American Civil Rights & the Chinese Exclusion Laws
Uncovering, Understanding and Sharing Our American Story
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A Message from Ted Gong, Executive Director of the 1882 Foundation [June 3, 2020]
At this perilous time for our American republic –facing a relentless pandemic that has seen over 100,000 American lives lost, an economic disaster that has more Americans unemployed since the Great Depression, and violence throughout the country that exceeds the aftermath of Dr. Martin Luther King’s assassination and the LA riots–individuals and organizations throughout the country are calling for solidarity. Police brutality and systemic racism cannot continue. We must collectively take action as called for by the Chinese American Citizens Alliance in the message below.
For us, at the 1882 Foundation, I want to pause briefly and remember George Floyd as an individual whose life was lost and the personal pain of his grieving family and friends. My heart goes to them in prayer. I want to say to them that it would be naïve for us (an educational body that documents America’s recurring history of racism and violence to Chinese Americans) to think that our joining the many calls for solidarity today will ensure that George’s death will not be in vain, that his killing will be the last as our solidarity leads to political action that deals finally with racial profiling, unequal access to health care and housing. However, I can say that Mr. Floyd’s killing has reinforced our commitment at the Foundation to tell the Chinese American story in ways that remind us of our solidarity, that our lives are intertwined in struggles to complete the American story, and that armed with knowledge of our history and the memory of Mr. Floyd and so many others we can together bend the arch of justice a little further. That I can promise.