Thursday, January 1, 2015

Burning Chinatown

     Our pal Gustavo Arellano has written a fascinating/disturbing account of OC racism against Chinese residents in 1906: Santa Ana Deliberately Burned Down Its Chinatown in 1906—And Let a Man Die to Do It.
     I recommend it.
     In a DtB post three years ago (A century-old "History of Orange County"…), I touched on the topic of anti-Chinese racism in OC, coming across an interesting account of violence against Chinese workers thirteen years before the event that Gustavo relates:


     The relevant passages of Street’s book are here: Beasts of the Field: A Narrative History of California Farmworkers, 1769-1913. Check it out.
     As I'm sure you know, Gustavo has published a great deal on the influence of the KKK in Orange County over the years. OC has been a hotbed of racism going way back.
     Luckily, OC has been changing mostly for the better in this regard in recent decades.
     Let's not forget, however, that, only 15 years ago, one of the trustees of the SOCCCD Board of Trustees was a Holocaust denier who enjoyed the support of thousands of Orange Countians.
     And then there's Villa Park Councilwoman Deborah Pauly's more recent anti-Muslim views and actions. And San Juan Capistrano Councilman Derek Reeve's anti-Muslim remarks. And OC Republican Party official Marilyn Davenport's notorious "Apegate" incident. And Los Alamitos Mayor Dean Grose's "watermelon" email. And so on, and so on.

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