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nices and unequal restriction

the Ambassador intary, Hughes misled

AF

size up the situation, and above all in
self-control and ability to dissemble
and bide their time they have few Thus far we have considered only
equals. It was therefore perfectly the question of method. We now come
possible to construe this message in an to a far more vital question, race dis-
innocent sense. Secretary Hughes, the crimination. This takes two forms —
equal perhaps of Heflin and Caraway, absolute exclusion of the non-white
evidently so construed it. Possibly races, and unequal restriction as ap-
contact with Secretary Hughes misled plied to the white race. Of the non-
the Ambassador into thinking that he white we shall consider only the Japa-
represented the temper of the Ameri- nese who alone have the organization
can people. He did not. The American and the alertness to make serious pro-
people has drifted into an attitude of test. We shall not quite forget, how-
antipathy toward the Japanese and ever, that back of Japan are other
the Congressional sounding boards at races, many fold more numerous and
Washington reverberate the antipathy. potentially more powerful, for whom
The call was for drastic action, however the logic of events makes Japan, in a
unnecessary and however unwise. The sense, the spokesman. What differ-
problem was to find the pretexts. The ences, relevant to our inquiry, exist
message could be made to serve the between these races and the white
purpose and it was so used. We threw races in whose favor we discriminate?
away, deliberately and consciously, the The assumption on both sides is that
results of our finest diplomatic achieve the difference is one of quality or
ment since Roosevelt kept the Kaiser capacity. The whites constantly imply
out of Venezuela; and we reopened the if they do not assert their superiority,
sorest international wound in our and the non-whites as constantly re-
recent history. All for nothing.

sent it. Passionate arguments against
It is claimed, of course, that the this assumption only bear witness to its
Gentleman's Agreement had been reality and establish a presumption in
evaded. Does anybody think the ex- its favor. Whoever heard of English-
clusion law will not be evaded? that men arguing that they were the equal
our Canadian and Mexican borders of Hindus, or resenting Tagore's claims
will be effectively policed? Does any. in behalf of his race? While no meas-
body think that a million Japanese urement is possible and no criteria can
settled across the Mexican border be agreed upon or defined, we only
would be restrained by that interna- make ourselves foolish by arguing for
tional chalk-mark? Was Japanese the equality of the races of men. Equal
official honor, probably the highest in in God's sight if you will, but if this is
the world, worth nothing as enlisted so, then frankly that is one of the last
for our protection in the Gentleman's points on which we are likely to come
Agreement? One of the finest achieve into sympathetic understanding with
ments of statesmanship is to lay the the Almighty.
onus of action upon the other party, to But while we must recognize im-
enlist his sense of honor and moral mense differences of attainment and
responsibility on your side.

presumably of potential capacity as This achievement of Roosevelt we between different races, it is by no have wantonly sacrificed. Congress means clear that the line is to be drawin has failed disastrously to consider between white and non-white. Not all the 'imponderables.'

the white races are of high capacity

nor all the non-whites feeble. The Saxon can offer no counterpart at any history of China and Japan, already a period of his history. very long one, does not stamp them as We would better go slow, then, in inferior. England boasts that for over provoking comparisons of capacity beeight hundred years her island home tween ourselves and the Japanese. The has been inviolate. Japan, similarly facts cited are typical and relevant, nor situated and confronted by a far more do I know any counter facts to offset powerful enemy, can boast an im- them. It is a matter both of fairness munity three times as long. The Mon- and of good policy to withdraw all golian East was civilized and had its insinuations or implications of Japinimitable art and its aristocracy of anese inferiority. Judged by any comletters when the Saxons were tending mon-sense standard, the white races as swine in sheepskin clothing. When we a whole are superior to the non-white, opened the door of Japan with com- but there are whites who are less fit for placent condescension, the interchange American citizenship than the Japaof amenities brought to our President nese, and we have received such and beautiful specimens of gold lacquer, are still receiving them into our fellowbronze, silver, porcelain, rolls of silk ship. brocade and pongee, coral and silver The test is not capacity or superiority ornaments and other articles innumer- but assimilability. By this I do not able, in return for our own gracious mean ability to learn our ways, our gifts to his Imperial Majesty, which habits of thought, and our ideals. included among other things a diminu. There is no reason to doubt that the tive locomotive, a telegraph key and Japanese can become as good an wire, a natural history of the State of American as the best in these respects. New York, sixteen volumes of the But can he cease to become Japanese Annals of Congress, Journal of the and become one of us so that we shall Senate and Assembly of the State of not think of him as anything different New York, two volumes of Lighthouse or remember his origin any more than Reports, a barrel of whiskey with an we remember our own ancestry of a few assortment of other liquors, and three generations back? This is primarily a ten cent boxes of tea. A dozen other question of intermarriage. If he will notables received more modest gifts in marry us and we him, we shall forget. all of which whiskey figured largely. If not, not. This the white races do, Speaking of national affronts, it must though with unequal facility. The not be forgotten that Japan has had German or the Norwegian released something to put up with.

