Michele Bachmann says 1924 immigration law that banned Japanese from U.S. “worked very, very well”

Michele BachmannReally? During Monday night’s Tea Party debate among the Republican presidential candidates, Michele Bachmann noted that U.S. immigration law was just fine until the mid-1960s when Congress made it possible for Asians to enter the country after decades of being excluded. The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 finally opened the door to people like my mom’s family for the first time since the Asian Exclusion Act and National Origins Act, both passed in 1924 as part of a package of immigration laws designed specifically to give preferential treatment to European immigrants.

It was great for Bachmann, who describes herself as coming from a “family of Norwegian Lutheran Democrats.”

It’s simply ignorant for a presidential candidate who claims to want to represent everyone in this huge and diverse country, to suggest publicly that people who are not like herself shouldn’t have had the opportunity to achieve the mythic American Dream. She blames the 1965 bill for leading to the immigration ills of today, and said outright during the debate that “The immigration system in the United States worked very, very well up until the mid-1960s when liberal members of Congress changed the immigration laws.”

It’s amazing how many misguided, misinformed and ignorant things Bachmann blithely says. Although the spectacle of her campaign is entertaining in a way, I hope her run doesn’t last all the way past the primaries.

Asian American attacked in Boulder

Update Nov 3: The Boulder Police Department now says there was apparently no knife involved in the assault against the Asian American as described below, but the victim was threatened with being “cut.” The police are also investigation another assult made the same night, Oct. 30: a gang rape of a woman by four men. Although neither crime occured on the CU-Boulder campus, and the AAPI victim was a former student (his three friends are current students), and the woman was not a student at all, the University of Colorado administration was quick to respond to the crimes, with a strong inter-departmental statement posted on the school’s website.

A 22-year-old Asian American man was assaulted by four men, and one held a knife to his neck and forced him to say “I love America.”

The victim told investigators that he was walking in the area of 10th and Marine streets with friends, singing a song from the movie “Team America.” He said they were confronted by four men.

One of the men — described as being a blond white male about 19 or 20 — said, “Do you think you are an American?” called him a “Chinaman,” punched him in the face and with a knife to his throat told him to say that he loved America.

This is disgusting, especially in light of the ways Barack Obama has been painted as an outsider, foreigner, socialist, terrorist, communist, anti-American, Muslim and Arab by people who oppose his candidacy for President of the United States.

I’m afraid that our country has become so divided, with society sliced and diced in so many ways, from race and ethnicity to social status, economic level and even by region (look at the electoral map and see where the blue and red states are concentrated) that it’s becoming OK to be violent, to say stupid, horrific things and make unsupportable assumptions about anyone who either looks different, thinks differently or acts different from us.

It’s become an “us vs. them” society… and most of the time, Asian Americans are treated — and have been treasted throughout history, long before the current climate of divisiveness — as one of “them.”