Seattle proclamation remembers historical anti-Chinese discrimination

Seattle proclamation remembers historical anti-Chinese discriminationSeattle proclamation remembers historical anti-Chinese discrimination
via Seattle Channel
Bryan Ke
February 15, 2024
The City of Seattle has released a proclamation that recognizes the horrific discrimination and violence many Chinese immigrants experienced in the city in the late 1800s to the 1900s.
Driving the news: Seattle council members and other officials proclaimed Feb. 7, 2024, as “Day of Remembrance for the Expulsion of Chinese from Seattle” during a City Council meeting on Tuesday. The proclamation was signed by Seattle Mayor Bruce A. Harrell, City Council President Sara Nelson and other council members, including Tammy J. Morales and Tanya Woo, who was voted to fill a vacancy on the City Council in January.

Recognizing past atrocities: The proclamation remembers some of the discriminatory laws passed during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including the Page Act of 1875, which barred Chinese women from entering the United States, and the notorious Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 that prevented Chinese laborers from coming into the country. It also remembers the Geary Act of 1892 that required Chinese residents in the country to carry their Certificate of Residence in their person at all times and the Geary Act of 1904 that indefinitely extended the Chinese Exclusion Act, resulting in the dramatic decline of Chinese population in the U.S.
Another dark history remembered in the proclamation is the infamous Seattle Riot of 1886, in which 150 Chinese immigrants fled from the city out of safety concerns and about 350 were forcibly removed from their homes by an angry mob and forced onto a ship to be taken back to China.
What they’re saying: Speaking at the meeting, Woo highlighted that the day of remembrance was “not just a commemoration but a call to action,” adding, “It is a testament to our collective resolve to stand against discrimination in all its forms and to build a more inclusive and equitable society for generations to come.”
Meanwhile, Morales noted that the day of remembrance serves as an opportunity to “acknowledge” the harm caused by racist policies and practices to the Chinese community and to “ensure we are commemorating the survivors, the families and the community and that we, as a city, really move forward and make sure we don’t let these things happen again.”
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