Moon Shadow is a Chinese immigrant to America in the beginning of the twentieth, a time during which a legalized sort of racism and discrimination was going down in American history. Significantly, Moon Shadow thinks of himself as a Tang person and white Americans as "white demons." Moon Shadow's assumptions about national and cultural difference shift, however, the more people he meets.
Moon Shadow learns that the best way to fight discrimination is through violence, like when he hits Jack for example.
Moon Shadow learns that the best way to fight discrimination is to work within the rules and use hard work and smarts to figure out another way, like when Uncle Bright Star convinces the authorities to let the Tang people resettle onto their land.