Thomas Nelings Swale and the “Oriental Question”

Thomas Nelings Swale, mentioned in an earlier post, was interviewed for the Survey of Race Relations, link here and archive housed at the Hoover Institute at Stanford.

Thomas was originally Treasurer of the Survey Council, however he resigned because of his work with the American Legion Oriental Committee. I believe it was because the Survey was more pro-Japanese than he was.

In his interview he explained that the Japanese in the United States need to be treated justly, even though they were in the US illegally. He wanted them to be made to feel unwelcome, so they would leave.

Why? Well, Thomas says it best himself:

Swale admits Japanese are better the Americans

As many of the anti-Asians Americans expressed during this time period (including McClatchy of McClatchy media), the Japanese were simply harder working and willing to put up with living conditions the Americans weren’t, and as a result Americans were losing land, businesses, and money. There was also concern about the allegiance to the Emperor and the homeland and the stubborn refusal of the Japanese to assimilate into the melting pot of the US.

I find the enduring arguments of anti-immigration and protectionism fascinating.

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This entry was posted in 1920s, Nelings/Neilings/Neelings, Swale, Washington and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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