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to the establishment of colonies of unassimilated immigrants within the United States, it would be a task of supererogation to present evidence of a fact universally admitted, but in respect to what constitutes the assimilation or assimilability of races, there is a wide divergence of opinjon.
A glance at. ați ethnic or linguistic map of Europe, whence the vast preponderance of our population has been derived should throw a damper of discouragement upon those happy idealists of an international trend of mind who profess to believe in the ultimate unity of mankind. It is apparent that for centuries, may be a thousand years, colonies of varied races widely detached from the parent stock have maintained their ethnic individuality in the midst of alien communities, and in so continuing to exist, they have perpetuated racial animosities and antagonisms, dating from prehistoric times. The grant of even a limited form of constitutional government to the people of Austria-Hungary instead of welding the races into a unit, in fact probably hạstened the disintregation of that empire. In our own country, we have been conscious of the fact that even in the absorption of kindred races, where the immigration rate of a given element has been high, there has been the disposition to intermarry and perpetuate the stock with all its traditions, which otherwise might rapidly have merged; in other words, assimilation of even kindred people would appear to be dependent upon the degree of concentration of any given element in a community.?
Taking the question by and large, the data so far available does not permit us to say with precision, in respect to any particular European race emigrating to the United States, what degree of dilution is necessary to enforce assimilation within a reasonable space of time from a political standpoint, but of one thing, we can speak with certainty and that is—the introduction of the negro into the American colonies resulted in the development of a controversy between the States which shook the institutions of our Republic to their foundation. Despite the outcome of that struggle, and may be because of it, there rises in the mind of every patriotic citizen, the thought that in the migration of Asiatic races to our shores, there lies a peril not only to the institutions of Republican government, but also to the very existence of our race in the land of our fathers.
The memorandum submitted by Mr. Hanihara with his note of May 31st, suggests that the brief period of time which has elapsed since the Japanese people established settlements within our territory, renders it impossible to form a conclusive judgment respecting their assimilability with the white race. It can hardly be expected that the American people with the knowledge already at their disposal respecting this question, could, for a moment, assent to the proposition that a part of their territory be regarded as a suitable field for a biological experiment by which Japan would be the sole beneficiary. As a matter of fact, Professor Robert E. Park, of the Uni
2“I am alien born. All my early life was lived among the foreign born. In the community where I spent my boyhood, 30 foreign languages were spoken. Today the third generation of these foreign born families still speaks the languages of its forefathers and still cling to the customs of the lands they long ago left far behind.” (Extract from speech of James J. Davis, Secretary of Labor, published in the New York Times, November 7, 1924.)
versity of Chicago, in his introduction to a book, entitled The Japanese Invasion" by J. F. Steiner, exposes the fallacy that time will in any way mitigate the tension between unassimilable races, in the following words:
It has been assumed that the prejudice which blinds the people of one race to the virtues of another and leads them to exaggerate that other's faults, is in the nature of a misunderstanding which further knowledge will dispel. This is so far from true that it would be more exact to say that our racial misunderstandings are merely the expression of our racial antipathies. Behind these antipathies are deep-seated, vital, and instinctive impulses. These an- L. tipathies, represent collision of invisible forces, the clash of interests, dimly felt but not yet clearly perceived. They are present in every situation where the fundamental interest of races and peoples are not yet regulated by some law, custom, or any other modus vivendi which commands the assent and the mutual support of both parties. We hate people because we fear them, because our interests, as we understand them at any rate, run counter to theirs.
We cannot, therefore, accept the statement that assimilation means an adjustment to new conditions and apparent adaptation to the social, political, industrial, and cultural institutions of another country or race. As a matter of fact, while we, in our self-complacency, have assumed that the modernization of Japan is due to à recognition on the part of her people of an inherent superiority of our civilization, a close study of the political development of this marvelous people over the past three-quarters of a century, demonstrates that such a conception is a pleasant fantasy of our imagination. Japan adopted the fruits of modern civilization particularly in so far as they related to the perfection of a military and naval machine as a measure of defense against the persistent encroachment of European powers throughout the continent of Asia.
We are confronted with the situation in our relations with Japan which involves a mutual acknowledgement of the fact that fundamentally speaking our racial characteristics and cultural development are wholly distinct. Dr. Benjamin Ide Wheeler, President Emeritus of the University of California, makes the following assertion in a statement published in the “Japan Advertiser,” Tokyo, May 22, 1920:
The two civilizations can not mingle, and the leaders in Japan agree that it is not well to attempt to amalgamate them. They can not and will not understand our civilization, and no matter in what part of the world he is, a Japanese always feels himself a subject of the Emperor, with the Imperial Government backing him, much as a feudal retainer had the support of his overlord in exchange for an undivided loyalty.”
The fact that a race issue has developed as a result of Japanese immigration upon the Pacific slope, and the fact that the British dependencies throughout the world-Canada, New Zealand, Australia, even the far off African dominions—all uphold with unshakable determination, a ban upon unrestricted entry of Japanese, is conclusive evidence that whatever may be the theories professed by certain missionaries and educators facing a problem peculiarly their own, “cultural” assimilation as an agency for the furtherance of peace, concord and mutual regard is a monumental illusion. How
8 Cf. statement of Kiichi Kanzaki, hearings before the Committee on Immigration and Naturalization, House of Representatives, Šixty-sixth Congress, page 680.
