EppsNet Archive: China

Feb. 5, 1917: Immigration Act Passed Over Wilson’s Veto

5 Feb 2016 /

On this date in 1917, Congress overrode President Woodrow Wilson’s veto of the previous week and passed the Immigration Act of 1917, which, among other provisions, introduced a period of near complete exclusion of Asian immigration to the United States.

Not that life was a bed of roses for Asian immigrants before 1917. Asian laborers were sought out for demanding and dangerous railroad jobs involving explosives. The phrase “Chinaman’s chance,” meaning little to no chance at all, dates from this period. Asians were not allowed American citizenship and were frequent victims of hostility and violence with no legal recourse.

For example, in 1854, George W. Hall was convicted of murdering a Chinese man. On appeal to the State Supreme Court the decision was overturned because all of the evidence against him was from Chinese individuals.

Not a Chinaman's Chance by Charles M Russell 1894

According to the Supreme Court ruling, the Chinese “recogniz[ed] no laws … except through necessity, [brought] with them their prejudices and national feuds, in which they indulge[d] in open violation of law.”

The court also noted that their “mendacity is proverbial; [that they were] a race of people whom nature has marked as inferior, and who are incapable of progress or intellectual development beyond a certain point … [and they would not be granted] the right to swear away the life of a citizen, … [or] the … privilege of participating with us in administering the affairs of our Government.”

After the Immigration Act of 1917, existing Asian immigrants were excluded from employment by racial hostility and increasingly moved into self-employment as laundry workers, store and restaurant owners, traders and merchants. Chinese immigrants congregated in Chinatowns established in California and elsewhere.

 

Between 1942 and 1946, 110,000 to 120,000 Japanese Americans were incarcerated in internment camps. About two-thirds of those interned were second- and third-generation citizens by birth.

Newspaper headlines of Japanese Relocation - NARA - 195535

Sixty-two years of Chinese exclusion ended in 1943 with the passage of the Magnuson Act, which allowed a quota of 105 persons to immigrate each year. Yes, that is the correct number — 105 Chinese immigrants per year. In 1946, the Luce–Celler Act provided for an annual quota of 100 immigrants per year from the Philippines and India.

Token immigration quotas remained in effect until the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 abolished the quota system based on national origins.

 

In the last 50 years, Asians have risen to the top socio-economic levels of American society, proving once again that what happens to you is not nearly as important as how you react to it.

Asian-Americans seem to be focused on keeping their families together and making sure their kids get a good education, rather than peddling grievances about the past or even the present, e.g., Why are Asians not being nominated for Academy Awards? or Why has there never been an Asian president?


More People I’m Sick Unto Death Of: Angela Davis

8 May 2014 /
Angela Davis

I still believe that capitalism is the most dangerous kind of future we can imagine.

Alternatives to capitalism have resulted in shortages, famine, mass murder and societal collapse (cf., Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, the Soviet Union, Communist China, North Korea, Cuba, Libya, Venezuela … I could go on and on but I think we both get the point).

Can anyone list a few capitalist countries where this has occurred? If not, what does the word “dangerous” mean in this context?

Angela Davis is now 70 years old. Can anyone list a few well-known Angela Davis-style radicals who lived a long life in any of the aforementioned countries?


The Twenty-Six Malignant Gates

4 Dec 2013 /
The Joy Luck Club

“Do not ride your bicycle around the corner,” the mother had told the daughter when she was seven.

“Why not!” protested the girl.

“Because then I cannot see you and you will fall down and cry and I will not hear you.”

“How do you know I’ll fall?” whined the girl.

“It is in a book, The Twenty-Six Malignant Gates, all the bad things that can happen to you outside the protection of this house.”

“I don’t believe you. Let me see the book.”

“It is written in Chinese. You cannot understand it. That is why you must listen to me.”

“What are they, then?” the girl demanded. “Tell me the twenty-six bad things.”

But the mother sat knitting in silence.

