HomeChinese AmericanFirst city in U.S. issues formal apology for its anti-Asian history

First city in U.S. issues formal apology for its anti-Asian history

The mayor of Antioch, a small city east of San Francisco, Thursday signed a formal apology for its racist past against Chinese and the Asian American Pacific Islander community.

The East Bay Times reports this is the first apology of its kind in the United States.

“Today, we ceremoniously begin the process of reconciliation with our early Chinese American residents, their descendants, and the larger AAPI (Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders) community for past misdeeds that helped contribute to build a culture in our country that led to the rise in hate crimes, stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Mayor Lamar Thorpe, who is Black.

Mayor Lamar Thorpe via Facebook

The ceremony took place at what was once the site of the city’s Chinatown, which was burned down in 1876, reported the Antioch Herald.

The council unanimously voted to issue the apology at its meeting on May 18th.

“Today is an historic day…for the resolution to be signed. I hope our ancestors in heaven can now rest in peace,” said Contra Costa Community College District Board President Andy Li, the first Asian American elected to the board.

“I want to thank the mayor and the city Council for an extremely courageous act, the signing of the proclamation,” Hans Ho of the Antioch Historical Society, said reported CBS5. “It is an uncomfortable era of our history, but it’s a history that needs to be remembered. So thank you all. And thank you for allowing me to be a part of the ceremony.”

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