instituted. This was increased in 1952, and the National Origins Formula was abolished in 1965, essentially ending the tight restrictions on ethnic Chinese (and ethnicities in general).

I knew we had laws back in the time period of Jim Crow that would be considered blatantly racist and discriminatory today, but I assumed they must have gone away in the 1920s, or something like that - you know, the Progressive Era and all that. I suppose this is at least partly due to the fact that I grew up in a city that was overwhelmingly immigrants who came to the US during the Ellis Island period (1890s to 1930 or so) so I assumed immigration was pretty liberal in that period. My grandparents came in from eastern Europe during that period. All but one of my high school friends had grandparents, and in a few cases, parents, for whom English was a second language. When I saw the movie "The Green Book" a few weeks ago, I recognized every one of the Italian swear words. :)

Well. Things weren't liberal back then if you were Chinese.

Like I said, if Gong's paternal ancestors came to the US (California) from China in the late 19th century, there has to be a good story there.

BTW, there was a Chinatown in SLC. It was on what is now Regent Street, now a row of restaurants right behind the Eccles Theater and the now defunct Lamb's Grill, on the 100 S block of S Main St in SLC. I imagine it was cleared out about the time Lamb's Grill was founded (1919)

Gong sounds smart and well educated (it is possible to be either without the other). I would hope he would help keep the crazies in the Q15 from doing too much damage. It would be a hoot if he eventually ended up as President, but I won't live to see that (a realization that comes with increasing frequency at my age)

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: February 06, 2019 03:32PM

Those were the days of the Yellow Peril.

19th century China was dirt poor and given to political instability and some nasty internecine strife, leading to some civil wars (Taiping, etc). A large number of Chinese came to the States to build the railroads and to help in the San Francisco gold rush. Those workers were the "coolies," or Kuli, meaning "brutal work." So there are small settlements of Chinese in places like SLC and Ogden and many other places. Within a couple of decades, however, the fear of the Yellow Peril had developed and exclusionary measures were imposed.

Hawaii was a little different. Chinese and Japanese and others were allowed in without as much oversight. It was rarer for Japanese to immigrate to Hawaii in that era because things were somewhat better in Japan, but there were a large number who over time moved to the islands as well. Those people enjoyed more status in Hawaii than in the States although they were still second-class citizens.

When World War Two occurred, the Asians in Hawaii were subject to discrimination and suspicion, but they were too ubiquitous and economically critical to be expelled or encamped. But those on the mainland were viewed as a real threat, which is how the US established concentration camps for the Japanese, sanctioned by the supreme court, which ranks as one of the United States' worst moments if still short of what occurred to the Native Americans and the African Americans.

Asians who went through those periods tended to become resentfully uber-American. The Japanese were so humiliated that they started insisting their children not speak their home language and only speak English; they named children after famous blond Americans, etc. But of course when they went off to the camps, their neighbors in CA and elsewhere stole their homes and farms. That was when a lot of Japanese became gardeners and other household employees. I personally knew a Japanese who was accepted to Berkeley to do a Ph.D. in science but was then sent to a camp, had his family home requisitioned, lost his educational opportunities, and ended up a gardener.

It was slightly better for the Chinese in CA, but Gong's family became very, very American and very Mormon. I knew one or two members of that family, and I believe every single one remained TBM all along. Gerrit has always been more committed to Mormonism than to anything else, including academia and government, in both of which he was comparatively successful.

I would not be surprised to see other family members rise high in the church although he is the only one with the prestige of high government experience. That family is very, very loyal to the church.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/06/2019 06:21PM by Lot's Wife.

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Posted by: ificouldhietokolob ( )
Date: February 06, 2019 04:35PM

...and others.

The 1934 Tydings–McDuffie Act, known as the Philippine Independence Act limited Filipino immigration to the U.S. to 50 persons a year.

The Luce-Celler Act of 1946 that gave the Philippines a quota of 100 persons a year.

That ended in 1965, when quotas by race/country were abolished.

