Immigration and Race Attitudes

  Chapter 4: Origins of Race Antipathy

Emory S. Bogardus

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Of the main types of social data, those describing personal experiences are perhaps the most significant. They reveal a person's viewpoint and disclose his culture backgrounds. They indicate the nature of his personal makeup or personality organization.

It is in the culture backgrounds that a person's reactions to his racial contacts are explained. But these are often very elusive, complex, and lost to research. Their importance, however, remains undiminished.

As a clue both to a person's culture history and to the factors leading to racial antipathy and sympathy, his personal experiences are, outstanding. It is in these experiences that racial attitudes and opinions have their major setting. The origins of these attitudes, however, are not always clear. They may always be pushed further back. At least, we can not stop at any point and feel certain that we have arrived at ultimates. Origins, as the term is used here, means " emergencies." But these are always results as well as beginnings. They are outcroppings, revealing an evolutionary social process.

Direct and Derivative Experience. -Experiences that account for race attitudes are either direct or derivative. Direct personal experiences are first-hand and face to face. Something has happened in the presence of and with the knowledge of a person himself. Indirect experiences are hearsay. Something is reported to a person. In the first instance [lie contact is primary ; in the other, secondary. The first is subject to all the excitement of immediacy and

( 44) proximity; the second, to the biases of other persons and to the errors of mediators. The first are real; the second are subject to the vagaries of gossip, and easily acquire mythical and exaggerated proportions. When direct personal experiences are vivid and emotional, they are likely to be lasting.

13. One day while I was playing ball with my dog, a Negro passing by the yard shot him. The dog had never bothered the Negro; in fact, the Negro was a stranger and had never seen the dog. I have always remembered the look of delight on the Negro's face as he shot the dog, and I have never forgotten the look in that dog's eyes, the quiver in his body, the pangs in his cry as he lay at my feet dying. Often when I see a Negro, I visualize that childhood experience of the death of my fondest childhood pet.[1]

The indirect, cumulative character of derivative experiences is illustrated by the person who in childhood and adolescent years has accepted uncritically the biases of parents and other elders. Prejudices so originating are lasting, by virtue of fixations in the impressionable years of life. Derivative race antipathy is all-compelling until dislodged later by a series of direct personal experiences of an opposite character.

14. My early schooling helped to develop my hatred for the Mexican. I learned that Mexico was a lazy, hot, dirty country. There was no inside plumbing or bathtubs. The favorite occupations were drinking, siesta-ing, and bullfighting. Their exports were Tecquilla and bad cigars. These people were the same race that so badly mistreated our soldiers who tried simply to protect the American interests near the border. The Americans, of course, had no idea of grabbing any land while they were down there and were only interested in fairly judging and settling the various land claims. These were my reasons for being prejudiced against the Mexicans as a race. It should be noted that in all this time I had not come personally into contact with them.

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As I grew older, I began to learn how foolish my puerile prejudices were. I came into contact with some Mexicans and found that they were not fiends-in-human-flesh. They were human, charming, and one in particular was quite beautiful. Of course, such a thing as a beautiful woman would not influence my better judgment. Not very much, anyhow! I learned some of the truth about the Mexican War and the American wholesale "land-grab." I found that Mexico was not entirely concerned with revolutions and banditry.[2]

An analysis will be made in this chapter of leading types of direct personal experiences which give rise to race antipathies. While competition and loss of status are sometimes involved and prejudice aroused, yet as a rule it is the senses which are offended and antipathy which is developed. Hence this chapter deals chiefly with race antipathy. In the next chapter derivative experiences are the intermediate factors between the person and the event that is reported to him, and hence the discussion will be directed to the " media " of race antipathy. In a later chapter, indirect experiences leading to race friendliness will be treated under the captions of the origins and the media of race friendliness.

The conditions under which direct personal experiences turn into racial antipathies may be classified as (1) olfactory, tactual, gustatory, and visual conditions, (2) bodily insecurity situations, (3) obtrusiveness situations, (4) aggressiveness situations, (5) unreliability situations, (6) quarrelsome situations, (7) injustice situations, and (8) inferior-culture situations.

Olfactory, Tactual, Gustatory, and Visual Conditions. - Reactions against the odor of the body of the members of " another race " are often positive and uncontrollable. Otherwise fair-minded persons cannot overcome this repulsion. White persons react against colored persons for this reason, and colored people react against white people

( 46) for a similar reason. Sometimes this odor is attributed to excessive perspiration. " A greasy odor is very noticeable," and " they are often uncleanly in their habits and carry a disagreeable odor."

