“The Chinese Must Go” 1894

“The Chinese Must Go” was the slogan adopted in 1885 at California’s first statewide anti-Chinese convention. To drive them away, Californians passed numerous local and state laws restricting the freedoms of the Chinese. They also terrorized, harassed, and attacked them. But the Chinese refused to be driven out. They filed thousands of legal suits against discrimination, demonstrating their faith in the promise of equal justice in the United States. Many times that faith was rewarded.

One such case was ‘Quen Hing Tong’ v. ‘City of San Jose’. Quen Hing Tong, a Chinese merchant, asked the court to order the city to stop the police from harassing and intimidating him and his customers. This unprecedented lawsuit was a courageous stand against discrimination.