The city of Monterey Park in California has declared today the Day of Inclusion.
It is one of several cities which is marking the 135th anniversary of the Chinese Exclusion Act, the first law in the U.S. ever to exclude an entire group of people based on race.
“Many Chinese people here have maintained their customs, language, traditions — which all add to American culture — but there’s a reason why it was harder for Chinese to blend into the mainstream,” City Councilperson Peter Chan told the Pasadena Star News. “The Chinese Exclusion Act forced them into isolation for 61 years.”
Today in San Francisco, a Rally of Inclusion will be held in Chinatown’s Portsmouth Square.
Parallels between the Trump Administration’s attempts to ban immigration from many Muslim countries to the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act have been plentiful.
“This is important for the Chinese American and broader Asian American community, to stand up against the new targets to this new form of exclusion, for us to say it was wrong 135 years ago and it’s wrong today,” Cynthia Choi of Chinese for Affirmative Action in San Francisco said to NPR. “We’re in a unique period where… accurate information is not as easily attained, so there are a number of people who are on the fence, who are confused about the policies, who — more dangerously — feel as though this doesn’t affect them.”
On Monday, the U.S. Court of Appeals will hear the Trump administrations appeal to appeal the halt of the Muslim travel ban. A rally will be held outside the Richmond, VA courthouse to oppose the Muslim ban. Several Asian American groups are sponsoring the rally including South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT), Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC, CASA, Council on American-Islamic Relations, and DC Justice for Muslims Coalition.
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