Yellow peril

Yellow Peril was a phrase that originated in the late 19th century with greater immigration of Chinese and Japanese laborers to the United States. The term refers to the yellow skin of east Asians.

The yellow peril manifested itself in government policy with the U.S. Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, which reduced Chinese immigration from 30,000 per year to just 1,000. The labor leader Samuel Gompers argued, "The superior whites had to exclude the inferior Asiatics, by law, or, if necessary, by force of arms."

In 1920, the author Lothrop Stoddard wrote The Rising Tide of Color arguing against Asian immigration, claiming immigrants threatened American society, with their presence a "peril."

In the 1980s the Yellow Peril was revived as the US was in intense competition with Japan over industrial supremacy. Many believed that the beating death of Vincent Chin was a part of US sentiment.

Sax Rohmer in writing about Dr. Fu Manchu in his series of novels referred to him as representative of the Yellow Peril.

The Yellow Peril is a major topic of study in Asian-American studies.

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