by Jean Pfaelzer, The Globalist
September 7, 2009
In celebrating Labor Day, the United States honors the struggle for honorable working conditions. In this two-part series, Jean Pfaelzer — author of Driven Out: The Forgotten War Against Chinese Americans — discusses the cruel irony of a nation apologizing for past immigrant abuses at the same time as it perpetrates new ones.
As the United States observes Labor Day this year on September 7, apologies for labor abuses, anti-labor violence, and slavery are flowing in from states like Maryland, Virginia, Florida, North Carolina, California and New Jersey.
On a national level, the U. S. Senate has also just apologized for slavery.
For instance, California has passed a resolution “deeply regretting” 150 years of violence against Chinese Americans. Adding to the momentum for recognition and regret, in late August 2009, California Assemblymen Mike Eng and Kevin de Leon called for a “Day of Inclusion” to mark December 17, 1943.
On that day, the United States finally repealed the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. It was the first U.S. law that banned immigration by race. [...]
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