Past Injustice toward Chinese Amer. Acknowledged
OCA Commends Mayor Newsom and San Francisco Board of Supervisors for Acknowledging Past Injustice toward Chinese Americans
SAN FRANCISCO, CA—On September 15, 2009, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously adopted a Resolution acknowledging the historic role of the City government in advancing the policies of the Chinese Exclusion Act. The Resolution also calls for encouraging the learning of history as well as celebration of the contributions of Chinese Americans.
Pursuant to historical documents and records, Chinese Americans who settled in San Francisco during the 1870s became scapegoats to California’s economic turmoil. In 1876, San Francisco Mayor A.J. Bryant called upon the Board of Supervisors to appoint a commission on the “Chinese Problem,” which resulted in an official appeal to Congress and the President of the United States to restrict Chinese immigration. Since then, a number of anti-Chinese legislation was adopted by the Board of Supervisors, preceding the passing of the Chinese Exclusion Action by United States Congress in 1882.
Speaking on behalf of OCA at the hearing of this Resolution, OCA Past National President Claudine Cheng said, “This Resolution is of historic significance because for the first time, the San Francisco city government acknowledges this part of our city’s history and take a step towards making sure that the civil and human rights of Chinese Americans will not be infringed upon again. This Resolution is not simply a symbolic gesture; given the ongoing national conversation on healthcare reform and just counts for all Asian Pacific Americans in the 2010 Census, this Resolution affirms the city’s commitment to treat Chinese Americans and all ethnic minorities fairly and equally.”
“OCA has been fighting for and advancing the civil rights of Asian Pacific Americans since its founding in 1973,” said OCA National President Ken Lee. “I am delighted that the Mayor and Board of Supervisors of San Francisco took positive steps to acknowledge the past. Hundreds of thousands of Chinese Americans were impacted by discriminatory legislation in the past and we hope this Resolution will enhance public awareness of history and the ongoing contributions of Chinese Americans to our society and country.”