I'd like to know about the anti-miscegenation laws of the 30s that forbade marriage between whites and "Negroes," Mongolians, or "mulattoes" (and—one can only laughingly assume—between whites and "Negro-Mongolian mulattoes"). Filipinos were briefly classified as Mongolians to keep them from, you know, systematically seducing every available white woman with irresistible promises of a life lived in luxury amongst the strawberry and asparagus fields.
Then a Los Angeles court decided we were not Mongolians after all. Which is a good thing, because I'm sure we were all a little confused by this.
*strikes the whatever pose*
Legislators sidestepped the ruling by ammending the original law to also outlaw white people from marrying a "member of the Malay race."
So, for years I've been wanting to ask my stupid question. It is: why use the words "Mongolian" or "member of the Malay race"? The lawmakers were clearly referring to Chinese and Filipinos; why didn't they just say "Chinese or Filipinos"?
I'm sure there's a simple answer to this and, believe me, I will be suitably embarrassed when one of you brilliant people reveals what it is.