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Not only did the US government sanction legalized discrimination against Asian immigrants, violence against Asian immigrants and Asian Americans has a long history here in the United States. Here is a partial list of some of the riots and massacres, specifically targeting API communities, that have left their mark on the history of the our people here in the US.
1856 - El Dorado and Mariposa Counties, CA. Chinese miners forced from homes.
1869 - Unionville, CA. Anti-Chinese Riot and Eviction.
1871 - Los Angeles, CA. Anti-Chinese Massacre. 18 murdered (different accounts place death toll as high as 84).
1874 - Nederland, CO. 160 Chinese residents driven out of city.
1875 - Truckee, CA. Chinatown burned down. 1 murdered.
1870’s - Caribou, CO. Anti-Chinese Riot.
1877 - San Francisco, CA. Anti-Chinese Riot.
1877 - Chico, CA. Chinatown burned down. 6 murdered.
1879 - Oro Grande, ID. Anti-Chinese Violence. 5 murdered.
1880 - Denver, CO. Anti-Chinese Riot. 1 murdered.
1885 - Rock Springs, WY. Anti-Chinese Massacre. 28 murdered.
1885 - Issaquah, WA. Anti-Chinese Violence. 3 murdered.
1885 - Newcastle, WA. Chinese miners barracks burned down.
1885 - Pierce, ID. Anti-Chinese Violence. 5 murdered.
1885 - Tacoma, WA. Anti-Chinese Riot and Expulsion.
1886 - Seattle, WA. Anti-Chinese Riot and Expulsion.
1886 - Olympia, WA. Anti-Chinese Riot.
1886 - Los Angeles, CA. Anti-Chinese Violence and Arson.
1886 - Portland, OR. Anti-Chinese Riot and Expulsion.
1886 - Truckee, CA. Chinatown burned down. 3 murdered.
1887 - Hell’s Canyon, OR. Anti-Chinese Massacre. 30 murdered.
1887 - San Jose, CA. Anti-Chinese Violence and Arson.
1891 - Los Angeles, CA. Anti-Chinese Riot.
1903 - Tonopah, NV. Anti-Chinese Violence. 1 murdered.
1907 - Bellingham, WA. Anti-South Asian Riot.
1907 - San Francisco, CA. Anti-Japanese Riot.
1921 - Turlock, CA. Anti-Japanese Expulsion.
1925 - Toledo, OR. Anti-Japanese Riot.
1927 - Yakima, WA. Anti-Filipino Riot.
1928 - Wenatchee, WA. Anti-Filipino Riot.
1929 - Exeter, CA. Anti-Filipino Riot and Arson.
1930 - Watsonville, CA. Anti-Filipino Riot and Violence.
1930 - Monterey, CA. Anti-Filipino Riot and Violence.
1930 - Palm Beach, CA. Anti-Filipino Violence. 1 murdered.
1930 - Stockton, CA. Anti-Filipino Violence.
1930 - Reedley, CA. Anti-Filipino Violence.
1930 - San Jose, CA. Anti-Filipino Riot.
1930 - San Francisco, CA. Anti-Filipino Riot.
1930 - Kent, WA. Anti-Filipino Riot.
1942 - West Coast, US. Executive Order 9066 removes Japanese from homes on the West Coast (and other nations).
Here’s a map of specifically anti-Chinese violence in the United States:
The musical Miss Saigon has been running for over 20 years, which means it’s lived longer than many Southeast Asian refugees gunned down by police brutality, violence, in poverty and with PTSD. Tickets are $125-$222 USD.
If you believe colonialism is the greatest love story of our time, how can we live in the same world?
Wait, don’t answer that.
The Mandarin, the dreadlocked Uruk-hai, the Indian savage, the Mexican illegal, the samurai who’s actually a Jap: they are the enemy, and we pay to see it. All the while Michelle Malkin agrees that immigrants are not as smart as whites, but what do you expect from the Asian who argued we should lock up Arabs like we did the Japanese. And the U.S. puts Assata on the Most Wanted list.
Nonetheless people line up to empty their pockets and listen to tragic staged Asians sing their song, the war that churned our people apart turned to a wet dream fantasy of Vietnamese written by two white Frenchman. How’s that colonialism working out for you. This is the world I helped bring a daughter into. Happy f—- Asian-Pacific Heritage Month.
Poet Bao Phi on the play Miss Saigon. Despite continual protests from the Asian American community, theater companies like Towne Theater in Columbia, South Carolina continue to perform the racist musical—and to add insult to injury, this production has an all-white cast. The show is opening during Asian Pacific American Heritage month.
“In the Twin Cities, the problem is not that we haven’t organized against it. The play has been here at least three times and we’ve organized against it, with different strategies each time. Each time, the white theater tells us they’re sorry and they want to be sensitive to the community. They create focus groups, then ignore the focus groups when they advise them not to bring Miss Saigon back.
