Friday, May 19, 2006

The Mexican Invasion is a Repeat of the Yellow Peril

Just when I come up with a great topic to write about- something that will take some time and research to accomplish. I come across a great essay already covering the subject. I had not read Orcinus in a long time, but that will have to change.

"Invasion: Repeating History" is a brief, but important study of the similarities between today's "Invasion" rhetoric and the years-long-past xenophobic range against Asians.

This political agitation was further spurred by a Bay Area newspaper war between the Hearst-owned Examiner and the Chronicle, the latter of which began running headlines like the following:
THE YELLOW PERIL—HOW JAPANESE CROWD OUT THE WHITE RACE
JAPANESE A MENACE TO AMERICAN WOMEN
BROWN ARTISANS STEAL BRAINS OF WHITES

Eventually, this agitation led to the passage of Alien Land Laws forbidding "aliens ineligible for citizenship" (Asians were precluded from naturalization then) that outlawed ownership of land for Japanese farmers.

The same wave of immigrant-bashing reached high water in Washington in 1919-21, when the presence of Japanese farmers was blamed for the inability of returning veterans to obtain work. This was kicked off by a campaign by a fellow named Miller Freeman, president of the Anti-Japanese League of Washington and a wealthy publisher, who had been agitating about a possible Japanese invasion of the Pacific Coast since 1907. Freeman was chair of the state Veterans Commission in 1919.


Read it and see that history always repeats itself when we don;t look back to understand our past. Thanks Orcinus.

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