At mid-century Charlie Chan was probably the most popular detective in America. Loosely based on Honolulu detective Chang Apana, the mysteries by Earl Derr Diggers (1884 - 1933) cast Chan as intelligent, heroic, benevolent and honorable in contrast to the racist depictions of evil or conniving Asians (cf. Fu Manchu) which dominated Hollywood and our national media. However a more favorable form of stereotyping does not make Asians or "the mysterious Orient" less a projection of our own making. The curtain between "us" and "them" is slow to open....

Charlie says: "Curtain of opportunity open both ways" and, "Mind, like parachute, only function when open."