Editor’s Note: Asia Minute Episode #34: Chinatowns from New York to Singapore and Bangkok to Yokohama and beyond are a very visible sign of a growing, changing Asian diaspora. Local markets and restaurants, and a sense of culture and community have attracted residents and visitors alike. But Chinatowns, Koreatowns, Little Saigons, Thaitowns and other ethnic neighborhoods are also a reflection of evolving attitudes toward “outsiders” who might not have been welcome elsewhere.
Did you know, the U.S. Congress in 1882 passed the Chinese Exclusion Act, which became the first major federal legislation to explicitly suspend immigration for a specific nationality. And now in 2020, amidst the coronavirus pandemic, reports of anti-Chinese and anti-Asian harassment have surged again in the U.S. and abroad. What more can each of us do today to push back against racist behavior of all sorts, in Chinatowns and elsewhere?