Immigration and Race Attitudes

 Chapter 9: Reversals of Race Attitudes

Emory S. Bogardus

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Reversals of race attitudes are even more interesting than augmentations of either antipathy or friendliness. As representing major types of changes that occur in race attitudes, reversals are of two classes: changes (1) from friendly to antipathetic and (2) from antipathetic to friendly. The latter occur less frequently than the former. They constitute a more " difficult " process, for antipathetic behavior patterns are ordinarily better fixated by emotional reactions. The change from antipathetic to friendly attitudes usually requires a time element. Mutations or sudden changes are rare. The shift from friendly to unfriendly attitudes, however, may be sudden.

The most common type of reversal is the change from derivatively (hearsay) friendly to directly antipathetic. A hazy indefinite friendliness based on general impressions may be suddenly changed to antipathy by a single adverse experience. Another noteworthy reversal type is the change from derivatively (hearsay) antipathetic to directly friendly. " Bad impressions " of a race may be corrected in due season by direct contacts with worthy representatives of immigrant races. In both these forms of reversals, the changes start from derivative or hearsay experiences. When direct personal experiences have become " fixed," reversals do not often occur.

Reversals afford an excellent field for the study of both the origins and media of race attitudes, both antipathetic and friendly. The original or primary beginnings of race attitudes are often obscured in the multitude of happenings of

( 119) early childhood and of youth, but the secondary or reversal beginnings may occur in adult years and under more easily observable conditions. Reversals are more dramatic, are subject to personal attention, and hence are especially interesting to study.

Sudden Reversals from Friendly to Antipathetic Attitudes.-The mutations from friendly to antipathetic race attitudes not infrequently involve a general derivative background of favorable reports concerning some race, and a single dramatic set of direct and personal experience with one or more members of the given race. Sometimes the mutation is brought about by a regional change; that is, as indicated in another connection, a person moves from a region where somewhat favorable ideas are held toward a certain race to a region where low-type and obtrusive members of that race are in evidence. Sometimes no change in region is involved. Immigrants of low-culture. traits_ move in, with the result that-even idealistic natives become hateful. The old story is repeated: Status has been invaded. Sometimes a public leader or perhaps a friend, gives expression to startlingly disturbing accounts of a race concerning which none but favorable accounts have been current. The account is often that of a long-distance (geographic) view being supplanted by face-to-face accounts. The latter imply a lowering of one's status. In general, it may be said that the stimuli which function to arouse race antipathy gradually, as described in preceding chapters, also function when operating suddenly to effect mutations.

An American business man states that formerly he believed that Jews were unjustly criticized arid treated_ He saw no reason to dislike the race. He concluded that many people are prejudiced because it is the thing to do. All the Jews whom he had known were pleasant and agreeable. In fact, his first, playmate was a Jewish boy. " But lately," he reports, " the Jews I have met have disgusted me -the

( 120) things which they do, their manners, are repulsive." As a result he has turned against the whole race, although he admits that it is unfair to judge a group by a few individuals'" but it is natural to do so." He tries to forget his dislike, but when " I am near them I can't help looking for certain traits, and discovering them."

75. I have a distinctly less favorable impression of the Negro race than I had five years ago. As a child, I believed that Negroes were downtrodden and didn't have their proper opportunities. My opinion soon changed when my contacts became_ closer. I like to think that perhaps I have met only the worst, but at the same time, my opinion applies to the whole race. Several families moved into my neighborhood, and they promptly began to assert themselves in a manner decidedly not neighborly. Rapidly the Negro population increased, and vice crept in. The whole district-but recently a respectable neighborhood-became a regular red light district with bootleggers thrown in for good measure. Because none of the Negro people that I knew were good citizens, I do not approve of them. I have also worked in a clinic. The larger number of Negro patients have venereal diseases. They are very shiftless and do not take any interest in their own welfare[1]

76. During my freshman year in high school, a series of race riots took place between the Negroes and the whites. This was in Chicago where the colored population is quite large on account of the industries. Up to that time, I had been rather friendly with some Negroes at school and did not feel any social distance between us, since I had never had any reason to. My home was not far from the Negro settlement; and when the riots began, the Negroes were forced to remain out of school. I continued to go to school and did not pay much attention to the upheaval.

Then one night just after dark I was sitting on the front porch with some children of the neighborhood when a crowd of people came running along the street and yelling. They were after a Negro who was just a few feet ahead of them. By the time they had reached the corner, the Negro was taken, and I could hear his cries in a prairie not far away. I began to sympathize with the Negroes and to read the papers. Of course, the papers did

( 121) not speak well about them; but, nevertheless, I decided that the riots were one-sided.

