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races.” This eagerness and ability to acquire English is shown not only by the better or educated class of Japanese immigrants, but also by the labourers. To quote the reports once more:
“When compared with other races employed in similar kinds of labour in the same industry, the Japanese show relatively rapid progress in acquiring a speaking knowledge of English. Their advance has been much more rapid than that of the Chinese and the Mexicans, who show little interest in American institutions. During their first five-years' residence a greater proportion have learned to speak English than most of the South and East European races. However, among those who have been in this country for a longer period of time, a larger proportion of the South and East Europeans than of the Japanese speak English. The progress of the Japanese is due to their great eagerness to learn which has overcome more obstacles than have been encountered by most of the other races, obstacles of race prejudice, of segregation, and of wide difference in language. The Chinese are self-satisfied and indifferent in this regard, whereas the Japanese are eager to learn the English language or anything pertaining to Western civilization."
Turning to the census of 1910, we find a very small rate of illiteracy among the Japanese. Take, for example, the case of California, where the majority of the Japanese in this country are found. The rate of illiteracy among the Japanese was 8.6 per cent. as against 10 per cent. of foreign-born whites, including Germans, English, French, Irish, Canadians, Swedes, as well as South and Eastern Europeans. The rate of illiteracy among the Chinese was 15.5 per cent. and among the Indians 49 per cent.
In the light of what has been said in this and the pre
ceding chapters, and will be said in the chapters following, it seems fair that we should confer upon the Japanese the privilege of naturalization. I have said that the naturalization law, if inadequate to bar out undesirable aliens, should be revised. The Rev. Dr. Doremus Scudder, one of the most influential moral leaders in Hawaii, seems to entertain the same opinion, when he says:
“If Congress would place the Asiatic on a level with all other races in eligibility for naturalization, follow this up by guarding American citizenship by requiring the passage of a stiff civil-service examination in the English language upon American civics by every candidate for the franchise, and then enact a law admitting only a
efinite number of labouring men annually from each foreign country, we should get no more than we could assimilate healthfully and those aliens admitted to our citizenship would comprise the indomitable spirits so much needed to recruit our population. Those who know the Asiatic and compare him with the Southern European, the Russian Jew, the Armenian, and Syrian, have no patience with the oft-repeated nonsense that the Asiatic cannot and will not assimilate. The truth is that he does assimilate with great rapidity, that if admitted to our citizenship he would make a thoroughly characteristic and devoted American, and that in the event of conflict with his former homeland his loyalty to his adopted nation would be unquestioned."
Even the existing law, if strictly enforced, will be able to exclude from citizenship a very large number of undesirable aliens who are morally and intellectually unfit to become citizens. The new naturalization law which went into effect September, 1907, is doubtless an improvement upon the old law, its provisions being couched in such elastic terms as would enable the naturalization authorities to prevent the admission into citizenship of undesirable aliens.
The law provides that no alien unable to speak English shall be naturalized; that an alien applying for a naturalization certificate must prove that he has resided continuously within the United States for five years at least and within the State or Territory where his certificate is to be obtained one year at least; that he must also make it appear to the satisfaction of the authorities that during his residence in this country he has behaved as a man of good moral character, attached to the principles of the constitution of the commonwealth, and well disposed to the good order and happiness of the Republic, which statement must be verified by the affidavits of at least two credible witnesses who are American citizens.
It will be seen that there is much room for the authorities to employ their own discretion in their efforts to maintain the moral and intellectual standards of the American nation by preventing the naturalization of undesirable aliens. The educational test, for instance, may be so employed as to bar out many Japanese, for it rests with the authorities to decide how well an alien must be able to speak English to be admitted as a citizen.
Again the moral test is as flexible as the educational test. The court reserves the power to withhold the naturalization certificate until it is satisfied that the statement made by the candidate for citizenship as to his moral character is genuine and sincere; in fine, it entirely depends upon the discretion of the court whether or not an alien shall be regarded as morally wholesome. In the face of these provisions, the conclusion seems natural that, in the event of the right of naturalization being extended to the Japanese, there will be no danger of the United States becoming infested by the undesirable classes of Japanese.
Professor Jenks, in his book, “ The Immigration Problem,” justly credits the Japanese with “considerable capacity for assimilation," but adds that “effort is made [on the Pacific Coast] to hold them (Japanese] apart as a separate race, even when they themselves apparently manifest a strong desire for assimilation.” Therefore, he concludes, it is best and necessary to exclude the Japanese. In other words, race prejudice is a thing which should be preserved.
On the other hand, I contend that race bias is a thing which should be removed, not by pressure but by force of sympathy and enlightenment. I know but little of American history and ideals, much less have I been able to imbibe the American spirit. Yet I seem not entirely wrong in believing that race prejudice is incompatible with the American spirit-the spirit, not of hair-splitting lawyers who are permitted to masquerade as statesmen, but of the men who penned the Declaration of Independence and who drafted the Constitution of this unique Republic. There are millions of Americans who still remain true to the ideals of the sires from whose loins they have sprung. The Goddess of Liberty may sink in the bottom of the New York Harbour, but the light of freedom and humanity which made America what it is shall not die, and so long as it continues to shed its rays, however faint, we shall continue to hope that America will some day deal out to the Japanese a full measure of justice.
THEIR HUMBLE ACHIEVEMENTS
F all foreign peoples living under the Stars and
Stripes the Japanese are perhaps the youngest.
There are only a small number of those Japanese residents whose children have reached maturity. Most Japanese children born in this country are yet in primary schools or kindergartens. By the time the first generation passes over to the unknown shores, to be succeeded by the second, the Japanese community in America will have been able to record some achievements which may do credit to the country whose protection it enjoys. Meanwhile, we may describe a few things which seem not altogether unworthy of notice.
Attention is first called to the discovery by Dr. Jokichi Takamine, of New York, of a hæmostatic agent called Adrenalin. The physiological activity of adrenalin isolated by Dr. Takamine is astoundingly strong. A fraction of one drop of aqueous solution of adrenalin or its salt in strength of 1:50,000 blanches the normal conjunctiva within one minute. Of all the hæmostatic agents yet known it is the strongest. The intravenous injection of adrenalin produces a powerful action upon the muscular system in general, but especially upon the muscular wall of the blood vessels and the muscular wall of the heart, resulting in an enormous rise of blood pressure. The result of three intravenous injections of 1 c. c. of the solution of adrenalin chloride of 1:100,000 into a dog