Opinion | Gov.Abbott Considers a Law that Repeats the US’ Racist History

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Disclaimer: The following is an Opinion Piece from The Echo’s Editorial Section. An opinion piece is one in which a writer expresses a firmly developed opinion that is supported by study, reasoning, and circumstantial evidence. It’s a writer’s approach of expressing both what they believe and why they believe it. As a result, any opinions stated in by-lined editorials reflect the author’s views, not the administration or student body of GALA.

Governor Abbot proposed a law to the Texas senate that would ban the sale of all real estate to Chinese, Iranian, North Korean and Russian citizens. According to the New York Times, this law was written after a Chinese billionaire with plans to create a wind farm bought over 130,000 acres of Texas land near the U.S. Air Force base.

Pre-WWII, the Chinese Exclusion Act imprisoned and deported Chinese immigrants from the United States. This law was passed in 1882 and was assumed to last ten years. However, it was made permanent until it was repealed by the United States when China became a WWII ally. If this Texas law passes, it would be the first post-WWII race based market ban law.

This law is beyond horrific on so many levels. In 2011, the United States Senate apologized for the Chinese Exclusion Act. This Texas bill is not only xenophobic and racist, but it breaks the 2011 apology for one of the most appalling things our country has done.

Many crises in China are going on, including the Uyghurs Genocide, Xi’s draconian COVID policies, increasing Taiwan tensions, and general political repression. In Iran, the Mahsa Amini protests last year ended up with over 300 protesters killed, four executed for protesting, and over a dozen sentenced to death. North Korea is the modern world’s most brutal authoritarian regime, where most of the population is starving, and many are in horrid prison camps where many political prisoners are executed. In Russia, over 200,000 people have been drafted into the army to fight in the unjust invasion of Ukraine. None of this makes it right to punish citizens of these nations acting independently from their countries of origin.

To add insult to injury, other states have been considering similar laws or at least supporting this law. According to CNN, Gov. Glenn Youngkin of Virginia is expected to sign legislation to bar citizens of China, Iran, North Korea and Russia from buying agricultural land. To make matters even worse, there are similar proposals up for vote in Montana, Wyoming, and North Dakota.

I find it infuriating for a horrid law that repeats a racist part of our country’s history to be proposed. According to NCB, around 1,000 Texans held a rally in Houston with signs reading “Stop Asian Hate” and “Stop Chinese Exclusion.” Hopefully, with enough backlash, these laws will not pass.