The situation is grim. Dangerous foreigners are streaming into the United States, killing and abducting innocent Americans. They depress the wages of American workers and hurt American businesses. Something must be done about these invaders!
Nope, it’s a paraphrase of warnings from politicians, unions, and major newspapers from a century ago, about the dangers of Chinese immigrants and other “Asiatics,” as well as the businesses they opened, especially “chop suey houses.” These warnings would be comical if they weren’t so abhorrent.
Consider this, from the Chicago Tribune:
More than 300 Chicago white girls have sacrificed themselves to the influence of the chop suey “joints” during the last year, according to police statistics. … Vanity and the desire for showy clothes led to their downfall, it is declared. It was accomplished only after they smoked and drank in the chop suey restaurants and permitted themselves to be hypnotized by the dreamy, seductive music that is always on tap.
Or this, from the Mixer and Server, a publication of the Cooks’ and Waiters’ Union, an ancestor of today’s UNITE HERE:
View this matter from every angle, without heat or racial prejudice, and the fact stares us in the face that there is a conflict between the American wage-earner and the workers or employers from the Orient. Our Government has been compelled to close its doors to Asiatics in recognition of this fact.
Or this resolution from one of the forerunners of the AFL-CIO:
WHEREAS the evils arising from the employment of white women and girls in establishments owned or controlled by Chinese and Japanese constitute, both morally and economically, a serious menace to society; therefore be it
RESOLVED, That the American Federation of Labor be requested to pledge its best endeavors to secure the passage of a law prohibiting the employment of white women or girls in all such establishments.