Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Paul Bannai Interview I
Narrator: Paul Bannai
Interviewer: Alice Ito
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: December 28, 2000
Densho ID: denshovh-bpaul-01-0004

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AI: Well, now, let's see. I wanted to ask you also a little bit about, since you were the only Oriental, as they called it then, or Asian, in these small towns of Sego, Utah, and Delta, Colorado, as a child, did you sense any prejudice or discrimination against you or your family?

PB: No. There really never was. And you know that in reading through the diary that my father had, evidently there wasn't any prejudice per se. I think that economically there might have been some because he mentioned the fact that when he was working that he could not make enough money, comparatively speaking, in order to pay off the debts that he owed and things of this nature. But looking back, I'm thinking that the Japanese and immigrants that came to work in the coal mines, they were needed. Somewhere along the way I read that later on, that they brought Filipinos and people from, Chinese and all that to work on the railroads and all that. And as a result, they, they were used as laborers. But I think because of the necessity of those people at that time that they were not prejudiced against. They were needed. Now, getting way far ahead, as you know, when evacuation came, that also reversed itself. They said, "Here's an opportunity to get rid of all these Japanese. We'll put them into camp, and we can eliminate a lot of competition." But that's because our folks and we had achieved a lot more and we owned more and we were a competition to the general farmers and other trades.

AI: So perhaps --

PB: In those days I can't ever remember in Colorado or Utah ever meeting any kind of, you might say, prejudice of any kind.

AI: On a personal level.

PB: Yeah.

AI: Right.

PB: Right.

<End Segment 4> - Copyright © 2000 Densho. All Rights Reserved.