Everything comes back to the same thing

It’s funny how the mind works. I was reading on line tonight about weather… one of my favorite pastimes. And I followed a link about the potential for a white Christmas in Altanta and I read there:

It won’t happen overnight, but metro Atlanta is expected to receive its first white Christmas since the Chester Arthur administration.

And I searched on Chester Arthur, just because I knew so little of him. Reading the usual Wikipedia entries I came across the entry for the Chinese Exclusion act. I read further. My interest is as someone who is from California (aware of the influence of Chinese labor in the Gold Rush and the building of the trans-continental railway) and  interested in the history of racial discrimination in the USA. Wow the things I don’t know always astonish me. In 1882 Chester Arthur signed the Chinese Exclusion Act which allowed Congress to suspend Chinese immigration, which it soon did. This was however 7 years later than the Page Act of 1875 which positively demonized Chinese Men and women who came to the US. Wikipedia reports that the Page act had many precedents. I name but a few relevant to us now:

  1. Foreign (Chinese) men were taking American jobs
  2. They were driving wages down (laborers were driving wages down, not the capitalists who employed them)
  3. Foreign (Chinese) women who came here were sold or tricked into prostitution
  4. However these women caused disease and immorality for white men. (not that they were victims of sex slavery and the men were not legally liable)

So where are we here? From weather we come to the 21st President and from there to the Asian racism of America. We need to remember that change only comes through the positive action of people (both citizens and those not considered as citizens) against racisim, prejudice and discrimination. Not through wishing it were so.

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