My attitude was suddenly and violently changed in about three days. My best friend and playmate was attacked by a Negro when she was returning home from the store one evening. A crowd captured him and lynched him. I felt as if she could never be revenged enough and must admit that I was delighted when I heard that the attacker had been hanged on a telegraph pole until the police removed him the next day.

Now I can talk and associate with Negroes, but I feel a wave of distrust go over me, and I cannot sympathize with the poor of that race. I can never give to a Negro cause, and I feel they are inferior to me.[2]

Sudden Reversals from Antipathetic to Friendly Attitudes.-While genuine mutations from antipathetic -to friendly attitudes are rare, there are numerous cases of near-mutations. Direct personal experiences are the common factors. Even these, however, need to be repeated in order that the near-mutations may become permanent.

A sudden widening of the daily experiences of life, if accompanied by favorable racial contacts, may result in reversals. Here and there, along the pathway of life, occur events which shake up one's behavior patterns, give one " a great light," and lead to personality reorganization.

Even war, despite its usual tendency to produce race hatred suddenly, may break down prejudices within the limits of " allies," and develop a camaraderie among races, which are culturally wide apart, even antagonistic. The permanency of this camaraderie may even be assured by " fighting together " for " a good cause," for a long period of time.

A sense of humor expressed on the moment may be a " reversing " factor, providing it is revealed by a person with other personality traits that are " likeable " to the one who already feels antipathetic. A woman who had had

( 122) an interview with the department manager of a large corporation was about to be accepted when the manager suddenly inquired concerning her nationality, and she replied that she was an American. " No, I mean, are you Jewish or Gentile? " She looked at him and demanded, " Are you a Catholic or Protestant? " Being good-natured, he laughed and explained, " Please don't be angry. You see we are directed to employ Gentiles in preference to a Jew whenever possible, but I like you; and even though you are a Jew, I will accept you."

77. My early training at home included among other things the cultivation of a respectful attitude toward all races, all nations, and all religions, and as a result my opinion of the Poles as a race held no thoughts of malice or prejudice of any type. In addition, having been early interested in music, my attention was focused to a great extent upon a leader in this field, Mr. A., a Pole. Besides being a great musician, Mr. A. was also considered a leader in political thinking, which in his case took the form of race prejudice. During the last five or six years, having been much concerned with the history of the world in general, and in particular with that phase of human history dealing with racial and religious problems, my attention was directed to the inhuman pogroms taking place in southern Europe. No crimes of barbarous peoples in the early ages were in any way more atrocious than the extremely cruel and inhuman treatment accorded the Jews in Poland. There was not the faintest trace of justice of any kind, and murdering became the chief method of giving vent to primitive prejudice.

Curiously enough, Mr. A., a majestic power in the musical field, became a leader in his own country in a totally different world of thought. The object of reverence and respect of millions, he turned upon a group of his admirers with a vitriolic prejudice fatal in its effect, and I have turned against him. By means of his broadly acclaimed leadership in one field, he manages to incite his people to atrocious acts and inhuman treatment by appealing to a primitive emotion hate.

It has been said that a race or a nation should not be judged by one, individual of that race; brut when this one individual has demonstrated in so clear a fashion the blind ignorance of his

( 123) mind and has so easily become a leader of his people in so unrighteous a cause as that of race prejudice, then I say I feel more than perfectly justified in looking down upon the race he represents.[3]

An unexpected kindness in time of personal stress and loss rendered by one member of a disliked race may be sufficient to bring about a near-mutation. One man reports that during his high-school days he had a strong antipathetic feeling toward the Chinese and the Japanese, who were then pigeon-holed in his vocabulary as " Chinks " and " Skibbies." His brother died in the navy in 1920, and the body was returned home for burial. " I observed that, when the last call was sounded at my brother's funeral, it was an oriental sailor who blew `taps,' and I was told that my brother referred to Orientals as his ` little brown brothers.' This incident may be recorded as the starting point in my change of attitudes."

A farmer learned as a small boy to look upon Norwegians as " a cold, gruff, and brutal people." The family had had a Norwegian cook for several months, and " still I was in deathly fear of her cold, calm look." But one night the other members of the family had gone out for the evening, and he remained to play with the neighbor children. In the midst of the fun, he fell and broke his ankle, and was carried_ home to be welcomed by no one but Nina the cook. He cried from pain and fear, but " Nina, with all possible tenderness, comforted me and told me stories just like mother always did." All the time that he was an invalid, " Nina was so kind and thoughtful each day that I came to realize more and more that underneath her coldness was warmth. Because of this episode, my feeling toward all Norwegians changed."

