- Emily Pan
Feelings towards the Chinese by The Breeze
Updated: Jan 3, 2021
The April 15, 1896 publication of The Evening Breeze shared feelings of hatred towards Chinese merchants in San Luis Obispo. There was an attempt to set up another Chinatown on Higuera Street, but that idea led to protests from other merchants and traders. Not only that, but the press also announced, "Protest is not strong enough. It deserves the condemnation of every decent citizen of the town." Protesters said, "The opening of a China store on Higuera Street means the ruination of that street." This is because they racially stated that in San Fransisco, "street after street, in the most desirable part of that city, has been ruined by the Chinese."
The presence of the Chinese was loathed, and they were depicted as greedy property owners who would "turn the tables upon the landlord." They said the Chinese would purposely ruin their own buildings, and there is no law to stop them, but they should not be doing "injury" to their neighbors. They argued that they are merchants and business owners and taxpayers of the city, who have established permanent homes. The Chinese also had to pay taxes, but they were still called names such as "pig-tailed neighbors".
Their feelings toward the Chinese could be described by nothing else but racist. Below is the protest that was circulated and signed, as well as the entire article.
"We, the undersigned, do hereby earnestly protest against the renting of store rooms in the business portion of Higuera, Monterey or Chorro streets to any Chinese merchant, artist, or artisan, and for cause of such protest, allege."
San Luis Obispo Breeze, April 15, 1896