THE ORARCH June, 1943
Serious race riots have flared up during June in both of the above-named cities. There is no particular mystery about these incidents, nor anything new about them. The last war produced the great Chicago race riots of July, 1917; and the alleged "draft riots" of New York in July, 1863, were directed much more against negroes than against the draft. (Though there were in 1863 some genuine anti-conscription demonstrations in Boston and Detroit, and in Boston and Montreal in 1917-18.)
The Los Angeles riots were stirred up largely by the local press, which carefully implanted the idea that Mexicans and criminals are one and the same thing; then, under pressure from the Mexican consul, the press dropped the name "Mexican" from its propaganda, and substituted "zoot-suiter" to convey the same idea, so that either Mexicans or anyone wearing baggy suits became a target for mob violence, not only in Los Angeles, but in nearly all cities of Southern California. The Los Angeles press remained gleeful to the end over the riots, representing that the military, who led the attackers, were defending themselves against "gangs" that were purely a press pipe-dream.
The Detroit riots followed the California riots in a suspiciously short time, and were characterized by the fact that the Detroit police, as frequently happens with police in rioting communities, concentrated their arrests largely on the riot victims, who received as rough treatment at the hands of the authorities as they ever did from the mobs.
There should be little surprise at the occurrence of race rioting on a grand scale, during a war which is itself largely a product of years of race hatred on the part of people on both sides of the front. (Yes, American race hatred against Orientals, particularly seen on the Pacific coast, was a great contributing factor in getting the Pacific war started. Californians have mainly felt that way against Chinese, but have been quite willing to pick up on Japs as a substitute.) And the part played by soldiers in Los Angeles adds to the conclusion that armed forces constitute more of a menace to a community than a defense.
"The odd thing about paranoia is, you look at the patient, and you can hardly tell it from a real bad case of nationalism."―The New Yorker
Then they tell of the marine who, after landing on Guadalcanal, was told that the way to find a Jap to shoot was to go into the jungle and yell "Hirohito is a _ _ _ _ _ _ _ !" He did so, and got a reply "Roosevelt is a _ _ _ _ _ _ _ !" from the woods. And, as he explained afterwards, "I couldn't shoot another Republican."
A deferment claim said to have been received by a draft board somewhere or other was, when an employer wrote in somewhat to the following effect:
"We need Bill Blank badly in our shop. Just about all the men are gone now, and he is carrying on here with fifteen girls."
One of the latest effusions in Washington is the so-called anti-strike law, just passed by Congress over the President's veto. This appears to be another of the several steps taken in Washington towards universal enslavement, military conscription itself being a first step in that direction, while the conchie camps constituted an experiment in forced civil labor.
The surprise of the whole thing is, that the bill contains ample and specific provision for machinery to call strikes in war plants!
Consistency is rare among humans anyway, but it is hardly ever to be found among politicians.
And, at least, this seems to mark a period to the era of "must" legislation.
Mary, is the world round or square?
Last month Massachusetts was showing how independent it could be about observing practice "alerts" or not. As an additional lesson in confusion, for one week this month, the whole series of signals, from the "alert" to the "all clear" was sounded each noon all week, with instructions to the public to disregard them; while, the same week, a "blackout" was tried, which was not intended to be disregarded.
The legend of the boy who cried "Wolf" has been outdone.