Wednesday, May 12, 2021
May 12, 2021

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Letter: Racial violence shameful


It’s frightening that overt racist hatred that had been tamped down in this country over the past 150 years came roaring back to the surface during and after the four years of Donald Trump’s presidency. Attacks against Asian Americans are the latest example.

In 1882, Congress, in response to economic depression, passed the Chinese Exclusion Act, banning Chinese immigration. In 1886, mobs in Seattle went door to door rounding up Chinese laborers, herded 350 of them to the waterfront, loaded them onto a ship and forced them to leave. President Grover Cleveland declared martial law in Seattle. In Tacoma, mobs forced Chinese immigrants onto a train and shipped them to Portland. Mobs in Renton and many other Washington towns also forced Chinese to leave. In Oregon City and other Oregon towns, mobs of angry whites forced Asians to flee. In Portland, too, white mobs attacked Asians.

Nor was the violence restricted to Asians. Mexican and Italian immigrants also were attacked. And that doesn’t begin to recount violent attacks on Black Americans in that era. And here we are in 2021, with bigots attacking Asian Americans, Black people and other minority groups. For shame!

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