The tactual conditions giving rise to race antipathies are emotionally unique. Organic reactions are augmented, doubtlessly, by other adverse feelings and beliefs originating in one's cultural heritage and early training. The combination is difficult to overcome.

15. In trying to analyze this antipathy I have concluded that it is physical in character. I remember the first time a Negro child took hold of my hand when I was a cadet teacher. I went as soon as possible and washed my hand. Another time I was bending over one, he bobbed up and his hair touched my face. This time I didn't even wait; I rushed to wash my face. Even now after many more contacts I still have a most disagreeable sensation if I feel their hair. I deal with little children in school, and sometimes I give them a little pat on the head. By mistake I patted a Negro boy's head, and the feeling of wool on his head gave me a most disagreeable feeling of shock.

Once in a while I get a boy in whose eye I fancy I can see all the savage traits of his ancestors. Then it seems incongruous that he should be in school. He should be in Africa leading the life of his ancestors. Still I do have that feeling of physical repulsion in a greater or lesser degree toward them [3]

Gustatory conditions are occasionally expressed. They are illustrated in the case of the colored man "of good standing who holds several degrees from important universities and who states that he dislikes the Chinese to this day, because when he was a boy he was told that the Chinese ate rats." A conditioned reflex continues to operate to the detriment of the Chinese in this person's life. A near-gustatory repulsion is reported by a person who dislikes both Greeks and Armenians because he has known coal mine boarding houses and restaurants where " they have

(47) served food that most people would deem unfit for hogfeed (i. e., spoiled meat and vegetables)."

Visual conditions are usually complex. This complexity is illustrated by the man who reacts against a few, and hence all, Russian Jews as follows: " I never liked the looks of his nose; his gestures, manners, and speech are so hideous that they have turned me against him." Physiognomy accounts sometimes for these adverse reactions; sometimes it is the unpleasant sight of " watery eyes " that arouses aversions. Or it may be " those terrible whites of the eye " that do not simply arouse repulsions but strike terror. Sometimes, it is " that staring at me " that stimulates unfavorable feelings. "In fact, they (Hindus) scare me. They are most rude to a girl and sometimes stare at you until you move. Then they smile. Maybe it is unintentional, but I dislike them very much." Again, it is " a sardonic grin " that does the damage, as in the case of the person who admits that she is unjust and unfair in her dislike for the Mexicans, " yet to see a Mexican idly watching me, with a sardonic grin on his face, makes cold chills run up and down my back."

16. My first encounter with the Negro was in Louisville, Kentucky, where I went to dinner at a hotel and happened to lookinto the kitchen where a colored man was preparing the food. At the sight of this black face, offset with those terrible white whites of the eyes, I was unable to eat my dinner, and so I left the table and went to my room .[4]

17. I have never had much personal experience with Japs. Still I was compelled to ride in the same seat many times in the cars. I had the same feeling of discomfort that one has when seated beside a colored person. Invariably they always had weak, watery, granulated eyes and lids. They kept repeatedly drying their eyes and lids and adjusting their glasses. It irritated me and did not subtract any dislike I had amassed from the news papers. [5]

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18. About this time I met some Italians and their breath and even their clothes were so strongly garlic-scented that I kept at a distance. Garlic I thoroughly disliked, and hence I couldn't stand Italians. I had read of the blackhand and of stabbing frays and thought I could see blood and a pent-up anger in the eyes of every one. Those along the railroad tracks were kindly looking and music loving, but dirty, dark-complexioned, and very remote in type from my people. I since have had an Italian shoemaker. He is courteous, hard working, and I like his boy from whom I buy papers, but I still see blood and fire and pent-up anger in every Italian's eye and feel like keeping my distance and not getting too well acquainted .[6]

Sometimes it is the living conditions that are visually repulsive. " One day I went down to her house (Mexican) to take the washing to her. I never saw such a dirty house before. Everything was thrown about. Egg shells were on the floor beside the stove where she had thrown them." Or perhaps it is the neighborhood which is visually and olfactorily repulsive. "They have many overcrowded, dirty pool halls and dance halls. The homes are filthy, and the yards are covered with old bones, potato peelings, etc. The odor in the district is terrible."