from Ellis Island may not seem an If the relative showing at that time eligible party, but no one draws the was not wholly flattering to us, I doubt line at his son or daughter. In two or if the subsequent period has redressed three generations at most the separate the balance. It is a period in which we strain is lost and we are all Americans have little occasion to be ashamed of together. our achievements, but even less has But we do not wish to marry the Japan. Very wonderful has been the Japanese and the Japanese are as little Anglo-Saxon's progress and his peace- disposed to marry us. Procreation able adaptation to modern conditions therefore perpetuates the race disduring the last seventy years; but the tinction instead of obliterating it. record of the Japanese during the same With extensive contact there would no period is onę for which the Anglo- doubt be some crossing of the line; but

Reports, a bo volumes o the State

notables which whiskey lifronts, it shade

most of it at the bottom of the social very high civilization at a fraction of scale and thus of a nature to discredit the cost which our method imposes the union. The lot of the Eurasians in upon us. If their standard of living the East or of the mulattoes with us is were inferior to ours, they would not one to commend their origin to quickly learn to prefer ours when right-thinking persons.

brought in contact with it. But it is But why this necessity of assimila- not inferior. It lacks much that we tion if the Japanese can acquire our care for, but it has much that they care ideals and become loyal supporters of for and that ours lacks. In a word, our institutions? Why can we not live they have hit upon a marvelously in harmony side by side — distinct, efficient and cheap way of getting highyet united by a common loyalty to a grade results. This gives to their way common government? This question of life a tenacity which a life of squalor is very honestly asked by a certain and deprivation does not possess. number of the benevolently minded to No doubt with prolonged contact whom the policy of exclusion is in- even this difference would disappear. herently distasteful. It is perhaps suf- We should adopt their way of living or ficient to reply that we are not very they ours or there would be a comharmonious at best, that differences of promise between the two. But the two opinion and clashes of interest are at facts to be remembered are first, that all times threatening our peace and we are dealing with a relatively perlimiting our power of action, and that manent rather than a temporary racedifferences of any sort are constantly consciousness; and second, that theirs exploited by the spirit of faction. Even is a tenacious rather than a willingly the temporary race-consciousness of surrendered way of life. For both these our immigrant population, obliterated reasons the disparity is likely to be long in a generation or two, is a grave politi- continued. For generations the Japacal and social danger. What would it nese would remain among us a peculiar be if it were perpetual?

people. But in the case of the Japanese there And during all this period, be it is a far graver danger. The white races, remembered, the odds would be overbroadly speaking, have reached a com- whelmingly against us. They would mon solution of the problem of civiliza- make money where we should lose and tion. They differ widely in their stand- would flourish where we should starve. ard of living and in innumerable details. The competition might be perfectly but they seek well-being in fairly uni- honorable, even considerate; but it form ways and under similar conditions would be not the less fatal to the disthey work by similar methods toward possessed and disastrous to the social

order. Not so the Japanese. They have It may be objected that this process reached a very different solution of the of displacement is always going on, great problem - a solution which is that the fit are always displacing the quite as satisfactory to them as ours to unfit and that philosophically conus and which may well be our envy and sidered it has its justification. This is our despair. They have made far better true; but few realize how delicate is the terms with nature than we seem able to adjustment required to permit the conmake, terms which permit them not tinuance of this wholesome process only to live but to provide themselves without disrupting society. Every with the elegances and refinements of a society has its submerged tenth, its margin of the inefficient that it is con

III cerned to eliminate, but with the least possible disturbance to the social struc- Turning to the white races the case ture. Let the number become too is somewhat different. These are asgreat or the process too harsh, and similable, though unequally and after a society is at once confronted with a certain delay. At the head of the eligirevolt which may prove its undoing. ble list stand the English, who have the The rejected must be too few and too advantage of a common language. A weak to be dangerous, too obviously close second stand the Nordics generunfit to inspire dangerous sympathies ally, — the Germans, Danes, Norwegior futile efforts at rehabilitation. Ex- ans, and Swedes, - whose assimilabilceed those limits in whatever manner, ity has long been demonstrated. There and you raise up against society an can be no question that the Mediterenemy against which the organism is ranean peoples become less quickly and incapable of protecting itself.