“What twenty-six!” shouted the girl.

The mother still did not answer her.

“You can’t tell me anything because you don’t know! You don’t know anything!” And the girl ran outside, jumped on her bicycle, and in her hurry to get away, she fell before she even reached the corner.

— Amy Tan, The Joy Luck Club

Let Me Tell You What Really Happened

24 Jan 2013 /

Let me tell you what really happened, the voice said. All those years you waited torpidly, like a sleepwalker, pulled and pushed about by others’ opinions, by external pressure, by your illusions, by the official rules you internalized. You were misled by your own frustration and passivity, believing that what you were not allowed to have was what your heart was destined to embrace.

— Ha Jin, Waiting

Chinese Women Can Afford to be Picky

1 Dec 2012 /

Via Steven Landsburg:

China has one of the highest male-female sex ratios in the world. That means women can afford to be picky.

Aging Actress

Here are the requirements listed by a female graduate student seeking a mate on the Chinese equivalent of match.com:

  • Never married
  • Masters degree or more
  • Not from Wuhan
  • No rural I.D. card
  • No only children
  • No smokers
  • No alcoholics
  • No gamblers
  • Taller than one hundred and seventy-two centimeters
  • More than a year of dating before marriage
  • Sporty
  • Parents who are still together
  • Annual salary over fifty thousand yuan
  • Between twenty-six and thirty-two years of age
  • Willing to guarantee eating at least four dinners at home per week
  • At least two ex-girlfriends but no more than four
  • No Virgos, no Capricorns

The Common Good

7 Aug 2011 /
According to legends, Laozi leaves China on his water buffalo

Image via Wikipedia

Therefore the Master says:
I let go of the law,
and people become honest.
I let go of economics,
and people become prosperous.
I let go of religion,
and people become serene.
I let go all desire for the common good,
and the good becomes common as grass.

— Tao Te Ching

Hu’s on First

20 Jan 2011 /

The Chinese delegation visiting the White House squared off against the Americans in a game of softball.

The President of China played first base.


Other Than That . . .

14 Sep 2010 /

The social fabric is fraying. Human capital is being squandered. Society is segmenting. The labor markets are ill. Wages are lagging. Inequality is increasing. The nation is overconsuming and underinnovating. China and India are surging.

David Brooks, New York Times

Point taken. But other than that, things are going okay, right?


Obama in China

19 Nov 2009 /

Obama’s strongest comments during the town hall were directed at China’s Internet controls.

“I’m a big supporter of non-censorship,” Obama said. . . .

Chinese bloggers who saw it were grateful that he addressed censorship, but many zeroed in on what they considered Obama’s waffling language.

“Learn English from Obama: Instead of saying ‘I want to eat,’ say ‘I am a big supporter of non-hunger,'” Wang Pei, a writer based in eastern China’s Hangzhou, twittered on Tuesday.


Cash for Clunkers

11 Aug 2009 /

Cash for Clunkers has the following elements of spectacle:

  • Americans destroying perfectly functional cars
  • Americans whose skills are uncompetitive in the global marketplace driving around in fancy new cars

Somewhere in China and India they must be having a good laugh.


Chivalry is Dead

15 Apr 2009 /

A man has died after catching his girlfriend as she jumped from the seventh floor of an apartment block in China.

The young Chinese man, identified only by the surname Wang, held out his arms to break the woman’s fall as she plummeted from their apartment in Quanzhou in south-eastern China.

Mr Wang was killed by the impact of his girlfriend landing on top of him, while the woman suffered bone fractures and other serious injuries but was not in critical condition.

PerthNow

Hu’s on First

16 Nov 2006 /

Hu set to offer Pakistan nuclear plants

“No, my man, I be askin’ you who set to offer Pakistan nuclear plants.”


Hu’s on First

24 Sep 2004 /
Hu Becomes Undisputed Leader of China

I’m askin’ you who becomes undisputed leader of China . . .