Monday, January 17, 2005

Great Historical Quote

This is why I do history. Here's a great quote from Republican Senator James G. Blaine (ME) in 1879 concerning Chinese exclusion.

“You cannot work a man who must have beef and bread, alongside of a man who can live on rice. In all such conflicts, and in all such struggles, the result is not to bring up the man who lives on rice to the beef-and-bread standard, but it is to bring down the beef-and-bread man to the rice standard.”

What a quote!! I love the racialization and naturalization of food. Americans of course couldn't survive on rice. Actually, you see this very kind of confluence of race, labor, and food all the way until WWII on the west coast as whites used it against Japanese immigrant labor as well.

Blaine incidentally was the Republican candidate for president in 1884.