19. My dislike for the Polish race is due mainly to personal contact. My father has his warehouse and the office in a neighborhood populated mainly by Polish people. Next to the warehouse is a vacant lot also owned by my father, and naturally he desires to keep it looking clean. But it is impossible to do so in spite of signs; all the neighbors seem to think it is a suitable place to dump all their rubbish. The lot is always littered with their bed springs, tin cans, and things of this sort. My father has also spoken to some of these people, asking them not to place their rubbish in this lot, but he could not get any satisfaction from them in this way. His warehouse is also often defaced by names and pictures painted, on the walls by children of these same Polish neighbors. True, they are only children, but they show that they are not receiving training suitable for future American citizens.[7]

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Adverse auditory impressions are lasting. Terror is aroused. Oftentimes a single experience is sufficient. That which arouses deep fear can rarely be overcome.

20. When I first saw a Negro in my home town (in the Philippine Islands), I did not have any feeling of antipathy. The first darky that I saw was repairing his automobile, for he had a punctured tire. Whenever a creature of this race appeared in that place, there was always a happy crowd which gathered around him. So this man was encircled by a crowd of boys, which I was in, looking at him with a perplexing curiosity.

The Negro could not fix his machine. He used all his instruments, recalled all his wit and energy, pumped and hammered the old tire, but his efforts came to naught. He became tired, he perspired; he lost his patience, he became nervous, he was mad. In an abrupt manner he kicked the tire and cried aloud to the curious children: "Get out of here, you devils." Then he swore the vilest blasphemy.

Terrified and astonished by the look and sound of the strange man, we ran away, but we were mad. That experience stayed deep-rooted in my being. When I was traveling and rode in an automobile driven by a Negro, I remembered that incident, and a new rage sought expression in my face."[8]

A race against whose members antipathy is aroused on sensory grounds cannot do much. The adverse reactions are so definitely organic, so closely related to temperament and similar hereditary factors, that their adverse operation can be prevented with difficulty. Particular attention to bodily condition and appearance, hygienic and aesthetic measures, however, may accomplish something worth while. The Hindu's attempt to meet adverse climatic conditions has a meaning that may be utilized in preventing race repulsion.

21. The Hindu's insistence on a daily bath early every morning as part of a man's religious duty; his insistence on the non-use of the previous day's clothes and on the wearing of clean, washed clothes every morning after his bath; also his prescription of the

( 50) washing of hands and feet and the wearing of silk garments by the exigencies of hot climate are all significant. [9]

Bodily Insecurity Conditions. - A person, or a group of persons, experiencing bodily harm at the hands of a member of a different race, react against that race. The wish for security has been jolted. Bodily insecurity conditions easily lead to antipathy. A striking, persistent, and uncontrollable sense of fear operates. A common case is that of a child who has been " grabbed " or almost kidnapped. A woman of training and tolerance who suffers a sense of fear upon seeing a Chinese traces this fear back to a childhood experience when she passed through a Chinese vegetable garden. A Chinese " jumped out and grabbed at me." She started running, with the Chinese coming after her and yelling something at her in Chinese. She finally reached home safely, but " until this day " cannot overcome a rising sense of fear at the sight of a Chinese.

Another American who reports that Mexicans are very repulsive to her states that this repulsion apparently began in fear, which originated " in nearly being kidnapped " when she was eleven years old. After that incident she observed every Mexican critically in order to decide which she should be afraid of. She came to think of the Mexican as " a greasy, uncleanly being "; and then, as she grew older, she heard many times of " the sneaky, treacherous ways and of their utter disregard and disrespect for women." Thus, bodily insecurity plays a rôle in building up race aversion. Another person reports that, when he was a child six years old, his sister, aged ten, came screaming into the house one evening shortly after dark. She declared that she had been chased by a Chinese carrying a knife. " My father went out and searched all around but could find no one. He thought that my sister was perhaps mistaken about the

(51) knife, as she is easily frightened and might have exaggerated her fear." Out of this experience relatively permanent behavior patterns of antipathy developed.

22. My parents tell me that, when I was a small baby, a little colored boy came to our house for the laundry. He was the first one that I had seen, and my reaction was to scream until I was red in the face. The little boy tried to make me stop by dancing a doll up and down in front of me, but I only screamed the louder. The first experience which I remember occurred when as a child of about seven years I was visiting at my cousin's house. The grown folks were in the house and had said that we must remain outdoors. We were playing out in the front yard when a colored girl passed by, wearing what was, for that time, a very short skirt. I whispered to my cousin that the girl had a short skirt. The colored girl heard the whispering and became angry and said that when she came back that way she would stop and slap both of us.

We were frightened and tried to get in the house, but the grown folks would not let us as they saw no reason why we should not play outdoors. We ran around to the back of the house and tried to hide on the screen porch, but we felt sure that the colored girl would find us there.[10]

23. We lived in a town in the Middle West. My father was having some improvements made about our residence and hired a Negro to do the work. This Negro was an old darky of perhaps fifty odd years. He lived alone, in a little shack on the outskirts of town. We children always called him " nigger Martin," and our older brother and sisters used this name when they wanted anything done. "Nigger Martin will get you if you aren't good " meant more than the words to us.

