American Apologies for History (Update)

Powerline notes that Obama planned on apologizing to Japan in 2009 for the US nuking two cities to end WWII, as revealed by Wikileaks. But Secretary of State Clinton advised the President that Japan would regard such a display as “deeply offensive.”

So the Apologizer-in-Chief apparently settled for performing his well practiced submissive bow:

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In other apology news, the US Senate passed a resolution this week expressing regret for the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act, sponsored by California Senator Dianne Feinstein (and Sen Scott Brown, R-MA).

Why is this ancient history being dredged up now? Certainly Chinese have done very well in this country, as illustrated by Asian households having the highest incomes (above those of whites) and Asians have the highest average level of education (50% age 25 or above have at least a BA degree, compared with 28% of Americans as a whole).

Perhaps the diversity beast now must be fed with increasing actions of submission from white Americans to satisfy diverse residents who are feeling their political oats.

Anyway, many Chinese committed fraud to get into America under the scam known as “paper sons in which various Chinese aliens claimed to be related to someone already residing here, often for a price. The fraud could not be uncovered because so many records were destroyed in the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire. A recent controversy erupted when Mayor Ed Lee was revealed as not a real Lee (a powerful clan), but instead was a paper son beneficiary.

So the Chinese posture of moral superiority is hardly deserved. Can we Americans get an apology for thousands of fraudulent Chinese immigrants? It only seems fair.

Oh, and can a white American immigrate to the People’s Republic of China and become a citizen today?

Isn’t it curious how this diversity thing runs only one way?

Senate measure regrets 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act, San Francisco Chronicle, October 10, 2011

(10-10) 15:59 PDT Washington — As it prepares to pass a bill this week to punish China for undervaluing its currency, the U.S. Senate has passed a resolution expressing regret for the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act and subsequent laws that banned most Chinese immigrants from the United States and denied them citizenship.

The resolution, S. Res. 201, was sponsored by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. and Scott Brown, R-Mass. It passed unanimously by voice vote on Thursday. The vote cleared the way for a companion bill in the House by Rep. Judy Chu, D-Monterey Park (Los Angeles County), who is the first Chinese American woman elected to Congress.

Large-scale Chinese immigration began with the California Gold Rush in 1848. After the federal government authorized and supported construction of the first transcontinental railroad during the Civil War, railroad companies recruited Chinese laborers to build the Pacific portions of the track and predominantly Irish laborers to construct the line from the East.

Worker recruitment was marked by kidnappings, misleading contracts and in some cases, sales of laborers. The resolution said the Chinese railroad workers “faced grueling hours and extremely harsh conditions in order to lay hundreds of miles of track and were paid substandard wages,” and that without their work, construction would have been “seriously impeded.” 

The Senate resolution acknowledged that the laws targeting Chinese immigrants were incompatible “with the basic founding principles recognized in the Declaration of Independence that all persons are created equal,” and with “the spirit” of the Constitution. It said the United States “deeply regrets passing six decades of legislation directly targeting the Chinese people for physical and political exclusion and the wrongs committed against Chinese and American citizens of Chinese descent who suffered under these discriminatory laws.”

It came as animosity in Congress against China’s huge trade imbalance with the United States is increasing amid widespread U.S. unemployment. The tariff legislation is sponsored by Sens. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Lindsay Graham, R- S.C., and is expected to pass the Senate with substantial bipartisan support this week.

But the resolution faces a tougher hurdle in the House, where Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, has said he will refuse to bring it to the floor.

The resolution apologizes for six decades of legislation targeting Chinese people for physical and political exclusion during a period in the development of the American West that many scholars believe parallels the history of African slavery and segregation in the American South.

Race-based laws aimed at Chinese immigrants ranged from the 1882 exclusion act, signed by President Chester Arthur after he initially vetoed it, to various amendments and renewals enacted through 1904. The laws were repealed in 1943 when China allied with the United States in World War II.

The 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act was the first ban on immigration to the United States. Until then, U.S. borders were open.

By the 1860s, Chinese were the largest immigrant group in California; hostility against them was especially intense in California, which passed its own discriminatory laws. Chinese children in California were required to attend segregated schools and Chinese laborers, who congregated in San Francisco and other California cities after the Gold Rush, were blamed for unemployment and depressed wages.

The resolution highlights numerous incidents of racial hostility, including the 1887 Snake River Massacre in Oregon where 31 Chinese miners were killed, and attacks on Chinese in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

The resolution also notes “overzealous implementation” of the 1875 Page Act, which barred importation of female prostitutes from China, Japan “or any Oriental country,” but was used against Chinese women in effect to prevent “the formation of Chinese families” in the United States and limit the birth of ethnic Chinese.