Today, I visited the Chinese American Museum in Los Angeles.I made a small donation, as well. It’s a small museum, with some exhibits that document the contributions of Chinese Americans to American culture and civic life, and the life and times of immigrants from China.
The most important displays for me, however, were those that covered issues of social justice, for racial minorities, in general, and, of course, Chinese Americans in particular. Some of our laws, against homeownership, citizenship, marriage and much more, might surprise you in their cold-heartedness and longevity. Case in point, check out this law, as this article in the American Studies Journal points out: “‘any woman citizen who marries an alien ineligible to citizenship’ – in other words any Asian alien— ‘shall cease to be a citizen of the United States.’” That’s right, it actually revoked the citizenship of American women who deigned to marry an Asian man. That law wasn’t repealed until 1936 and of course the Chinese Exclusion Act wasn’t repealed until 1943. Let’s not let laws like those ever happen again.