More than 130 years after Congress passed the first federal law that explicitly singled out a specific ethnic group for discrimination, the House of Representatives expressed “regret” for a series of legislation that blocked the Chinese from immigrating to the United States and denied Chinese-Americans the legal right to become naturalized U.S. citizens. Read more at WhatTheFolly.com.
Note: As I wrote this article, I thought about my visit to Boyle Heights last weekend. My friends and I happened walked by the public cemetery that ran along First Street and Caesar Chavez. Thousands of immigrants from the late 1800s and early 1900s were buried there, reflecting the ethnic diversity of Boyle Heights during that time. You could see tombstone inscriptions were written in Japanese, Korean, English, Chinese, Spanish - all sorts of languages. The Evergreen Cemetery was provided by the government to bury the indigent people free of charge except for the Chinese, who were required to pay at least $10 (I’d estimate about 2 to 3 week’s wage during that period) for a proper burial. It demonstrated the depth of the hateful racism against the Chinese that they were treated so unjustly even after death.