The year was 1882. Populist politicians appealed to the lowest common denominator by spreading rumors, which in turn excited the xenophobia and racism. Leaders promised sweeping immigration bans that the politicians claimed were necessary to protect American “civilization and values.”
The exclusion of Chinese immigrating to the United States is one of many shameful chapters in American history. At the center of this epic whirlwind of institutional prejudice was a son of the Pearl River Delta.