Pacific Grove, CA Apologizes to Chinese Community For Past Mistreatment

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The city of Pacific Grove in California has issued a formal apology to the Chinese community for acts of racism, discrimination and violence that have occurred since the 1800s.

The city issued the apology 11th annual Walk of Remembrance, which highlights the history of racism and violence the Chinese community endured, KSBW 8 reports.

The Pacific Grove Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force began working on the apology five months ago, according to Monterey Herald. In late April that task force unveiled a 1,700-word document apologizing for the burning of a Chinese fishing village at Point Alones in 1906, as well as the racism and discrimination the Chinese community has faced over the past 170 years.

“I just hope that this can be an opportunity to take a step forward,”  Kim Bui, a DEI Task Force member who led the effort to draft an apology, told Monterey Herald. “The apology does not take away the hurt… but the more that we learn and the more that we can move away from stereotypes and dehumanizing people, we (can) come closer to recognizing the humanness in all of us.”

The apology was presented before the city council on May 11. On May 12, the council voted unanimously to approve the apology. Asian Americans throughout the community praised the apology, Monterey County Weekly reports.

“As an Asian American, though not of Chinese descent, my immediate response was of a deeply personal one, being awe struck that such a beautiful and thoroughly researched document could actually be before this body for approval today,” Kathy Biala, a Marina councilmember who is Japanese American, said, according to Monterey County Weekly. “It is as if our collective sad Asian histories are now finally being made public with sensitivity and comprehensiveness of the tragic past and honoring our present lived experiences.”

The apology was read aloud at the Walk of Remembrance on May 14.

“The council apologizes to Chinese settlers, citizens, immigrants and their descendants, who came to the Pacific Grove before and after it became a city, and were victims of institutional racism, prejudice and discrimination..” the apology said in part, according to KSBW 8.

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