Title: "Editorial: This is War! Stop Worrying About Hurting Jap Feelings," Seattle Times, 1/30/1942, (ddr-densho-56-588)
Densho ID: ddr-densho-56-588

This Is War! Stop Worrying About Hurting Jap Feelings


LOS ANGELES, Friday, Jan. 30--Speaking strictly as an American, I think Americans are nuts. Twenty-four hours in Los Angeles have convinced me of this.

We are at war. California is our key state, not only because of its airplane industry, but because its shores offer the most logical invasion point.

So what does the government do about the tens of thousands of Japanese in California? Nothing.

The only Japanese apprehended have been the ones the F.B.I. actually had something on. The reset of them, so help me, are as free as birds.

There isn't an airport in California that isn't flanked by Japanese farms. There is hardly an air field where the same situation doesn't exist.

They run their stores. They clerk in stores. They clip lawns. They are here, there and everywhere.

You walk up and down the streets and you bump into Japanese in every block. They take the parking stations. They get ahead of you in the stamp line at the post office. They have their share of seats on the bus and street car lines.

* * *

This doesn't make sense, for half a dozen reasons. How many American workers do you suppose are free to roam and ramble in Tokyo?

Didn't the Japanese threaten to shoot on sight any white person who ventured out-of-doors in Manila?

So, why are we so beautifully courteous?

I know this is the melting pot of the world and all men are created equal and there muse be no such thing as race or creed hatred, but do those things go when a country is fighting for its life?

Not in my book. No country has ever won a war because of courtesy, and I trust and pray we won't be the first one to lose one because of the lovely, gracious spirit.

Everywhere that the Japanese have attacked to date, the Japanese population has risen to aid the attackers. Pearl Harbor, Manila.

What is there to make the government believe that the same wouldn't be true in California? Does it feel that the lovely California climate has changed them and that the thousands of Japanese who live in the boundaries of this state are all staunch and true Americans?

* * *

I am for immediate removal of every Japanese on the West Coast to a point deep in the interior. I don't mean a nice part of the interior, either. Herd 'em up, pack 'em off and give 'em the inside room in the badlands. Let 'em be pinched, hurt, hungry and dead up against it.

Sure, this would work an unjustified hardship on 80 per cent or 90 per cent of the California Japanese. But the remaining 10 or 20 per cent have it in their power to do damage--great damage--to the American people. They are a serious menace and you can't tell me that an individual's rights have any business being placed above a nation's safety.

If making one million innocent Japanese uncomfortable would prevent one scheming Japanese from costing the life of one American boy, then let the million innocents suffer.

* * *

In an earlier column I protested against American soldiers in Honolulu giving military burial to a Japanese soldier. There were some readers who kicked me around in letters for such an attitude.

There are sure to be some Americans who will howl and scream at the idea of inconveniencing America's Japanese population in order to prevent sabotage and espionage.

Okay, let them howl. Let them howl timber-wolf-type. Our government has told us we face war. All-out war. It has told us that we are up against the roughest days in our history. It has demanded of us sacrifice and sweat and toil and all the other of Mr. Churchill's graphic words.

That's all right, we will answer. But let us have no patience with the enemy or with anyone whose veins carry his blood.

Let us in this desperate time put first things first. And, who is to say that to the men and women of this country there is anything that comes above America?

Personally, I hate the Japanese. And that goes for all of them.

Let's quit worrying about hurting the enemy's feelings and start doing it.