The Negro Martin was digging a large ditch near our house. Of course, child fashion, we were there and observed everything that went on. After a while it became tiresome to us, so we thought we'd have some fun. As he threw up shovelful after shovelful of dirt we picked up pieces of dirt and threw them at him. He became angry (I don't blame him) and told us that if he ever caught us we'd " catch it." We ran and did not bother him again.

The next day he came and continued his work. We came to watch, and without the slightest warning he grabbed me into the

( 52) ditch. I was so frightened that I cried and screamed while the others went to tell father. When he came and " saved " me, I was a most happy but frightened girl. The name " nigger " of any sort always frightened me from that day on. That incident and all our training about the Negro has naturally made me dislike and fear them." [11]

24. My father owned a ranch up in F. county. There are many Japanese in that part of the country who have rented land in order to grow strawberries, and my father had rented a few acres of his land to a couple of Japanese families. One evening, long past bed time, we heard loud cries issuing from the quarters where the Japanese were living. Father dressed hurriedly and rushed up to their cabins. He found that a Japanese from a neighboring farm had tried to kill one of the Japanese on our place with a hoe. The latter seized an iron rod and had laid out the farmer. My father was never able to find out the real cause of the disturbance. As I was very young, I was very much frightened at the noise. I was also afraid that my "daddy" might be killed in the mixup. Many nights after that I would jump from my sleep believing that the Japanese were attacking us. My prejudice toward them dates from that night, and I have never been able to overcome that distrust. The newspaper propaganda that has been circulating lately about the Japanese wishing to seize the Philippines, etc., has certainly not helped me to remove my suspicions. Although I admit my arguments are not based on very strong proof, still I cannot change my mind.[12]

25. During a visit in one of our largest cities I had a distressing experience which has caused me to dislike a certain nationality of men. My feeling is not entirely one of dislike, but rather one of fear.

One afternoon I started from our hotel for a walk. I struck upon the seemingly brilliant idea of walking to the post office some fifteen blocks away. I had been there several times in our car, but had never walked. I was attracted by some gay little shops on a side street, and my curiosity led me into them. I was immediately transferred into another world. Bright rugs and draperies were hung outside the shops, and I was fascinated. But my plan to go around the block and resume my walk to the post office was not a practical one in that city of crooked streets. I soon found myself completely lost. Until this time the white robes and wrapped heads of the Turkish shopkeepers had thrilled

( 53) me. But when I discovered that I was " cut off " from the rest of the world - my world at least - I saw only very black eyes and sneering smiles. I asked my way and was greeted with a stream of broken English and wild gestures. As I hurried up the little street, I seemed to be followed and surrounded by Turks. I finally found my way back to the hotel, but the white robe and togo followed me for days. Even the present Sheik vogue has not reconciled me to Turkish and Hindu people.[13]

Obtrusiveness Conditions. ---Obtrusiveness in any one is repelling. He who monopolizes the conversation, who talks repeatedly about himself, who talks loudly, who selects the best seat for himself, arouses unkind attitudes toward himself. When a person of " another race " does any of these things, he is doubly subject to criticism.

Persons who attain a new status suddenly - a wider freedom, or wealth -are likely to become inflated and inconsiderate of others. Immigrants and members of " lower races," when they make advances in a new country, are no exceptions; they are subject to and fall before these temptations, and as a result the natives react against them. The broader-minded and considerate members of a race must suffer for the obtrusiveness of their racial compatriots.

An American with contacts among the Hindus who pick cotton in Imperial Valley sees them as " proud and selfish." After the cotton season is over they buy cars and " feel so far above every one else that they drive right in the middle of the road." He accuses them of living " lower than Americans," of ruining the land, and either of " hoarding money for cars, or of sending it to India." The whole race is judged by the few who make themselves conspicuous by un-American ways, or by being too American. In the above report, a background of Nordic superiority is indicated.

26. The reason I feel especially antagonistic toward the Armenians is because I once lived in a small town where many of them lived and where they acted as though they had full authority.


Their prices were very low to Armenians, but exorbitant to Americans. If we were driving on the narrow roads and met an Armenian, we had to pull off to the side and let him have the whole road. This was very disagreeable for us, but we were afraid to do otherwise. On one day a friend of ours made up his mind to keep his side of the road when he met an Armenian, who had a heavy truck. The Armenian did not give way but overturned our friend's car, killing our friend and one of his children. The Armenian was brought to trial, but the Armenians were authoritative and the arrested Armenian was dismissed without even being fined.