less completely American than the What may be expected to happen Nordics, due in part to their different when the line is drawn between two temperament but more to their differraces consciously distinct, and the ent inheritance of political and social losing race is in the majority? What ideas. In marked contrast with these prospect is there that a race as virile as easily assimilable races stand the Jews, our own, and perfectly capable of not because of inferiority or inherent annihilating its rival by weapons ready defects but because they have manto its hand, would submit to be peace- aged, through all the vicissitudes of ably dispossessed by economic forces so twenty troubled centuries, to obey too favorable to its opponent? The ques- strictly the injunction: ‘Come ye out tion has already been answered by the from among them and be ye separate.' revolt of the Pacific Coast. It is well Something of race solidarity which is in that the decision has come thus early part their choice and in part imposed when the result is assured without a upon them remains as an uneliminable struggle and with a minimum of cost. obstacle to their assimilation. With a larger Japanese population on Our policy of discrimination as the Pacific Coast, race rivalry would applied to the white races is a pretty have become race conflict with an delicate matter. Our preference for the inevitable appeal of the Japanese to the Nordics is undoubtedly justified, but mother country for aid that could not among peoples as among individuals, and would not have been refused. If the expression of these preferences we want war with Japan, the sure way needs to be tempered by discretion. to get it is to open our doors to Japa- The choice of the census of 1890 as the nese immigration.

basis of our quota is probably less Most of the foregoing holds with offensive than calling names; but it is equal or greater force of other Asiatic entirely arbitrary and a very bold peoples. Chinese and Hindus are even expression of Nordic preference. Perless assimilable than Japanese. They haps no better method could have been have less powerful backing and this devised, but it has glaring defects. It makes their exclusion easier — but not favors the English, but also the Irish — less imperative. Our door is and must a matter for finite congratulation. If be closed to Asiatic immigration, to the it excludes the Russian Jew, there is immigration of the non-white, id est, nothing to prevent the large German the non-marriageable races.

quota being entirely Jewish. VOL. 134 — NO. 1

But this question of discrimination as intercourse with foreigners, punishing between whites loses significance in the either entrance or exit with death. face of clear indications that it is a There have been attempts without stepping-stone to complete exclusion. number to expel undesirables and to It is not so much the fact of restriction attract desirables, all predicated upon as its progressive character, not so the right which we now invoke of much the decision as the increasing determining the kind of persons with unanimity with which we have reached whom we shall choose to live. But it, that counts. The previous quota of never before has a nation attempted three per cent is reduced to two per exclusion under such conditions and for cent, and this is reinforced by an abso- such ends as in the present instance. lute numerical limit. Exceptions have Men everywhere tend to multiply to been abolished. It is amazing with the limit of sustenance, and since that what rapidity this new policy has limit is a Auctuating one, a season of developed. For years no restrictive crop failure exposes them to famine. measure could secure a majority in Increase, crop failure, and famine, this Congress. When finally voted it was is the normal cycle of life for an inconvetoed; then vetoed again and passed tinent people. The majority of man

centis reink Excenazing

has

drastic form it is voted with approxi- class. The constant background of mate unanimity. No one doubts the history is a succession of these cycles. country's consent. What next? The Where relations between nations are tide may turn, but there is no sign of complex and confused as in Europe, the its turning. The prospect is for com- sequence is obscured, and famine and plete exclusion at an early date. pestilence are more or less systemati

This is the momentous issue already cally commuted for their more merciful referred to as more important than alternate — war. But in the record of a slavery or national union. Slavery was hermit country, such as was Japan for a domestic issue. It aroused the opposi- two centuries and a half, where war tion of philanthropists, but it affected was excluded by organization and isolathe life of the outside world but little. tion, the cycle was repeated with moNational union was perhaps of more notonous regularity. Men thought of interest, for upon it depended our famine as we do of death, as a thing weight in the council of nations. But sure to come though you could not tell neither of them approximated in inter- just when. national interest to this problem of This equilibrium which we may fairly immigration which our senators affirm characterize as the normal lot of manto be 'a purely domestic question.' It kind has long been the condition in is, on the contrary, the most obviously India and China where the efforts of international of all our modern ques- philanthropy and science advance the tions. The transfer of citizens from one fighting line but gain no permanent allegiance to another is clearly a matter advantage. It was the condition in of joint concern.

Europe throughout the Middle Ages, For let us not forget, this policy is though here famine was more often absolutely without precedent in the commuted to war than in the East. It history of the world. There have been is true in Russia to-day. plenty of exclusions but not of this But for the last two or three cenkind. There have been hermit nations turies a favored portion of humanity like Japan and Korea that forbade all has been granted a suspension of sen

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