78. The Turk, in a vain effort to subject Armenia to the religion of Muhomet, has inflicted on her massacres with all the

( 124) blood-accompanying features and artistically nasty details that cunning brains could devise.

As an adolescent girl, I drank in these ideas with avidity. The Turk to me was the devil personified. Consequently when I heard that we were to sell a house we owned to a member of that execrable race, I was horrified. The day the deal was to be concluded, I awaited his arrival with fear and trembling. He proved to be a short, stout, kindly-looking gentleman about my father's age. His wife was one of the most beautiful women I have ever seen. He had a sense of humor and proved that he knew just how to treat a girl of ten or twelve. He had a fascinating store filled with beautiful articles, and his chief line was oriental rugs. We spent a lovely time examining and hearing about them. He admitted the faults of his race, but he himself showed what education and Americanization can do. He is now one of my most delightful and valued friends.

Now why was I taught to fear and hate without knowing that there is another side to the question? There are good people as well as bad in every nation. I was taught all the bad and the good was entirely ignored. Maybe this man is one of the best of his race. I don't know. But this I do know, that never will I teach hatred of any nation and emphasize the bad to the exclusion of the good. It seems to me that this is a blindness unworthy of any American and a Christian people.[4]

79. In 1914, when the war broke out, I was in college preparing to become a teacher. Until then, I held of foreigners the ideas generally fostered by caricaturists. For instance, that all true Englishmen must have long teeth and long feet and wear strange attire, that Americans must have gold teeth and flash diamonds on all fingers, that Germans must be very stout, wear spectacles, and generally have dreadful table manners, and so on.

The war came, and soon my country became a land of many tongues --- Britishers, Scots, Welsh and Irishmen, Australians, New Zealanders, Canadians, Belgians, both the Flemish and the Walloons, Italians, Portuguese, Poles, Russians, Nipponese, Chinese coolies, Brazilians, Hindus, as we called the Indians of India, our black men from Africa, our yellow men from Indo-China, even Germans and Austrians in the shape of prisoners, later on the Americans with their own black men and their Indians. I am forgetting the Serbians and Rumanians and the French. We rubbed elbows in the streets, in the shops, in the restaurants, in

( 125) the theaters. It soon was an oddity to hear French spoken at all. I became more or less acquainted with all these peoples, and I learned to think of them as my equals. I lost sense of my narrow-minded provincialism. Of course, I had a great opportunity to become acquainted with them. I was a teacher in a little town on the main road to the front at about sixty miles from Amiens; and as I could speak English, I often was being mustered as interpreter. There were several camps of different foreign armies near by. Besides, my parents lived in the center of a British Royal Air Force camp, and our home was home to all the boys. Of all these foreigners, I came to know the Anglo-Saxons best of all, and learned to like them very much. Perhaps it is because I felt akin to them, owing to my Celtic ancestry. I do not know. Perhaps it is because, understanding their language, I was able to share in their thoughts and their feelings. Anyway, the truth is that to this day, I like all Anglo-Saxons, some better than some of my countrymen. I liked and still like them so well that I married one of them in preference to a Frenchman, and I am not sorry yet that I did so, so much so that I could come to this country and work out my happiness here .[5]

Gradual Reversals from Antipathy to Friendliness.---Many cases of attitudinal change reveal considerable rationalization and a recognition that previously held views were narrow and on the whole ill-founded. These gradual changes may frequently be definitely distinguished from mutations involving serious emotional disturbances. Dislike due to ignorance gives way to admiration due to education. Childhood training has often meant inculcation of prejudice, but later, direct experiences with friendly members of another race bring about a shift from repulsion to attraction. A broad educational and ethnological training and tolerant religious teachings function similarly. As in the case of the origins of racial good will, so in the reversals in the same direction, the contacts afforded in college life and by idealistic religious life are especially potent. Changes under these conditions are subject, however, to reversals back to antipathy, when college and

(126) church influences decline and unpleasant race experiences multiply.

Many times gradual reversals occur entirely in the field of derivative experience. In early years of life, a person forms adverse race opinions, according to the prevailing social stimuli. Later he begins to read and think for himself and learns particularly of the misconceptions which he has held toward a given race. A broad cultural knowledge may supplant narrow hearsay prejudices, with a gradual reversal in race attitudes as the result. A person reports that he once conceived of the Chinese as " undesirable " and that this conception was gained almost entirely from propaganda in regard to Chinese coolies competing with American labor. He then had the privilege of making the acquaintance of several Chinese men and a few Chinese women, and says: " I must confess that it would be hard to find a finer type of manhood anywhere than some of these people represent. While it must be admitted that they are probably of the best class, yet my association with them has been sufficient to remove the prejudice that I once had toward that race."