It was this way in everything; the Americans were overrun. All of them took part in overrunning the Americans wherever opportunity occurred .[14]

27. The race toward which I am most inclined to feel dislike is the Jewish. I've had occasion to be among them in street cars, stores, and public parks in the city of Chicago, where they are numerous and powerful. In stores, especially ladies' ready-to-wear where they often have Jewish employees, they are most flattering and pleasant until they find out that I don't care to buy their goods, and then they are rude and even insulting.

I've often watched them eating in public places, and their greediness disgusts me. We had a Jewess in our party on a European tour. She was thoroughly disliked and shunned by the entire party. This was not because of her race alone, for her disposition of braggadocio and self-conceit made her disagreeable to all. Often she would interrupt a conversation to force herself in.

Not knowing it to be owned by Jews, I went into a strange store in L. There was only one man present, whom I asked to show me an article of furniture. He became very personal in questions, and positively so rude that I made haste to leave his store.[15]

Aggressiveness Conditions. - Aggressiveness is an exaggerated form of obtrusiveness. In fact, the latter becomes the former whenever a person pushes himself ahead to the point of detracting in any way from another person's status, or when one takes away from another anything that the latter considers his own. When one's friends become aggres-

( 55) -sive, he may tolerate or excuse their practices; but when a stranger or " foreigner " does so, the practice becomes contemptible.

Immigrants who are more industrious and frugal than the natives may unjustly be accounted " aggressive." Any one who does something better than another person in the latter's field of activity is in danger of being called aggressive. A tolerant attitude is held toward an immigrant race as long as it does not become competitive ; but when some of its members advance to the point of taking important positions away from natives, then the whole race is condemned as " unduly aggressive."

An immigrant race attempting to advance in the territory of natives must always face the charge of aggressiveness. It is confronted with unjust accusations. It may be suppressed. In our Anglo-Saxon atmosphere it reacts by talking of its rights and in emphasizing formal matters rather than inner needs. Its demand for rights is usually met by new suppressive regulations and legislation on the part of natives. There is a mutual loss of friendly contacts, and clashes grow into overt conflicts.

Real and open aggressiveness is viewed by natives with mingled hostility and a sense of gross injustice. If aggressiveness be accompanied by instances of insolence, then fierce resentment and bloodshed are likely to follow. Aggressiveness of immigrants is easily viewed by natives as meaning destruction of the latter's status.

Even the thrift of the Japanese is charged against them in a country which boasts of its Benjamin Franklin. In this thrift is seen the greatest objection to the Japanese nation. The Japanese immigrant has been thought of as obtaining " a few feet of land or a small store, and in a twinkling of an eye we find him either with a large amount of land or n thriving business enterprise." Thus the Ameri can's status is in danger of attack, and prejudice springs up.

( 56) Antipathy, due to offense against the senses, is also stimulated. The Japanese is seen living in a hovel, working with his entire family and enslaving all from dawn to dark.

" Now these are the methods used by the Oriental, and the Yankee cannot compete with him."

28. I have developed my greatest dislike toward the mulatto. This feeling of dislike has been increased through contact with them upon the college campus. Although they respect the rights of others as far as they can actually be forced to respect them, they insist upon the full extension of their rights as an equal to the other races. They gather in groups at the intersection of walks and force others to go around them, and not infrequently walk in a body so that other people must be crowded off the walk. From observance of them in the public libraries, I have found them to be most disrespectful of the rights of others. They gather in a body around a table and talk and laugh so that it is impossible to study near them.[6]

29. I am a native son of California, and I love it and hate to see it overrun by other races. I dislike the Japanese, because they are doing this to California. Their women as well as their men get out in the fields and work from dawn till dark every day in the week including Sunday. They also live on nearly nothing and lead a distinctly poor type of life. (This does not refer to the higher class of Japanese but to the common person in California.) They have no thought for the betterment of the United States or California, but they hope to save enough money to go back to Japan. It seems to me that this motive is entirely selfish in this respect. By doing this hard work in the fields, they throw our American farmers out of work, because Americans will not lower themselves to work like the Japanese to compete with them.

