An East Bay mayor wants his city to come to terms with its ugly past.
More than 100 years ago, the city of Antioch cast out its Chinese residents and set the city's Chinatown on fire. In light of recent hate crimes against members of the AAPI community, Antioch's mayor wants the city to formally apologize for its historic wrongs.
"People of Chinese heritage were banned from walking Antioch city streets after sunset," Antioch Mayor Lamar Thorpe said.
So those people created secret underground tunnels, which allowed Chinese immigrants to walk safely at night to and from work.
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"What we're seeing on TV, what we're seeing on the news is very disturbing," Thorpe said, who is bringing Antioch's dark history to light following the recent string of attacks against members of the AAPI community.
Thorpe plans to launch a series of proposals aimed at making amends - including an official apology from the city for terrorizing Chinese immigrants more than a century ago. The mayor also wants people to know about Antioch's historic Chinatown district by marking where it used to be.
Contra Costa Community College District President Andy Li said the city's apology might be more than a century overdue, but it is a key step toward stopping what is happening today.
"You know for a lot of people, if you do something wrong, and you don't apologize you might just continue to do it, right?" Li said.