Thursday, April 19, 2018

The Chinese Exclusion Act - A PBS Special

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                                THE  CHINESE EXCLUSION ACT

     FORWARD this e-newsletter to all your friends.  Reasons?

This film is NOT just about Chinese immigrants.  It is also about America.  It is NOT just about then.   It is also about NOW!   
       A modern version of Chinese Exclusion Act is stewing.   Just recall the conversation between Senator Rubio of FL and FBI director Wray on the Senate floor on Feb 13.   Click one "Stand together or Hang separately" for a quick review.

      FOWARD to as many of our compatriots as your email list will allow.  That way, our
nation may review the past in order to prevent the recurrence of an earlier mistake.

Synopsis: On May 6th, 1882 - on the eve of the greatest wave of immigration in American history - President Chester A. Arthur signed into law a unique piece of federal legislation.  Called the Chinese Exclusion Act, it singled out by name and race a single nationality for special treatment: making it illegal for Chinese laborers to enter America on pain of imprisonment and for Chinese nationals ever to become citizens of the United States.

The Chinese Exclusion Act, a two-hour film for national broadcast on PBS during the 2018 season, will explore in riveting detail . . . in American history - one that sheds enormous light on key aspects of the history of American civil liberties, immigration, and culture - during one of the most formative periods of U.S. history. . . . . . .

Directed by Ric Burns and Li-Shin Yu. Narrated by Hoon Lee and featuring the voices of Russell Wong, Fenton Lee, Yuet-Fung Ho and Josh Hamilton. Produced by Steeplechase Films and the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM). Premieres Tuesday, May 29, 2018 from 8:00-10:00 PM ET on PBS.

The Certificate of Residence, a legal form of documentation that was added as a provision of the 1882 Exclusion Act when it was extended under the Geary Actin 1892. Every Chinese immigrant was required to carry a Certificate, or face threat of deportation. Over 100,000 Chinese residents refused to register for documentation under the Act- a massive act civil disobedience.

Saum Song Bo, a Chinese law student in America, wrote a formal response in The New York Sun after receiving a solicitation for funds towards the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty. He points out the irony of soliciting funds for such an endeavor from a population deprived of basic American rights, "Whether this statute against the Chinese - or the Statue of Liberty - will be the more lasting monument to tell future ages of the liberty and greatness of this country, will be known only to future generations."

Wong Kim Ark's 1898 landmark Supreme Court case citing the 14th Amendment established birthright citizenship, securing citizenship for all children born in the United States.
Women detainees at Angel Island. Unlike Ellis Island, where 98 percent of incoming immigrants made their way through, eighteen percent of the applicants at Angel Island were initially rejected -  and five percent deported outright - after grueling interrogations, and harrowing detentions.



Ric Burns, Director and Co-Writer

Li-Shin Yu, Director and Editor

Hoon Lee, Narrator



S. B. Woo 

President and a volunteer for the past 20 years.
80-20 Educational Foundation, Inc, a 501 C-3 organization,
Lieutenant Governor of Delaware (1985-89)