HomeChinese AmericanNew call to remove statue of anti-Asian U.S. Senator

New call to remove statue of anti-Asian U.S. Senator

A commentary from Black American columnist Terrelle Jerricks is calling for the removal of a statue honoring a former U.S. Senator who pushed for the Chinese Exclusion Act.

Stephen Mallory White served in the U.S. Senate representing California from 1893-1899. He also acted as District Attorney from Los Angeles from 1882-84 and the California Senate from 1887-1891.

White’s statue currently stands at Cabrillo Beach overlooking the San Pedro breakwater near the Port of Los Angeles. Jerricks points out the port is dependent on Pacific Rim trade dominated by Asian nations.

White joined the Workingmen’s Party founded by racist demagogue Denis Kearney. Kearney built his party targeting Chinese Immigrant Labor declaring “the Chinese must go.” White joined the movement for the Chinese Exclusion Act calling Chinese racially and culturally inferior. He also maintained they would never assimilate into the American mainstream.

“If we can seek the removal of Confederate statues and statues of Confederate personalities and White supremacists in the south and east, then most certainly we can take down a statue so representative of anti-Chinese and anti-Asian sentiment in the State of California,” Jerricks argues.

His commentary follows one by Judge Michael Stern in 2018. The superior court judge wrote in the Daily Journal saying the “statue has come to represent a dark period of invidious racial discrimination against Chinese immigrants coming to this country and White’s association with it.”

White’s name also remains on a local school.

“It is time to remove his statue from public display, take White’s name off the school that bears his name and reflect on how many people’s life’s were damaged,” Stern writes.

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