“On September 4th, 1907 five hundred white working men in Bellingham, WA gathered to drive a community of South Asian migrant workers out of the city. With the mission of “scar[ing] them so badly that they will not crowd white labor out of the mills,” the growing mob rallied and went to work. The rioters moved through town, breaking windows, throwing rocks, indiscriminately beating people, overpowering a few police officers, and pulling men out of their workplaces and homes. They eventually rounded up two hundred or so of the South Asian immigrant workers in the basement of City Hall to stay the night. The mob was successful in that within ten days the entire South Asian population departed town. Despite promises of protections from city officials, the South Asian workers well understood that there was no protection for them in Bellingham and migrated up and down the Pacific coast looking for safer and saner living conditions.”
Most South Asians were described in the U.S. press as “low-caste Hindoos.” Significantly different attention was given to so-called “low-caste” and “high-caste” South Asian immigrants. Those perceived to be low-caste were described as of “poor class physically as well as mentally,” “more treacherous, if possible” than Japanese immigrants, with brains that do “not readily grasp even the elementary problems of this country.” They are “a dark mystic race” living in “tumble-down ‘shacks’ which a white man, even from southern Europe, would have spurned.”
White supremacy in 1907. Nothing new.