In the imagination of many Americans, Chinese immigrants posed a threat to the jobs of white workers and seemed unassimilable. George Keller’s 1882 political cartoon dramatically illustrates these stereotypes – unemployed white workers are forced to turn to loitering and crime.

Depictions of Chinese laborers as foreign, threatening, lazy, and tricky were pervasive in the mass media of the 1870s and 1880s. Politicians and other leaders used the Chinese as scapegoats in debates about broader political and economic shifts, economic depressions, and massive unemployment.

<strong>George Frederick Keller, “What shall we do with our boys?” in <em>The Wasp</em>, March 3, 1882. Courtesy of The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.</strong>

George Frederick Keller, “What shall we do with our boys?” in The Wasp, March 3, 1882. Courtesy of The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.