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Rizal and the Issue of Race

28 June 2011

This article by the American Isma Dooly appeared on page 3 of  the Atlanta Constitution on 28 July 1902 and was a derivative of the observations made by Dr. Jose Rizal on issues of the racial prejudices against the Filipino in his own country.   Breaking the racial characteristics of the indolent indio cast by the ruling Spaniards, Dr. Rizal rose to represent what Filipino can become.

Interestingly enough, the well-travelled Rizal found the United States unfriendly to himself and other Asians, when he first landed on its shores via the SS Belgic in 1888, a decade before this article was written.  He wrote:  “Here [in San Francisco] we are in sight of America since yesterday without being able to disembark, placed in quarantine on account of the 642 Chinese that we have on board coming from Hong Kong where they say smallpox prevails. But the true reason is that, as America is against Chinese immigration, and now they are campaigning for the elections, the government, in order to get the vote of the people, must appear to be strict with the Chinese, and we suffer. On board there is not one sick person.”   The young hero felt strongly against the prejudicial treatment of the Chinese; perhaps because he drew parallels to himself — a Filipino and a Chinaman, several generations removed.

Research Notes:  Dooly, Isma.  “Dr. Rizal’s Studies of an Unsolved Problem“.  Atlanta Constitution.  Page 3.   28 July 1902.  Date Accessed:  21 June 2011.

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