Anti Chinese Rhetoric : The Recession Hit

1785 Words8 Pages
As the recession hit, it became attractive to hire Chinese immigrants because they were willing to work for less while whites were not. The presence of Chinese labor became an insecurity for whites as it reminded them that they could easily be replaced as assumptions about white superiority and non-white inferiority came to influence views on work and immigration. As the economy worsened and the panic of 1857 began, racist anti-Chinese rhetoric emerged and spread among labor organizers and “Chinese were accused of being dangerous, deceitful and vicious, criminal, cowardly and inferior from a mental and moral point of view.” White labor organizers used this rhetoric to portray Chinese immigrants as dangerous and as unchristian in ways in…show more content…
Anti-Chinese racism ran ramped in the western states and territories. The best examples of anti-Chinese racism occurred in California. In 1867, members of several San Francisco trade unions formed the Anti-Coolie Association to protect whites from job competitions from Chinese immigrants. A convention was later held in San Francisco for all anti-Chinese organizations in the state. At the convention, they called for the end to all Chinese immigration and the removal of all Chinese people in the state. In his inaugural speech in 1867, incoming Governor of California, Henry H. Haight, who ran on anti-Chinese, assured his supporters that he would never allow any person from the inferior races to vote or hold office. His win signaled to democrats in the state and in the region that ballot success came from an anti-Chinese platform. His rhetoric also signaled to California citizens that violence and attacks and Chinese immigrants would go unchallenged by authorities and the state. After Haight’s election, incidents of anti-Chinese violence grew dramatically in the state and local governments felt empowered further harass Chinese immigrants with ordinances and regulations. In San Francisco, the Board of Supervisors for the city passed ordinances that specifically targeted Chinese communities, businesses, and cultural practices. The government played a hand in furthering discrimination against
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