Cf. The New Map of Asia, 1900–1919," by Herbert Adams Gibbons. 6 Exhibit T, hearings before the Committee on Immigration and Naturalization, House of Representatives, Sixty-sixth Congress, page 400.
ever, a discussion of the question of assimilation would be incomplete without some reference to the suggestion that in miscegenation, there lies a solution of our difficulties. On this phase of the question, the great philosopher Herbert Spencer, in a letter to Baron Kaneko Kentaro, dated August 26, 1892, had this to say:
To your remaining question respecting the intermarriage of foreigners and Japanese, which you say is “now very much agitated among our scholars and politicians and which you say is one of the most difficult problems", my reply is that, as rationally answered, there is no difficulty at all. It should be positively forbidden. It is not at root a question of social philosophy. It is at root a question of biology. There is abundant proof, alike furnished by the intermarriages of human races and the interbreeding of animals, that when the varieties mingled diverge beyond a certain slight degree the result is inevitably a bad one in the long run. I have myself been in the habit of looking at the evidence bearing on this matter for many years past and my conviction is based on numerous facts derived from numerous sources.
This conviction I have within the last half hour verified, for I happen to be staying in the country with a gentleman who is well known and who has had much experience respecting the interbreeding of cattle; and he has just, on inquiry, fully confirmed my belief that when, say of the different varieties of sheep, there is an interbreeding of those which are widely unlike the result especially in the second generation, is a bad one; there arise an incalculable mixture of traits, and what may be called a chaotic constitution. And the same thing happens among human beings—the Eurasians in India, the halfbreeds in America, show this. The physiological basis of this experience appears to be that any one variety of creature in the course of many generations acquires a certain constitutional adaptation to its particular form of life, and every other variety acquires its own special adaptation. The consequence is that, if you mix the constitution of two widely divergent varieties which have severally become adapted to widely divergent modes of life, you get a constitution which is adapted to the mode of life of neither-a constitution which will not work properly, because it is not fitted for any set of conditions what
By all means, therefore, peremptorily interdict marriages of Japanese with foreigners.
I have for the reasons indicated entirely approved of the regulations which have been established in America restraining the Chinese immigration, and had I the power I would restrict them to the smallest possible amount, my reasons for this distinction being that one of two things must happen. If the Chinese are allowed to settle extensively in America they must either, if they remain unmixed, form a subject race standing in the position, if not of slaves yet of a class approaching slaves; or if they mix they must form a bad hybrid. In either case, supposing the immigration to be large, immense social mischief must arise, and eventually social disorganization. The same thing will happen if there should be any considerable mixture of European or American races with the Japanese.'
To sum up this thought, since nature has interposed inhibitions which make possible the perpetuation of analogous species of the animal world living in propinquity and wholly without artifical restraint, man himself, be he American or Japanese, endowed not only with instinct, but also with the power of reason and superior intelligence, should perceive the menace which lurks in the perversion of a natural law. Therefore, we may say that miscegenation, while occasionally practiced, is an unthinkable solution of the problem, and exclusion of permanent settlers of both people from the country of the other, is inevitable.
6 Kalinin, president of the Union of Socialist Soviet Republics, suggested in a recent interview, that in the intermarriage of whites and blacks we will find a solution of the race problem. Isaac F. Marcosson, "After Lenin-What?", Saturday Evening Post, October 25, 1924.