Of course, there are exceptions to this rule, but I still dislike the Japanese and will most probably continue to dislike them.[7]

30. The racial group I dislike most is the Negro. When I was, younger I rather sympathized with the black man, because, I suspect, of a number of books I had read giving his side of the problem. For about the last ten years my dislike has increased, as I have seen more of them and come in contact with them. It is especially their boasting attitude that I object to. In southern cities it is probably different, but here they crowd on street ears,

( 57) rudely and roughly pushing their way forward without any respect for others' rights. This applies to Negro men and women alike. They get the best seats in the cars and give up their seats to no one, lame or aged. Besides, they are usually dirty and evil-smelling, obnoxious in all ways; and instead of keeping in their place, they push themselves forward and increase their rudeness. When a Negro is driving a machine, he invariably takes the middle of the road and allows no one to pass. It is the result of experiences like these that has caused my intense dislike of the black man.[18]

Quarrelsome Conditions. - A person quickly tires of quarrelsome companions, of people who are " fussy " over small matters, even though they be his own relatives or friends. He is still less patient with immigrant neighbors " who are all the time haggling among themselves." On occasion, a friendly but exciting conversation among " foreigners " is mistaken by natives for a brawl. Races with loquacious or loud-talking members are misjudged. To have immigrant neighbors " spend not a congenial moment together " is unbearable.

31. Armenians were put on my minus list because of the traits I have come to attribute to their race after two years of experience of a very personal sort that I had with two Armenian girls and their families. I gained this experience as a freshman and sophomore in a college where I lived in the same house with these two girls. Their relatives and friends came often to see them; and if I had had no closer contact than the meeting of these individuals, my impression would have been of a very negative sort. They spent not a happy or congenial moment. There was always haggling over small points, expressions of distrust against people against whom they had no proof of wrongdoing except their own suspicious natures. Even though these people were high-class representatives of their race, they were unclean in their habits, and the girls were the despair of the house mother.

The two girls chummed together and said that they had always been pals. But they were so suspicious of each other and so dis-

( 58) trustful of one another's movements that they were in a constant state of underhanded examination and investigation. They told us stories against each other that would have turned us completely away from the one maligned except that we understood the situation and made allowances.

Since my experiences of those two years, I have met people from the Armenian district around F., and they all tell the same experiences with the race as a large group [19]

Unreliability Conditions. - To find friends unreliables hakes the very foundations of social life. Certainty disappears. Most persons, however, hold strangers to stricter accountability than friends, or at least are less inclined to excuse them for the fatal shortcoming of unreliability than they are personal friends.

Strangers and foreigners, on the other hand, are less careful about conducting themselves reliably in their dealings with natives than with their racial associates, and thus any unreliability they manifest is subject to dual exaggeration. The greater the social distance the more the native magnifies the immigrant's unreliability. Also, the greater the social distance, the less careful the immigrant is in regard to reliability.

For a " foreigner " to " short change " or " double cross " a native in a business deal is a heinous sin. Slyness, trickiness, and stealing are important variations of unreliability conditions. The slightest evidences of dishonesty in race relations are greatly magnified. An American reacts against Greeks because the Greeks whom he has known are restaurant keepers and storekeepers who " do business on a mean scale," who give " as little as possible," and are disagreeable when complaint is made, who come to this country " to make a lot of money and to do as little as they can for it." Not only do they seem to be deceitful but " overcharging and underweighing bothers them not a bit."

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32. I took a check from a well-known Hindu, while working in a department store, and upon calling the bank found that there were no funds to meet it. When the manager investigated, he found that the Hindu had five accounts and that he would transfer his money from one to another every two months and write checks on the account just closed. I have found that many Hindus have instructed the banks not to cash any checks drawn on them that are not signed in both Latin scrip and in their own hieroglyphics, and sometimes require that the check bear the thumb print of its writer. In short, the merchants say that there are but three honest Hindus in V.[20]

33. I have developed a prejudice against Jews. It is an unfair one to hold against the race, because it has developed only as a result of unfavorable impressions formed of certain individuals of that race with whom I have come in contact.

As a girl I lived in a small town where the largest stores were owned and operated by Jews. They were always advertising sales and making a great display of bargains. People who were really good judges of bargains found that perhaps one or two articles advertised were good values, but that everything else had been advertised just to attract crowds. The proprietors were never willing to make adjustments and satisfy customers. Their main object was to accumulate as much money as possible without consideration for the public.

