The Chinese Must Go: The Racial Oppression of Chinese Americans, 1840–1965

Social Philosophy Today 24:151-161 (2008)

Abstract

Some labor historians and social historians of race are tempted to try to explain Chinese American racial oppression in the US purely by appeal to economic factors, especially the role that Chinese American men played in the US labor market. In this essay, I argue that such reduction is not possible. I briefly describe the history of Chinese immigration to the US, focusing on key changes in US law governing immigration and citizenship as they affected the Chinese. I then refute two economic reductionist views of Chinese American racial oppression. I conclude by suggesting a third, alternative understanding of this oppression that appeals to economic factors among others

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