“All the while, new generations of people of all races go to see this play despite all of our educational teach-ins, our counter-shows and protests, and it’s the one ‘learning experience’ they have about the Vietnam War and Vietnamese people. I was a teenager the first time we organized against it - I’m 38 now and i’m tired of it. We’re still going to organize against it but a lot of this crankiness is with my frustration that there seems to be little to no progress. White supremacy is a machine that keeps grinding, I guess.”
The history of our people here is one fraught with discrimination. Legalized discrimination. Here’s a list of some dates in history where laws passed (or rulings were issued) that make us remember how fucked up the immigration system is, and has been.
1790 - The Naturalization Act. Only free white immigrants can become citizens of the US.
1850/1852 - California passes the Foreign Miners Tax. First to keep Latino miners out of the mines, then to push Chinese miners out.
1853 - Washington Territory passes territorial law banning Chinese from voting.
1854 - People v. Hall bars Chinese from giving court testimony.
1858 - California passes a law denying entry to Chinese and Mongolians.
1862 - California imposes a “police tax” on Chinese residents.
1863 - Washington Territory passes a law to prohibit Chinese from giving testimony when the case involves a white person.
1864 - Washington Territory imposes a poll tax on Chinese residents.
1870 - California passes a law to make it illegal to “import” Chinese, Japanese, or Mongolian women for prostitution (a charge commonly used to bar entry of Asian women that were not married, also ties in to racist perceptions of Asian women’s sexuality).
1875 - The Page Law. Chinese, Japanese and Mongolian prostitutes, contract laborers, and felons are barred from entering the United States.
1879 - California’s second constitution prohibits the employment of Chinese by municipalities and corporations. It also passes a law (ruled unconstitutional) to require the removal of all Chinese outside of the city limits of towns and cities.
1880 - California passes a law forbidding interracial marriages between whites and POC. The US also signs a treaty allowing the limitation of Chinese immigrants. (Repealed in 1948)
1882 - The Chinese Exclusion Act. Immigration of Chinese to the US is specifically prohibited. (Prohibition renewed in 1888, 1892, 1902, 1904, and repealed in 1943)
1886 - Washington Territory passes the Alien Land Law bars Asians from owning land.
1888 - The Scott Law. Re-entry of Chinese laborers who left the United States is prohibited.
1895 - Lern Moon Sing v. US. Prevents review of habeas corpus petitions of Chinese for landing in the US.
1906 - US Attorney General orders courts to no longer issue naturalization papers to Japanese
1907 - President Theodore Roosevelt issues executive order to prohibit immigration of Japanese and Koreans through Canada, Mexico, and Hawai’i.
1907-1908 - The Gentleman’s Agreement. President Roosevelt and the Emperor of Japan agree to limit Japanese immigration to the parents, wives, and children of Japanese men already in the US.
1913 - California passes the Alien Land Law, prohibiting Asians from owning land within the state.
1915 - Washington State prohibits Asian immigrants from taking salmon, food, or shellfish “for sale or profit.”
1917 - The Asiatic Barred Zone. Prohibits most Asian and Pacific Islander immigration to the US.
1921 - Washington State follows up it’s 1886 law by prohibiting the owning or leasing of land by non-citizens and people ineligible for citizenship.
1922 - The Cable Act. Previously, any woman who was a US Citizen and married a non-citizen would lose her US citizenship. The Cable Act undid this piece of political patriarchal bullshit- unless the woman married an Asian immigrant. Marrying an Asian male would still cost a woman her US citizenship. Also in this year, Ozawa v. US decreed that even with light-skinned complexion, Japanese were barred from becoming US citizens.
1923 - US v. Bhagat Singh Thind. In the face of an argument that Indians are caucasian, Indians are declared non-white Asians and subject to all anti-Asian laws.
1924 - The Immigration Act of 1924 (and The National Origins Act). “Hindu, Chinese, and Japanese” wives of American citizens are denied immigration. Prohibits most Asian immigration, particularly laborers (Filipinos are exempted) and prohibits reunification of Chinese wives with their husbands in the US.
1925 - Hidemitsu v. US. Upholds previous bar to naturalization held under Ozawa v. US.
1933 - Filipinos are ruled ineligible for citizenship and barred from immigrating to the US.
1934 - The Tydings-McDuffle Act. The Philippines is made a commonwealth and Filipino immigration to the US is capped at 50 people per year.
1942 - Executive Order 9066. All persons of Japanese ancestry are ordered removed from the Pacific coast and put into internment camps.
1943 - Hirabayashi v US. The Supreme Court upholds the curfew imposed on Japanese.
1944 - Korematsu v US. Exclusion, detention, and internment of Japanese on the West Coast is upheld.
1945 - The War Brides Act. Yeah, it’s what you think it is.
1946 - The Luce-Cellar Act. 100 Indians and 100 Filipinos per year are allowed to immigrate to the US. (Also restores right to become citizens to both groups)
1952 - Immigration and Nationality Act. Repeals bar to immigration/citizenship based on race.
1965 - The Immigration Act of 1965. National origin quotas are repealed.
This website was a great resource for pulling this chronology together and is full of other interesting information.