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By B. Railton

This ebook explores severe strands in American reviews: coverage conversations on criminal and unlawful immigration and social and academic conversations on range and multiculturalism. As writer Benjamin Railton indicates, a clean examine the chinese language Exclusion Act overturns a lot of the got knowledge on immigration and American id.

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Extra resources for The Chinese Exclusion Act: What It Can Teach Us about America

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Helping us recognize such a genuinely shared and unifying national identity is a powerful purpose for which public scholars can and should work. And we can do so with great success by starting with what the Chinese Exclusion Act can teach us about diversity. Note  As illustrated by the prominent May 2012 news stories about “minority” births out-numbering “white” ones for the first time. 1057/9781137339096 3 What the Act Can Teach Us about Forgotten and Inspiring American Stories Abstract: Better remembering the Chinese Exclusion Act would also help us connect to potent examples of what has always been most right about America, in the form of profoundly inspiring American identities and stories: those of the poets who carved their texts on the walls of Angel Island’s holding facility; those of Yung Wing, his evolving Chinese American life and identity, and his multigenerational American family; and those of Yung’s 120 students at the Chinese Educational Mission, their own Chinese American experiences and lifelong impacts, and their climactic victory on an Oakland baseball field.

You might ask. What’s the benefit of remembering these details and histories? For one thing, understanding and engaging with our collective American history more accurately, as a national community, is a significant goal in its own right, and an outcome toward which I believe all public Americanist scholars should and do work. That’s true of just about any aspect of our history, doubly true for any aspect that has been present across our centuries of existence, and exponentially truer still when it comes to an issue like immigration, one that has been so defining and constitutive of our national community and identity.

Public scholars have a significant role to play in helping us move beyond those inaccurate histories and toward the more strong and meaningful ones. And one effective means through which we can do so is to highlight just how much the Chinese Exclusion Act can teach us about American immigration histories and laws. Notes  Interestingly, the 1870 Naturalization Act, an element of Federal Reconstruction that naturalized Africans and their descendants living in the United States, purposefully did not include Asian Americans in its purview (limiting its effects to “white persons and persons of African descent”), despite the urging of Senators Charles Sumner and Lyman Trumbull that it do so.

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