We stand in solidarity with the Asian American community in Atlanta and of all people of color who have been attacked and excluded in the United States. The attacks that occurred in Atlanta, Georgia were horrific and there is a larger historical context we as a nation need to understand.

In 1875, the U.S. government passed the Page Act, prohibiting the entry of immigrants considered “undesirable” and further requiring Chinese women immigrating to the U.S. to prove that they were not prostitutes. At the time, immigration officials considered most Chinese women to be immoral; in one case, an immigration official refused entry to 22 Chinese women because they were “lewd or debauched.” The Page Act effectively banned Chinese women from entering the U.S. for the next several decades.

The long-term impact of the Page Act shows how legislation in the U.S. has been used against Asian women and how authority figures have been given the ability to determine the “high moral character” of Asian women. We cannot dismiss the historical ramifications of the Page Act nor should society ignore the larger connection between race, Asian women, and the shootings in Atlanta. 

We stand in solidarity with the Asian American community and all others who condemn violence and hate-driven criminal behavior. Furthermore, we urge our officials to remember the historical impacts of past rhetoric and immigration policies which can have tragic consequences for Asian Americans and other affected communities.

Overview of the 1875 Page Act. Source: CHSA’s Chinese American: Exclusion/Inclusion Exhibit.

Learn more about the historical linkage in NBC News, March 17, 2021: Racism, Sexism Must Be Considered in Atlanta Case Involving Killing of Six Asian Women, Experts Say.

Resources for Our Community

Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Atlanta
Compassion in Oakland
Feed + Fuel Chinatown 2.0
Stop AAPI Hate
Stand Against Hatred
Oakland Chinatown Coalition
Asian Pacific Environmental Network
Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council
Chinese Progressive Association
East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation