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The Rock Springs Massacre

In 1885, the mining community of Rock Springs, Wyoming, exploded in anger over Chinese laborers working in the mines. None of the coal miners were getting rich, but the immigrants were paid less and diluted the power of the white miner's union demands.

The fight in the mines broke out around 7 a.m. on September 2, 1885, when about ten white miners approached the Chinese workers in coal pit № 6, claiming they had no right to work in the high-yield mine. A brawl erupted between the men and three Chinese miners. One Chinese worker took the fatal blow of a pickaxe to the skull. The site’s foreman broke up the fight, and the white men took off, setting in motion a conflagration that would last into that night.

The gang of men did not retire after the fight; instead they armed themselves with guns, knives, clubs, and hatchets. At 10 o’clock, miners gathered in the Knights of Labor hall, where anger echoed and reverberated. After the meeting they filed into shops and saloons, where barmen soon began to sense the growing hostility and aggression, and at the urging of a Union Pacific official, closed their establishments around 2 p.m. On the move, the mob swelled to some 100 to 150 miners and townspeople, some of them women, armed and looking for what they considered retaliation.

Before the riot was over, 28 people were dead, and the rest of the Chinese were expelled from Rock Springs, set to wander down the tracks. Read the story of the Rock Creek Massacre at Timeline. -via Digg


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This wasn't about the white coal miners "not getting rich". This was survival 101. This was taking food out of your family's mouths. Where in this hack piece is listed that the union tried striking several times? Where is the part that after the 1884 strike, Union Pacific said to hire only Chinese? Where is the mention that the Chinese had no intention of assimilation, but literally came over to attain a lifetime's wealth and take it back to the homeland?

Clearly mobs are dangerous (see also: modern events), but to frame it as greedy whites and only a white problem does us a huge disservice. I mean, for God's sake look at the other comments. It was a ruthless world; not some sort philosophical war.
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Because it's easier to defeat those who are in a weaker position. The hiring managers would have just been replaced by others who would follow the mine owner's orders. And they may have been convicted of murder if they attacked white men.

If it weren't for the racism, they could have included the Chinese in the labor union. Whether that would have helped depends on the outside supply of labor, I guess.
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