Closing The Wounds

by
Abby Zimet

Chinese immigrantsA worker on the Transcontinental Railroad in the 1850s

Many years too late, the state of California
has formally apologized to the thousands of Chinese immigrants who helped build the state through the 1800s while enduring lowly wages, squalid living and working conditions, and a host of racist laws. Many laws – they couldn't vote, own property, marry whites or work in the public sector – were not repealed until the 1940s.  

"Racism still reverberates today," said Assemblyman Paul Fong, who co-sponsored the bill and whose grandfather worked on the railroads. "By apologizing,
we'll hopefully close those wounds and close a sad chapter in our
history."

An engraving of Chinese gold-mining in CaliforniaAn engraving of Chinese gold-mining in California

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