Santa Cruz County History - Executive Order 9066 and the Residents of Santa Cruz County


Full Text Newspaper ArticleWatsonville Register-Pajaronian. April 26, 1943. p. 6

A LETTER FROM POSTON
[Editorial]

by T. FUJITA

Mr. Fred Jenkins, Editor
Watsonville Register-Pajaronian
Watsonville, California.

Dear Sir:

In regards to your editorials regarding to the Japanese questions, I think you are an egotistical fool. Any man of your capacity who makes such unethical statements as you have been making should have no place in an American journalistic field. You should be over in Germany working for Hitler or in Japan working for Tojo.

Do you consider for a minute that we American citizens of Japanese ancestry are being treated fairly in being placed in a concentration camp, although it is not called concentration camp by our government, but theoretically it is? We didn't complain when we were placed in the camp. Constitutionally, it was illegal to place us in the camp without due process of law. You know that yourself. I suppose you are afraid to admit it. If you don't happen to know that, you better go back to school and start all over again from the first grade. I've often wondered if you read the constitution of the United States of America. I have read it, and I know what it means to me. I cherish it more than anything else.

Ever since our evacuation you have been condemning American citizens of Japanese ancestry. You think the war was caused by us citizens. As far as the war is concerned we had no more to do with it than any other American citizens. You ought to know that, if you don't I am telling you so now.

It may be that you are influenced by outside interests, which I don't doubt it a bit. There are such organizations as the American Legion and the Native Sons of Golden West which have been raising a lot of stench. You take the Legion, they are suppose to be the veterans of the last World War. What did they fight for - to preserve the rights of man and our ways of living wasn't it? What are the boys in our armed forces doing now, same thing all over again. There are thousands of Japanese in our armed forces, in case you don't know. I for myself have two brothers in the armed forces, and I am proud of it. I have one who is training for combat duty at Camp Shelby, Mississippi with the rest of the soldiers of the Japanese ancestry. They are proud to be serving the country of their birth. According to the commanding officers, they are just as good as any American soldiers, if not better. These officers are proud to be their commanders. Doesn't that speak well for the Japanese-American soldiers?

At the present time our government have been asking for volunteers for the combat duty. Considering the situations we are in, the number of volunteers have exceeded expectation. That speaks pretty well for itself. If these boys had no faith in America they would have not volunteered.

At the time when we are trying to help out by volunteering for armed forces or working on the farms in various part of the United States to help out in the war efforts, you are still belittling us. That is uncalled for. Are you working for the axis propagandists? Your writings should sound good to Berlin, Tokyo or Rome. Do you get any satisfaction in making fantastic statements in your paper concerning us?

In regards to the release of internees or evacuees, as we are called, from the relocation centers, which you have been making lot of rumpus about; I don't think you know what procedures we have to go through in order to get our permit to relocate. If you do know, you are keeping it away from your readers. We have to have our past records checked by the War Relocaton authority and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. After they check our records, if they find that we are all right, they will issue a leave clearance as soon as we find employment. By such process the loyal ones are separated from the disloyal ones; and only loyal ones are permitted to leave.

I don't think that you don't have to complain or worry about our release when the F.B.I. are taking care of it. They should know what to do better than you do. Anytime you should feel that you are capable of handling the Japanese questions better than the F.B.I., why don't you write to Mr. J. Edgar Hoover and apply for a job. He might be able to use you.

If you are a taxpayer, it might interest you to know that this fiscal year it is costing the government nearly 80 million dollars of the taxpayers' money just to operate the relocation centers. That is no chicken feed if you ask me. More the evacuees are released from the camps, the more it will relieve the taxpayers' burden, besides helping out the war effort so that the victory can come sooner.

Say Mr. Jenkins, why don't you come down to Poston and spend a week or so and look over the camp? I don't know if you have visited any of the War Relocation centers or not. If you haven't you should; it might alleviate your thoughts somewhat concerning us fellows who are interned here a little bit anyway. We are having a wonderful climate here now. The dust blows here so hard some days that sometimes you couldn't see more than few feet away from you. The sun is getting blistering hot now, just around hundred degrees or better during the hottest part of the day. Not bad, eh! All at the government's expenses.

The food is nothing to brag about. From what I have read in your paper as well as others, there seems to be an impression that we are being fed better than our armed forces. If it is true, I don't see how the soldiers can fight. If at any time you think we are being fed better than the armed forces, you better visit our camp and find out for yourself.

In closing let me remind you that the people like you are hampering with the government's effort to relocate us. Maybe you are enjoying yourself by butting into the government's affairs, but I don't think it will get you anywhere by bucking the government, for they are determined to go ahead with their relocation plans.

Yours truly,
T. FUJITA
Block 220-6A
Colorado River Relocation Center
Poston, Ariz., April 20, 1943

Copyrighted by the Watsonville Register-Pajaronian. Reproduced by permission.