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

Full Text Newspaper ArticleWatsonville Register-Pajaronian. Feb. 1, 1944. p. 1


by J. E. Gardner

To the Editor:

For the last two years, some of us, privately and publicly, have asserted that the Japanese, as a race, are absolutely bad, that they are inherently, biologically and traditionally vicious, inherently inhuman, totally unfit for association with any human being, and that every necessary procedure should be adopted for the purpose of expelling from our midst and forever excluding from residence in the United States every creature of such ancestry.

We have maintained that experience with and observation of the members of that race over a half century, their unchangeable nature, as displayed in numerous isolated instances of cruel and inhuman treatment of the Chinese and of members of the white race, their fanatical devotion to their god-emperor, and the known circumstances of their home training and the influence of their instruction in the language schools, are conclusive proof that it is utter folly to assume, as to any particular member of that race, that he, as between the United States and Japan, is loyal to the former.

We have maintained that not the accident of birth, but the inherent nature of the being, his ancient racial traditions, the loyalties of his parents, their training in his home and teaching in the language schools attended by him, determine the loyalty of an individual. A cobra is a cobra whether hatched out on the western or the eastern shores of the Pacific.

We have maintained that in view of these facts, verbal or written protestations of loyalty to this country, as against Japan, made by any Jap, wherever born, are entitled to no credence.

Certain of our fellow citizens, in the exercise of their unquestioned right, differ with us in these views. It is now submitted that the history of this war, as it unfolds, page by page, has supported our judgment: that the occurrences officially disclosed within the last few days are such that no reasonable man, uninfluenced by some extraneous circumstance, can escape the conclusion that the only salvation of this country lies in the adoption of the views above expressed.

After an inexcusable and unexplained delay, it has now been officially disclosed in Washington that the Japs, in defiance of all the laws of war and considerations of humanity, glorying in their racial bestiality, have deliberately, and with unmentionable cruelty, tortured and murdered not less than 5000 and it may be as many as 50,000 American prisoners of war.

The disclosed details, which probably do not approximate in horror the unvarnished truth, are certainly sufficient to afford a mathematical demonstration:

1. That the Japs, as a race, while they are mammals, walk erectly, have a system of oral and written communication, and possess a certain degree of intelligence, by no manner of means may be classified as human beings. Nor does it seem that in placing them we should disgrace any known species of wild beast. For them we must seek an isolated category.

2. That the recent utterances of Mr. Myer, the director of that Japanese propaganda agency officially known as WRA, wherein he has advocated the assimilation of our 160,000 resident Japs by intermarriage with the whites, constitute a public disgrace.

3. That the whole population of the Pacific coast states (not of Jap ancestry) should rise and in a voice that may be heard by all the legislative and executive officers in Washington and in tone such as to tolerate no denial, demand that its conduct be repudiated, that the WRA as now constituted be abolished and that its members be superseded by persons having a radically different conception of duty to their country.

4. That there are two things with which, in respect to the foe which most concerns us, we must equip ourselves if this war is to be won:

a. An intense, tremendous and soul-stirring hate that will impell us, military and civilian alike, to exert ourselves to the ultimate limit of our powers to the accomplishment of one purpose, the complete defeat of the army and navy of Japan, the devastation of its cities, the destruction of its industries and, as nearly as may be possible, the utter extinction of the race.

b. A realization that war is not a Sunday school picnic, nor a friendly but spirited competition between the athletic teams of two nations, but is the very grim and bloody business of killing or being killed and that a necessary incident to its successful prosecution is a will to kill.

So armored the mere matter of purchasing fourteen billion dollars worth of War bonds or of obeying the limitations put upon us in the use of gas, rubber or food, of abolishing strikes and absenteeism in essential war industries, of wiping out black markets, or of blasting out of their sinecures those who now misrepresent us under the alphabetical designation of WRA, or of forever silencing that organization for the prolongation and eventual loss of the war, headed up by someone with a German name and hailing from Harvard university, masquerading under the title of "Peace Now," would be just a chore.

Without such equipment, laboring under the delusion that while engaged in a shooting war we must treat our foe with all the evidences of brotherly love and affection and that in determining the terms of peace, when it shall come, we shall in all things defer to his wishes and pledge ourselves and our means to the business of providing for him all happiness and a full dinner pail, we shall lose all our boys are and have been fighting for and shall lay the foundation for another conflict to be waged by the children now being born.

J. E. Gardner

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