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


Full Text Newspaper ArticleWatsonville Register-Pajaronian. Oct. 11, 1945. p. 6

CPL. JACK KIRBY DECRIES NISEI DISCRIMINATION

by CPL. JACK E. KIRBY

Cpl. Jack E. Kirby of Freedom, captured by the Japs at the fall of Corregidor in May, 1942, and prisoner in various prison camps in the Philippines until Sept. 3, 1945, writes the following to the Register-Pajaronian:

"Since my return from the prison camps, I have been noting with growing alarm the discrimination against Americans of Japanese ancestry in this area. I went to school in Watsonville from the seventh grade on with these Americans, ran around with them, and candidly state some of my best friends here are Japanese.

"The difference in stature between the Japanese here and those over there is the difference between black and white. By stature, I mean not only shape and build but mind and motive as well. You undoubtedly know that outside of the American Indians, the Americans of Japanese ancestry have the highest percentage of volunteer record in our army. Why shouldn't I grant and fight for their equal opportunities.

"One of the real problems this area is facing is that of labor. I am convinced we need American labor and American laborers should be given first opportunity. If that is the case, let's use it. By that I mean the Americans, regardless of ancestry, English, Swiss, Italians, Japanese. Some people have been propagandanized to the point where they have lost sight of the truth that we fought for and what some of my buddies died for. The statement in the paper last Saturday by a large number of fellows from Camp McQuaide thoroughly expresses my sentiments, too. If fellows who have gone through the hell of war and prison camps can express so positively this conviction, how can some ignorant, pseudo-Americans successfully raise their voices? Let's be Americans about this!

CPL. JACK E. KIRBY

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