rep. mike honda calls for official u.s. apology for chinese exclusion act

Didn't want to forget this bit of news from early last week... In San Jose, at a Day of Remembrance event commemorating the 69th anniversary of Executive Order 9066, Rep. Mike Honda called for an official U.S. apology for the Chinese Exclusion Act: Rep. Mike Honda calls for U.S. apology for Chinese Exclusion Act.

Executive Order 9066, issued February 19, 1942, authorized the incarceration of 120,000 Japanese and Japanese Americans into internment camps during World War II. Speaking to a gathering of about 200 people, Honda tied these dark chapters of American history together:
Sounding like the high-school teacher he once was, Honda tied together events from American history. Years of scapegoating foreigners for economic woes, he said, led in 1882 to the Chinese Exclusion Act. "1882 was the culmination of things that happened before," he said.

He called for an official U.S. apology for the act, which suspended Chinese immigration, made Chinese living here permanent aliens ineligible for citizenship, and later was extended to other Asians and to bar aliens from owning property.

He and other speakers at the forum at the San Jose Buddhist Church Betsuin noted the similarities between the treatment of Japanese-Americans 70 years ago and today's anti-immigrant sentiments as well as the post-Sept. 11, 2001, reaction against Muslims, Middle Easterners and South Asians in the United States.
Seven decades later, there's too much that hasn't changed. The faces might be different, but on some days, the hateful, xenophobic anti-immigrant and anti-foreigner scapegoating in this country seems stronger than ever. An official apology for the Exclusion Act would largely be symbolic, but dammit, the acknowledgement would be nice. More here: US lawmakers seek apology for Chinese exclusion.

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