Books Briefly Mentioned

By Wayne Lutton
Published in The Social Contract
Volume 3, Number 2 (Winter 1992-1993)
Issue theme: "The role of the churches in population growth, immigration and the environment"
http://www.thesocialcontract.com/artman2/publish/tsc0302/article_217.shtml



THE WORKINGMAN'S REVOLT

THE VANCOUVER ASIATIC EXCLUSION

RALLY OF 1907

by Robert Jarvis

C-FAR (P.O. Box 332, Rexdale, Ontario, M9W 5L3)

56 pp., $5.00

For the most part, the history of immigration restriction in the United States, Canada, and Australia has not been accurately or fairly recounted. Too often, past anti-immigration efforts have simply been dismissed as outbreaks of 'nativism' and 'racism.'

Robert Jarvis, an intrepid researcher based in British Columbia, has shed new light on a long- ignored and misrepresented chapter in Canadian history, the massive Vancouver Asiatic Exclusion Rally, held on September 7, 1907. Some 30,000 citizens - half the city's population - turned out to protest the landing of boatloads of aliens from India and Japan. The rally represented the high water mark of restrictionist sentiment. Over the objections of big business and foreign lobbyists, the government in Ottawa bowed to public demand and brought Asian immigration to a virtual halt, a condition that lasted for 60 years. As with the United States, it was only in the mid-1960s that the Canadian government once again permitted large-scale immigration. And like the United States, the overwhelming majority of Canada's new immigrants are coming from the Third World.

Jarvis traces the origins of the demand for the exclusion of Asians in Western Canada back to the later half of the 19th Century when mine operators saw the hiring of Chinese coolies as a means of increasing profits and breaking the nascent union movement. The Japanese influx that commenced at the turn of the century was spurred, in large measure, by two Japanese immigration companies that provided transportation and negotiated labor contracts with Canadian businessmen. Starting in 1904, Punjabi Sikhs started pouring in, thanks to promotions by the Canadian Pacific Railway's steamship line and agents in Hong Kong and elsewhere who encouraged East Asians to emigrate to the Pacific Northwest and take jobs in the lumber and sawmill industries at wages far lower than Canadian citizens were commanding.

The September rally was the culmination of months of growing protest. Participants included people from all social classes, political parties, and religious affiliations. But the leadership came from among the trades unions and independent working people, who, Jarvis reminds his readers, 'were always aware that they were merely spokesmen for the great mass of British Columbians. The 1907 rally was in all respects a revolt from below.'

PAVED WITH GOOD INTENTIONS

THE FAILURE OF RACE RELATIONS

IN CONTEMPORARY AMERICA

by Jared Taylor

New York Carroll & Graf Publishers

416 pp., $22.95

Exhaustively researched, meticulously documented, and often elegantly written, Paved With Good Intentions is the most important book dealing with race relations in America to appear in nearly twenty years. The author dispassionately confronts the relevant issues with a degree of honesty and clarity that has not marked previous discussions.

Jared Taylor has, in effect, written two books. The first chapters deal with how the concept of 'racism' and the drive for 'equal opportunity' has evolved since the 1950s. He then reveals how Affirmative Action programs work in practice - including the fact that newly arrived Third World immigrants immediately receive preferential treatment. The author then provides a detailed look at the urban underclass. This makes for grim, but necessary, reading.

As the author notes on the first page of his Introduction, a consequence of the 1965 Immigration Act has been 'to add two more racial groups to the uneasy mix that, in the heady days of civil rights successes, seemed finally on the road to harmony.... Now 90 percent of all legal immigrants are nonwhite, and Asians and Hispanics have joined the American mix in large numbers. The U.S. has embarked on a policy of multiracial nation-building that is without precedent in the history of the world.' If enough of the right people read Paved With Good Intentions, an intelligent debate over what to do about 'the great American dilemma' may commence at last.

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(Article copyrights extend to the first date the article was published in The Social Contract)