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Jordan's Anti-Asian Racism

Like many eugenicists of his era, David Starr Jordan saw the immigration of certain Asian racial and ethnic groups as damaging to racial health, typically on the basis of racist hierarchies.

Jordan saw Japanese migrants (especially the wealthier ones) as acceptable. He even at times portrayed them as equal to white Americans, describing beautiful half-Japanese half-white women to prove his point. 

Jordan, however, deemed Chinese migrants inferior and a racial danger to the United States. This was doubly true for working class Chinese migrants. Jordan wished to limit the migration of this group: "there is nothing so unutterably bad as the low, uneducated Chinese," he argued.



Jordan similarly portrayed South East Asians as racially inferior and incapable of understanding civilization. He opposed United States imperialism into these regions because he saw U.S. involvement with these "lesser races" as dangerous to the U.S. racial stock. He saw Filipinos “as capable of self-government or of any other government as so many monkeys."

Like with Mexican immigration, Jordan believed that immigration of certain "inferior" racial groups should be limited to preserve racial health of white America. ​



A picture of a newspaper quote by Jordan. It reads: "No one wants the lowest class of Chinese, for there is nothing so unutterable bad as the low, uneducated, Chinese of the lowest type. It is this class that makes up what we call 'Chinatown,' and no one wants another Chinatown in any city in this counry."
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