Legal Chinese Discrimination in Sacramento


 

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The Story is the same, individuals immigrating to the United States with the hope of having a better life.

Immigrants from China were unique, unlike other groups where families immigrated to the United States most of the Chinese immigrants were single males.  They were considered cheap labor, because these workers didn’t utilize hospitals and schools.  Chinese workers were often sought out because they would work for less.   At one point in California, Chinese men represented nearly a quarter of all wage earners in the state.

Some people believed Chinese workers  were taking jobs from white people.  Starting in the mid 1880’s there were laws created to exclude Chinese immigrants.  Communities throughout the west created statutes designed to drive out Chinese immigrants.   In 1882, President Arthur signed the Chinese Exclusion Act, this law prevented  immigration of Chinese laborers.

Shortly after the law passed some citizens took matters into their own hand to drive out Chinese immigrants.  Hundreds of Chinese were killed throughout the west.   The goal was to intimidate the Chinese so that they would return to China. With the law intact, many employers illegally hired Chinese workers.

In Sacramento, mysterious fires were set in Chinatown to drive them away.  Local newspapers wrote stories suggesting the Chinese brought disease to Sacramento.  Sacramento’s Chinatown was located on I Street between 2nd to Sixth Street.  The city was mostly successful in dismantling  Chinatown.  The Railyard covers most of what was  Chinatown.

Chinese immigrants played a major role in developing the Western United States, from the Intercontinental Railroad to Sacramento Valley Levees.   The Exclusion Act was remained law until its repeal in 1943.

This was an ugly period in America.  Lets hope we’ve learned from it.

CityFella

 

 

 

 

 

Published by CityFella

Big city fella, Born and Raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. Lived in New York (a part time New Yorker) for three years . I have lived in the Sacramento area since 1993. When I first moved here, I hated it. Initially found the city too conservative for my tastes. A great place to raise children however too few options for adults . The city has grown up, there is much to do here. The city suffers from low self esteem in my opinion, locals have few positive words to say about their hometown. visitors and transplants are amazed at what they find here. From, the grand old homes in Alkali Flats, and the huge trees in midtown, there are many surprises in Sacramento. Theater is alive is this area . And finally ,there is a nightlife... In.downtown midtown, for the young and not so young. My Criticism is with local government. There is a shortage of visionaries in city hall. Sacramento has long relied on the state, feds and real estate for revenue. Like many cities in America,Downtown Sacramento was the hub of activity in the area. as the population moved to the suburbs and retail followed. The city has spent millions to revive downtown. Today less than ten thousand people live downtown. No one at city hall could connect the dots. Population-Retail. Business says Sacramento is challenging and many corporations have chosen to set up operations outside the cities limits. There is vision in the burbs. Sacramento has bones, there are many good pieces here, leaders seem unable or unwilling to put those pieces together into. Rant aside, I love it here. From the trees to the rivers. But its the people here that move me. Sacramento is one of the most integrated cities in America. I find I'm welcome everywhere. The spices work in this city of nearly 500,000 and for the most part these spices blend well together. From Ukrainians to Hispanics and a sizable gay community, all the spices seem to work well here. I frequently travel and occasionally I will venture into a city with huge racial borders, where its unsafe to visit after certain hours. I haven't found it here. I cant imagine living in a community where there is one hue or one spice. I love the big trees, Temple Coffee House, the Alhambra Safeway, Zelda's Pizza, Bicyclist in Midtown, The Mother Lode Saloon, Crest Theater, and the Rivers. I could go on and I might. Sacramento is home.

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