California Democratic Party Asian Pacific Islander Caucus Chair Clark Lee released the following statement on the 70th anniversary of the Chinese Exclusion Act repeal:
“Today, December 17, 2013, the California Democratic Party Asian Pacific Islander Caucus commemorates the 70th anniversary of the passage of the Magnuson Act, also known as the Chinese Exclusion Repeal Act of 1943. It was a historic step toward ending decades of legalized discrimination against Chinese Americans under the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, the first anti-immigrant legislation that targeted a specific ethnic group.
“We applaud the leadership of Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus Chair Judy Chu and the hard work of many U.S. Senators, Members of Congress, and community organizations and leaders in passing S. Res. 201 in 2011 and H. Res. 683 in 2012, expressing regret for the passage of the Chinese Exclusion Act and reaffirming America’s unwavering commitment for equality and justice for all people.
“Nevertheless, even as we make progress on the legal front, anti-Asian American sentiment and racial insensitivity still exists today. Just this year, a political committee in Los Angeles distributed a mail piece to voters, labeling a Korean American City Council candidate as ‘The Other Guy’ in a pose reminiscent of dictators, with color scheme clearly created to invoke xenophobic fear of communism. In October, ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live! aired a racially insensitive segment, ‘Kids Table,’ during which one of the kids suggested that the U.S. should ‘kill everyone in China’ to solve its debt issues.
“As we continue to fight for civil rights and civil liberties for all Americans, we must work to make sure that this type of discrimination does not repeat in our communities – not now, not ever.”