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Professor Mary Szto Speaks to Media About Rise in Anti-Asian Attacks

Posted on Monday 3/22/2021
Mary Szto

This Is Where 150 Years Of Ignoring Anti-Asian Racism Got Us

(Buzzfeed News | March 20, 2021) ... Anti-Asian racism is deeply rooted in American history. Discriminatory laws restricted Asian immigration, excluded Asians from citizenship, land ownership, and employment in most industries, and prohibited them from marrying white people. Ordinances outlawed Chinese hairstyles and methods of carrying groceries. 

In San Francisco in the 1870s, Chinese people were regularly robbed and beaten to the point that they had no residential option outside of Chinatown. In LA in 1871, a mob lynched 15 Chinese people and destroyed and looted homes, but the sentences of the eight convicted rioters were overturned on “legal technicalities,” according to Syracuse University law professor Mary Szto. By 1940, “only two residential districts in Los Angeles permitted ‘Orientals.’”

“Although today they may seem like quaint tourist attractions, Chinatowns arose because of discrimination,” Szto wrote.

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In shooting's aftermath, local Asian Americans seek solidarity from tragedy

(Albany Times-Union | March 19, 2021) Over time, Asian-Americans were used as a pawn by the U.S. government who furthered the “model minority” stereotype in an effort to drive a wedge between Asians and other ethnic groups, said Mary Szto, a teaching professor at Syracuse University College of Law.

Now Szto believes the U.S. is entering a new era of Asian exclusion, one many believe has been fanned by former President Donald J. Trump and other Republican officials’ repeated attempts to underscore the connection between China and the coronavirus, often using racist terms as a descriptor ...

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