7 Statement of Mr. Joseph Timmons, hearings before the Committee on Immigration and Naturalization, House of Representatives, Sixty-sixth Congress, pages 1011, 1012. II. GENTLEMEN'S AGREEMENT
Twenty years ago the American people and the Federal Government itself failed utterly, or at any rate neglected, to grasp the significance of the growing racial conflict on the Pacific slope of the United States. This circumstance is the more inexplicable in view of the fact that the conditions which arose as a result of Japanese immigration were but a duplication of those eventuating from the immigration of Chinese coolies imported to build the transcontinental railroads, commenced during the Civil War.8 Prior to 1885, emigration from Japan was prohibited by law, therefore, while some seepage of her nationals to the United States appears. in our official records' as far back as 1861, the number of entrants within our borders did not reach an appreciable figure until 1890. In that year, there were according to the census publication of 1920,10 2,039 Japanese within the states and territories of the Union. By 1900, during which year 12,628 Japanese entered our ports, the census enumeration showed a total Japanese population in continental United States of 24,326, and in Hawaii of 61,111. Within three years, that is to say, in 1960_.the entrants from Japan rose to
, 20,041, and the people of California, as a result of attendant eco
nomic and social conditions, woke up to the fact that an Oriental * migration had commenced which threatened to submerge our people
and our civilization. After a brief recession in the numbers of those seeking to land upon our shores, the high mark of Japanese immigration was reached in 1907, with a total of 30,824 immigrants. By that time, through the efforts of the State and Municipal Governments of California, to save themselves by measures which proved offensive to Japan, the local issue became an international problem. Mr. Roosevelt, then President of the United States, after several attempts to coerce the people of California into an acceptance of the situation, and, thereby permit a relaxation of the tension in our relations with Japan, finally, after a careful examination of the facts, reached a conviction that “the people of California were right in insisting that the Japanese should not come thither in masses; that there should be no influx of laborers, of agricultural workers, or small tradesmen-in short, no mass settlement or immigration.” 11
The adoption of this point of view resulted in the Administration opening negotiations with the government of Japan for the purpose of reaching, if possible, a modus vivendi respecting the immigration of its people, “ concerning which,” says the House
8“ The following figures taken from Vol. II of the Census of 1920 will illustrate some phases of the situation which have been developing in the United States since 1880. ACcording to the census of that year, there were 105,465_Chinese within the borders of our country, and upon the same date, the number of Japanese enumerated amounted to only 148 ; in the following decade, the number of Chinese was 107,488, and the number of Japanese, 2,039; in 1900, it will be noted that the number of Chinese had fallen to 89,863, whereas, the Japanese had increased to 24,336, an increase of say over 1,100 per cent; by 1910, the figure for Chinese was 71,531 and Japanese 72,157; and finally, in 1920, China is credited with 61,639 and Japan with 111,010." (International Conciliation Bulletin No. 202, An Analysis of the American Immigration Act of 1924, by John B. Trevor, p. 389.)
9 Report of the Secretary of Labor, 1923, Appendix I. 10 Volume II, page 29. 11 Autobiography of Theodore Roosevelt, hearings before the Committee on Immigration, United States Senate, Sixty-eighth Congress, on S. 2576, page 12.
Committee Report No. 350," the following is believed to be the only departmental statement :
To section 1 of the immigration act, approved February 20, 1907, a provision was attached reading as follows:
That whenever the President shall be satisfied that passports issued by any foreign Government to its citizens to go to any other country than the United States or to any insular possession of the United States or to the Canal Zone are being used for the purpose of enabling the holders to come to the continental territory of the United States to the detriment of labor conditions therein, the President may refuse to permit certain citizens of the country issuing such passports to enter the continental territory of the United States from such other country or from such insular possessions, or from the Canal Zone."
This legislation was the result of a growing alarm, particularly on the Pacific coast and in States adjacent to Canada and Mexico, that labor conditions would be seriously affected by a continuation of the then existing rate of increase in admissions to this country of Japanese of the laboring classes. The Japanese Government had always maintained a policy opposed to the emigration to continental United States of its subjects belonging to such classes, but it has been found that passports granted by said Government to such subjects entitling them to proceed to Hawaii or to Canada or to Mexico were being used to evade the said policy and gain entry to continental United States. On the basis of the above quoted provision, the President on March 14, 1907, issued a Proclamation excluding from continental United States “Japanese or Korean laborers, skilled or unskilled, who had received passports to go to Mexico, Canada, or Hawaii, and come therefrom.”
Department circular No. 147, dated March 26, 1907, which has been continued in force as rule 21 of the immigration regulations of July 1, 1907, outlined the policy and procedure to be followed by the immigration officials in giving effect to the law and proclamation.
In order that the best results might follow from an enforcement of the regulations, an understanding was reached with Japan that the existing policy of discouraging emigration of its subjects of the laboring classes to continental United States should be continued, and should, by cooperation of the Governments, be made as effective as possible. This understanding contemplates that the Japanese Government shall issue passports to continental United States only to such of its subjects as are nonlaborers, or are laborers who, in coming to the continent, seek to resume a formerly acquired domicile, to join a parent, wife, or children residing there, or to assume active control of an already possessed interest in a farming enterprise in this country, so that the three classes of laborers entitled to receive passports have come to be designated “ former residents,” “ parents, wives, or children of residents,” and "se agriculturists."
With respect to Hawaii, the Japanese Government of its own volition stated that, experimentally at least, the issuance of passports to members of the laboring classes proceeding thence would be limited to "former residents” and parents, wives, or children of residents.” The said Government has also been exercising a careful supervision over the subject of emigration of its laboring class to foreign contiguous territory.
While it has been alleged that under the terms of the Agreement the former channels of entry via Hawaii, Philippines, the Canal Zone, and other localities under the jurisdiction of the United States, were closed, the Agreement in fact opened wide a direct route from Japan to the United States, and conferred upon the officials of the Japanese Government the exclusive right to determine the eligibility of an immigrant.13 Upon this question, the Commissioner General
12 In this connection it should be borne in mind that throughout the entire period during which the controversy developed respecting the interpretation of the provisions of this agreement, the members of the Immigration Committees of Congress, had been denied access to the documents bearing upon the issue through refusal of the Government of Japan to permit an examination of the correspondence in the possession of the Department of State.
is Cf. report of State board of control of California to Gov. William D. Stephens, June 19, 1920, California and the Oriental, page 177.