A person ten years ago thought of the Jewish race " in a very intolerant manner " and only in terms of people who were " the murderers of Christ " and money lenders such as Shylock. He was so prejudiced against the Jews that he did not deem it possible for them " to be highly moral or even respectable." Then came a change in experiences. He met several Jewish university students whom he came to include in his list of friends. In the study of history he discovered that Judaism was the cradle of Christianity. " Could it be possible, I reasoned, that these despised Jews had contributed something to the traditions that were sacred to me? Gradually, then, I had to acknowledge that if I was a sincere seeker after the full truth. I must realize how narrow, prejudiced, and intolerant I had been. But

( 127) contacts with members of that race and study about their institutions have changed my point of view."

Another person who lived near a colony of Scandinavians of the peasant class, uneducated and crude, who did not try to learn English and whose children were seldom sent to school, reports that he never liked to be around them or to talk to them. Then he moved to another part of the United States and became acquainted with a well educated family containing daughters, all of whom he " liked very much." When he discovered that these people were Norwegians, he let his earlier impressions of the race influence him, and he no longer visited with them or, as he says, " I tried to, but their friendship was so interesting and desirable that my early prejudices were overcome. We are the best of friends, and I think very highly of Scandinavians."

Recalling her childhood days, an American woman states she once considered the entire Mexican people as being dirty and illiterate, because the first Mexicans she knew were " slovenly, ambitionless, and lazy." In high school, however, she had a Mexican woman for her teacher in Spanish. This woman was energetic, quick, witty, and neat. A visit to her home located in an old house in the Mexican district was enlightening. " I don't believe that I have ever seen any home cleaner than that one." Contacts with another Mexican woman who was a teacher revealed her as well versed in culture history. " She knew practically everything about the history, literature, and language of the Germans, Spaniards, Italians, French, and Mexicans." While she was not so neat or as mentally quick as the first teacher, she not only read and wrote five languages well, but also spoke them. The contacts with these two women, and with a few others like them, supplemented by extensive reading on Mexico, have been the means of changing a personal antipathy to friendliness. An

( 128) acquaintance with the hardships under which the Mexicans labor "made me first to sympathize with them and then to love them."

Even prejudices which have been taught a child deliberately over a period of time may be supplanted by friendly attitudes. An ex-soldier recalls that as a boy he was taught to resent the very existence of all foreigners, including the Russians, " Dagoes," and Orientals. Whenever he showed himself at all friendly toward a member of any of these races, he was " ostracized " by his parents and playmates. But the crumbling of his prejudices began as a result of reading books. In connection with an Italian under trial locally, he wrote his first drama. For a year he worked on this play and read extensively about Italian life, history, courts. Secretly, he found romance in the Italians. Later, his overseas experiences gave him an open admiration for the race. " Three Italians completed my conversion."

80. Formerly, my entire family was much prejudiced against the Japanese. I had been told about their immorality, their gambling, their desire to dominate this western coast, their detriment to the farmer because of low living standards and long hours of labor for the entire family. When any one mentioned restricted immigration, the suggestion was endorsed most heartily. Great was the dismay of all when it was announced that a Japanese had leased forty acres of ground across from us. At once we spoke of selling, etc., etc.

A quiet Japanese family of four moved into a hut erected at the extreme corner of the land. We were grateful for the location. Few words were exchanged for months. Application was made for irrigation water.

My mother became interested in the two children, who were, indeed, good little folks. She gave them fruit and cookies and other things which they did not have. Finally, when milk was engaged, they came for it daily.

In all his business contacts, the Japanese was thoroughly businesslike and considerate. He always paid before a bill could be sent, and on several occasions he was refunded the overpayment.

Exchanges of fruits and vegetables were made, and my mother

( 129) seemed especially happy to send over a surprise when she noticed that their working hours had been particularly long because they wanted to plant a special crop.

When the children were ill and assistance was offered and visits made, the couple seemed almost overcome. Gradually, more English was acquired and little hurried chats took place. Now and then, when emergencies arose, my brothers took the man to places in the machine, and their gratitude seemed unbounded.

It is true that in farming every one works long hours, usually for seven days a week. The labor is very tiresome -stooping and working in wet ground. However, sometimes whole fields of grown lettuce or cabbage must be plowed under because of market manipulation, although at the very time city people are paying enormous prices for those very commodities because of a limited supply. This is most discouraging after months of labor and expense.

As neighbors they are quiet, orderly people that mind their own business and yet are most kindly, reliable, and helpful.

