Next Tuesday, the San Jose City Council is expected to pass a resolution apologising to Chinese immigrants and their descendants for the city’s role in the historical crime of Chinese exclusion. San Jose has always strived to be an inclusive and welcoming city for all, and that means facing up to the wrongs of the past, said Councilmember Peralez. The Chinese community has long been an important part of the city, and San Jose’s belated apology is a step towards healing. This resolution was a collaborative effort between the Perales Office, the San Jose Office of Racial Equality and members of the San Jose Chinese community.
In 1982, the US Congress passed the Chinese Exclusion Act, which further legitimised the powerful anti-Chinese movement and purged many Chinatowns across the United States. In March 1987, the Mayor and City Council of San Jose issued a decree declaring Market Street Chinatown a “public nuisance”. On May 4 of that year, hostility towards the Chinese culminated in the deliberate arson of the Market Street Chinatown, leaving over 1,400 people displaced from their homes.
(Sing Tao Daily)