A few years ago I went with a friend to a small store in C. The friend wished to purchase a coat. The one she liked and tried on was priced at fifty-five dollars. The Jewess who waited on her and who was also the proprietor of the place, used all of her powers of persuasion to convince my friend that she ought to buy. Before we left the store she offered the coat for forty dollars. Had my friend paid the fifty-five dollars asked in the first place, she would probably have paid a great deal more than the coat was worth.[21]

34. I used to like the Negroes as well as any race, if not more, for my father had reared us all to believe in the brotherhood of man. My father has always been, and still is, very good to the Negroes. Eight years ago he had some Negro men working for him. As I have said, he was good to them and never " drove " them. But in spite of his kindnesses, such as lending them money and giving them every consideration that one possibly can to people who are working for une, two of these Negroes were con-

( 60) -stantly stealing things from my father. These thefts were not noticeable at first, but later they grew so much that father, careless though he was, noticed them. The police were informed, and shortly it was found that these Negroes had been selling great quantities of sacks marked and bundled in a peculiar way that my father had, to father's competitor!

My father did not prosecute these Negroes, and indeed even hired the brother of one of them later on. From time to time, however, various thefts were discovered which were committed by the Negroes my father employed. My father always paid his men well and to this day still hires and trusts the Negroes as much as ever. But I am not so kindly as he; I cannot bear their dishonesty on top of their laziness. They know that my father is " easy-going," and so they take advantage of him, and move about their work at a snail's pace. Because of these experiences with the Negroes, I have grown to distrust them and to think of them as very, very lazy.[22]

Injustice Conditions. -A sense of having suffered injustice is a universal factor in creating racial antipathy. When discrimination occurs against one's self or race, accompanied by inconsistency, the response is sharply antagonistic. Oppressed persons or peoples almost invariably voice injustice repulsions. Sympathy for one's fellow sufferers is a dynamic factor. When an oppressed group takes the law into its own hands and ignores the established (or autocratic) order, the representatives of the latter also protest in terms of injustice antipathies. Injustice stimulates counter injustices.

An American who dislikes Italians finds that the mention of the race brings to his mind the " many murders committed by Italians in `Little Italy' and elsewhere." The principle of taking the law in their own hands, of taking personal revenge, of ignoring American laws is a factor in arousing prejudice against them. An American admits that to judge all Italians by the least desirable is probably unjust, and yet he says he cannot prevent himself from doing such injustice,


35. There is no racial group for which I have the most dislike. But if some one forced me to answer this question, I would say that I don't like the Americans. The Japanese people criticize Americans by saying, " Americans are inconsistent; they know how to talk love -of God, but they do not know how to love people. They talk much about humanity, justice, and equality, and yet they do not learn how to treat others equally. What is the use in sending missionaries to a foreign land and preaching the Gospel, when they cannot live on the " principles of Christ"? If I shall count, there are many other criticisms as to the deeds of Americans. Of course, I do know that politics and religion do not go together; they often go opposite directions. But I think that, if at least the Christian people in America will apply the principles of Christ to their living, there would not be so much disturbance between the races and the nationalities. Inconsistency is a part of American culture. How can we love it?

Furthermore, if I did not have bad personal impressions, I might not say that I don't like Americans, though in fact there is inconsistency as a nation. But how individual Americans look at us, how they treat us! As long as we are living as humans, is it not natural for us to have antagonistic feelings when we are treated as an inferior race? [23]

36. Chinese immigration is not settled yet. Because the mode of so doing is one of thoughtlessness, arrogance, prejudice, discrimination (or lack of it) and so wholly insulting, it cannot possibly settle any question for long. America's treatment of the Chinese immigration question is so unfair and has been performed in so terrible a manner that it cannot but cause bitterness in the hearts of proud and thinking - and if you will - merely self-respecting Chinese. At present, China is in a state of internal dissension; so much so that she cannot pay adequate attention to her international affairs. For this reason, and because China has always been a nation of easy-going peace lovers, little protest has been made against the unfair treatment given her people. The time will undoubtedly come (however far off it may be) when China's strength will be so great, or at least so established, that her demands for fairer play must be met by constructive efforts and clear thinking instead of by the careless and thoughtless present method.

The " student class " is another cause why the immigration question is not yet settled. We students in America, as much

( 62) like Americans as you of American blood, resent the American attitude. Many of us have the right to vote and have influence with those Chinese merchants who also are American citizens. We will number sufficiently, in a day not too far removed, to have a speaking and heard voice in international politics, when harsh legislation against our people will be defeated by us.[24]

Inferior-Culture Conditions.-The conditions already presented that arouse race antipathies may occur in almost any combination or set of combinations. Rarely, in fact, does any one of them occur alone. Taken together they are viewed as " inferior culture." Acts that a person or his friends would not stoop to perform, when done by " outsiders " are " inferior " and repulsive.

