If history is going to be scientific, if the record of human action is going to be set down with accuracy and faithfulness of detail which will allow its use as a measuring rod and guidepost for the future of nations, there must be some standards of ethics in research and interpretation.
If on the other hand, we are going to use history for our pleasure and amusement, for inflating our national ego, and giving us a false but pleasurable sense of accomplishment, then we must give up the idea of history either as a science or as an art using the results of science, and admit frankly that we are using a version of historic fact in order to influence and educate the new generation along the way we wish."
W.E.B. Du Bois, Black Reconstruction (via locusimperium)
Stuff you could get away with saying on a kid’s show in the 90s, part II
"The Chinese are inhabitants of another planet. Machine like. They are automatic engines of flesh and blood. Why not discriminate? Why aid in the increase and distribution over our domain of a degraded and inferior race, and the progenitors of an inferior sort of men. We ask you to secure us American Anglo-Saxon civilization without contamination or adulteration. Let us keep pure the blood which circulates through our political system. And preserve our life from the gangrene of oriental civilization."
Senator John F. Miller (R-CA) on the US Senate floor in 1881, advocating for the Chinese Exclusion Act. The New York Times called Miller’s two-hour speech “a mastery statement, admirable in temper and judicial in fairness”. (via zuky)
The first Chinese Exclusion Act was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Chester A. Arthur the following year, in 1882. The law was written to last for 10 years; in 1892, it was renewed for another 10 year; and in 1902, Chinese Exclusion was made permanent.