|Forming a National Consensus in Support of Exclusion
The attempts by Westerners at the state and local level to stop the flow
of Chinese immigrants or to marginalize them in employment was, as noted in
previous activities, subject to challenge in the courts. To find a solution
that could not be challenged, it was necessary to pass legislation at the
national level, and immigration policy provided the means. Westerners used
racism to appeal to Southerners for support of the Exclusion Act and other
anti-Chinese legislation and Southerners gained the support of West Coast
politicians for discriminatory legislation against the recently freed slaves.
The first excerpt from the Minority Report from the Senate inquiry into
the 1875 election in Mississippi presents a negative view of happenings
as a result of giving freed slaves voting rights. Later in the report, the
minority senators address the question of race and express a concern that “orientals,” if
ever allowed to become citizens, would by their numbers gain control of
all level of government.
The Dooner illustration is another expression of this concern.
Questions are included with the reading and the illustration to help students
in groups or as a class discuss and understand the role of racism in
building national support for discriminatory legislation.
The Balky Team.
Uncle Sam, "Say,
Mr. Wasp, You'll Never Get That Wagon Out of the Mud Unless Your Team Pulls
Together. Can't You See Those Rocks?"