The lower-culture members of any race stimulate discrimination against that race, including the higher-culture members. A few low-grade persons can ruin the reputation of a whole race. Observers report that they " know better " than to make unfavorable generalizations regarding an entire race because of a few cads, but that they are unable to dismiss the emotional accompaniments.

37. The only race of white people that I greatly dislike is the French-Canadian. The place where I have lived all my life is primarily a French-Canadian town. These people are ignorant, sly, oily, deceitful, and have many other characteristics that are low-down. They make poor neighbors, are clannish, make no attempt to learn the English language, and even teach their children to speak French when they are at home. I have known quite a few girls very well, and they fall short when it comes to being a good friend. They are not to be trusted in their dealings with each other. They do not keep their word. I know my statements are very narrow-minded, but they are really true .[25]

38. My observance of German neighbors causes a dislike most especially toward the men. Their attitude toward their girls and women is one of superiority. I have known the German father to work his girls on the farm and send all the boys off to colleges and universities. In one family which lived in a small town and, of course, had no conveniences for the housekeeper, the

( 63) husband would sit and read day after day, while the wife tended to three crying babies and took in washing to pay his bills. He carried no water, lifted no tubs, but peacefully smoked his pipe and read his German news .[26]

39. One of the races I would not admit to citizenship in the United States is the Hindus. When I was in high school, we visited a foreign vessel in R. It was manned with Hindu labor and white officers. The Hindus had such greasy hair. Isn't that an idiotic thing to remember? And their tribal customs were so hard and fast. Two tribes were represented on the boat, and neither would have anything to do with the other, as religious customs forbade. I remember too that the ship was foul smelling because the Hindus could only eat fresh killed mutton, and they therefore always carried a large supply of livestock. The animals had to be killed in a certain manner, and by a headman or priest. Such customs seem so crude and superstitious.[27]

In rare instances a person may develop a repulsion against his own race. He may be in a foreign land and see his own race at a distance or in the light of their worst dealings with foreign peoples. He sees his own race, particularly the lower-culture members of his own race, through the eyes of other races.

Again, he may know little or nothing against his own race, but he hears them so repeatedly extolled that he reacts against them. This adverse repulsion is particularly strong in the case of a person governed by contrasuggestion. " Although I am partly Scotch, the very mention of the name makes me prickle with antagonism. I think that this is due, probably, to the Scotch virtues which were held up to me as a pattern on which to model myself."

The data submitted in this chapter point to certain origins of race antipathy and prejudice. That feelings of dislike originate in unpleasant sense reactions, and that prejudice is born of an endangered social status, are conclusions that are clear.

( 64)


1. Prepare a history of the term " prejudice."

2. Choose some race for which you feel antipathy, and describe the various experiences that you have had with the members of this race.

3. Describe the various unfavorable reactions that you have had to your own race.

4. Give an account of any of your racial contacts as a child or youth in which you experienced fear.

5. Give instances in detail in which you have reacted against the members of a, race because of their obtrusiveness.

6. Suggest a program for the members of a race to pursue whose fellow members have aroused antipathy against that race because of obtrusiveness and aggressiveness.

7. Outline programs for persons to pursue who wish to overcome a deep-seated set of antipathies for a given race, acquired through each of the seven sets of conditions discussed in this chapter.


CHICAGO COMMISSION OF RACE RELATIONS, The Negro in Chicago, Chaps. I, XI. University of Chicago Press, 1922.

EVANS, GORDON, W., The Alien Emigrant, Chaps. III, IV. Scribner, 1903.

FINOT, JEAN, Race Prejudice. Dutton, 1906.

PANUNZIO, CONSTANTINE, The Soul of an Immigrant, Chaps. V, VI, XVII. Macmillan, 1921.

RAVAGE, M. E., An American in the Making, Part II. Harper,1917.

REUTER, E. B., The American Race Problem, Chap. VII. Crowell, 1927.


  1. Social Distance Studies.
  2. Mexican immigrant Survey of the Southwest.
  3. Ibid.
  4. Ibid.
  5. Social Distance Studies.
  6. Ibid.
  7. Ibid.
  8. Social Distance Studies.
  9. From unpublished manuscript by H. T. Muzumdar.
  10. Ibid.
  11. Ibid.
  12. Ibid.
  13. Ibid.
  14. Ibid.
  15. Ibid.
  16. Ibid.  
  17. Ibid.
  18. Ibid.
  19. Ibid.
  20. Ibid.
  21. Ibid.
  22. Ibid.
  23. Pacific Coast Race Relations Survey.
  24. Ibid.
  25. Social Distance Studies.
  26. Ibid.
  27. Ibid.

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