The US promised Filipinos who enlisted in the US armed forces during WWII citizenship once the war was over. The Rescission Act of 1946, signed by Harry Truman, rescinded that. Only about 4,000 (who got in before the act) out of more than 21,000 Filipino enlistees got what they were promised.

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Posted by: Brother Of Jerry ( )
Date: February 07, 2019 09:26PM

Thanks to Hie and LW for the additional background. Can I get AP History credit for reading this? :)

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Posted by: TX_Rancher ( )
Date: February 07, 2019 10:14PM

Very interesting information and thoughts--much I had read about, but much I hadn't known and just wow. Both the Chinese Exclusion Act and the internment of Japanese-Americans.

This is a strange period of American history that spanned many decades and many don't know and I only have enough information from college to know it happened and be shocked. My father knows some who were interred from our time in Washington state and keeps in contact (even invited and went to a few reunions) and incredible to imagine. Thanks for sharing.

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Posted by: [|] ( )
Date: February 06, 2019 04:26PM

There was also the Immigration Act of 1924 which continued to exclude Chinese and also included Japanese, Koreans, Filipinos,and other Asians.

I have read things from both US and Japanese historians who claimed that the 1924 act's complete exclusion of Japanese contributed to the atmosphere that ultimately lead to WW II.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: February 06, 2019 06:13PM

That is true.

Another legislative action that contributed to World War Two as the 1930 Smoot Hawley Tariff. That act infuriated US allies around the world and led many of them to impose trade restrictions against the US. The interruption of trade exacerbated the depression, especially in Germany and Japan, where xenophobic political parties gained influence.

In Japan's case, the realization that the West was not a dependable trade partner--and hence not a reliable source of the metals, rubber, and other natural resources--increased the power of those who thought that Japan's only viable future was through control of China and Southeast Asia, the alternative sources of essential natural resources. Similar thinking added power to the militarists in Germany who were intent upon conquering lebensraum on the European continent.

Thus the combination of xenophobic immigration policies and interrupted trade played a major role in the breakdown in international cooperation in the 1920s and 1930s and in the onset of the world war. The post-war Bretton Woods settlement, which promoted liberal immigration regimes and increased trade and financial flows stemmed from determination not to let such conditions develop again. Greater cooperation, the higher growth that would bring, and economics-based alliances like NATO and the US-Japan partnership were the foundation of international security and prosperity.

Who was that Reed Smoot who unintentionally taught the world the implications of xenophobia, racially-informed immigration limits, and economic protectionism? Anointed an apostle in 1900, he represented Utah in the senate from 1903 to 1933. That's what prophets, seers, and revelators get you.

Let us never forget that great Mormon leader, Reed Smoot. There is much to learn from his example.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/06/2019 06:23PM by Lot's Wife.

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Posted by: Honest TB[long] ( )
Date: February 07, 2019 07:48PM

That might prophet, seer, revelator, and Apostle named Reed Smoot was a wondrous holy man who obviously had the foresight to see how wonderful everything would turn out because of that law that bears his name. It helped bring to pass all the great wonders that took place in Europe, Pacific, and many places during the 1940's when Heavenly Father showed how much he loves his children? Of course what is really sad is how the soldiers weren't completely focused on doing Baptisms for the Dead right away. Thanks to being raised by the holy Correlation program I'm of the mind that the first thing we do when someone passes on is to get their names submitted before we do other lower priority things like try to comfort those who mourn.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: February 07, 2019 08:13PM

I have a wicked sense of humor and so applaud this, one of your best, pieces of writing. At the same time, and perhaps intentionally, you show how myopic stupidity becomes tragedy on a monumental scale.

Human actions have consequences, sometimes horrific ones.

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Posted by: Alan XL ( )
Date: February 06, 2019 09:06PM

I loved The Gong Show. Will he have to give that up?

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Posted by: babyloncansuckit ( )
Date: February 06, 2019 10:43PM

Maybe he’s trying to demolish the stereotype of the smart Asian.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: February 07, 2019 07:14PM

He has a lifetime sinecure, generous income, and great perquisites. A stupid man could do worse.

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