In Response to the Atlanta Shootings

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  • An 1871 attack on Chinese immigrants in Los Angeles killed 17, about 10% of the Chinese population in the city at that time.
  • The 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act restricted immigration from China after workers on the West Coast argued that Chinese immigrants were the cause of lower wages and other economic problems. While Chinese immigrants were only 0.002% of the population, people raised fears “about maintaining White ‘racial purity.’”
  • The internment of Japanese Americans after the bombing on Pearl Harbor caused people of Japanese descent (citizens, permanent residents, and new immigrants alike) on the West Coast to be removed from their homes and detained in internment camps. The justification for Executive Order 9066 was that these Japanese-descendant people, no matter their citizenship status, occupation, military service or age, could be threats towards the US and must be detained to prevent any such actions. Many lost homes, businesses, and personal belongings in this tragic abuse of governmental power.
  • Since World War II, as Asian Americans have become more integrated into US society and immigration has increased, hate crimes have continued. The sister of actor Daniel Dae Kim was the victim of a hate crime back in 2015, and such attacks have not been talked about as the racially-motivated hate crimes that they are.
  • Asian Americans are often seen as a “model minority,” favored for the economic and academic success of some individuals of Asian backgrounds, but this seemingly positive language pits people of color against one another and unfairly stereotypes AAPI individuals in harmful ways.
  • Former President Trump’s use of racist and xenophobic language likely contributed to public anti-Asian sentiment during the coronavirus pandemic.

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