Other Japanese came into the neighborhood and as much could be said for them. When the land agitation occurred and leases expired, foreigners of other races came who are not nearly such good neighbors. They are more selfish and have poorer principles. Our entire family has overcome a prejudice for the Japanese through direct contact extending over a period of years.[6]

81. Having from my early childhood lived here in C., where the prejudice against the Negro is not as great as it is in some parts of the country, I feel that I was not influenced against them so much by current opinion as I was by my own experiences with the Negro children that attended my own and a neighboring school. There were not a large number of Negroes at my school, but at the neighboring school a few blocks away they were almost in excess of the whites.

All through grammar school and intermediate, my experiences with the Negro children were unpleasant, ranging from gang battles on the street to classroom warfare. Only on one or two occasions did I find myself agreeably impressed with a colored boy or girl. There were two colored children in particular that I could finally come to admire. They were related to each other, were well mannered, bright, and were both good singers. On several occasions they distinguished themselves and won my

( 130) rather reluctant admiration. This was the only exception to my general dislike of the colored race upon leaving high school.

I lost track of these former classmates shortly after I entered high school; and it was not until recently, after several other happenings had changed my former viewpoint, that I again came into contact with one of them. From a feeling of resentment that I should have to live in the same world with them, I have come to regard the Negro as a capable, interesting, and useful citizen, worthy to become an integral part of our nation. My first experiences that helped to change my viewpoint happened at S. B., where there are quite a few Negroes in attendance. In one of my classes, a physical education class, I was paired off with a Negro girl of rather unpleasant appearance. Not wanting to raise an objection, I resigned myself to the idea of having her for a partner and was therefore agreeably surprised to find that my partner was one of the quickest and most skillful athletes in the class, and that, instead of her being a hindrance to my progress, I was the one usually at fault when we were beaten. A feeling of elation at our final winning, and the high score was no doubt responsible for the cordiality of my manner toward the girl the rest of the semester and the basis for the friendly intercourse we had in a later class.

In another field also I found a Negro to be my equal, if not my superior. In a class in story writing and literary criticism, a colored girl was one of the brightest and most talented members of the class. We spent many periods preparing our stories, and her criticisms and suggestions were of great value and aid to me. It was after several other similar experiences that I again met the Negro girl of my grammar-school acquaintance, and I was not at all surprised to find her an accomplished musician, a bookkeeper, and an accredited pharmacist. She was well known in musical circles in our city and is drawing a large salary at her trade of pharmacy. We had a long talk and found many points of common interest. She had attended college and had gone to several other schools, including a musical conservatory and a business college. She is now working in a drug store and fills prescriptions, attends entirely to the business end of a busy branch post office located in the store, and is teaching music at night and in her spare time. She is charming and well educated and has introduced me to several of her friends who are also of a high type of Negro.

These instances that I have quoted represent Negroes of a new

( 131) type that are coming more and more into prominence, led by Booker T. Washington, W. E. B. DuBois, and other Negro leaders of recent years.[7]

82. I feel much more friendly now toward the Japanese than I did twelve years ago. Twelve years ago I was on the mission field and visited in Japan. I heard some reports about the trickiness, insincerity, and troublesomeness of this race from the very lips of missionaries and others who knew the Japanese very well. For instance, I was told of a certain missionary who was traveling through Japan. She had purchased a ticket which was supposed to take her to a certain destination. On the way she changed her mind, for very necessary reasons, and decided to stop off a few stations before she reached her intended destination. This she did, and went immediately to the house of a missionary friend. It was about nine o'clock at night. She was ill and prepared to go to bed. Ten minutes after her arrival at this friend's house, however, the place was surrounded by police who banged upon the door in a most unceremonious way, demanding that the last arrival, the white woman, be brought to them. The missionary replied that her friend was sick and that she was unable to see them until early morning, when she would take the next train to her destination. The Japanese officers replied that she would not be allowed to stop over until the next train - that her ticket read through to such and such a place and that she had no right to stop off, under any conditions, buying of a new ticket, or anything-and that she would have to spend the time in the police station until the early morning train. The sick woman tried to get a little rest, but it was impossible, although her missionary friend endeavored to convince the officers that everything was all right.

They kept up the pounding through the night and were not satisfied until they had put the white woman on the train that was to take her to her destination. They could not understand why she could possibly want to stop anywhere short of that place, and they would receive no explanations of any kind.

Again, when we landed in various Japanese ports, they were very discourteous in their examinations of all on board, before they would allow any Americans to land. We might have understood the first instance cited, if it had been during the war, but it was not. It was just their way of doing things. Then, again, in coming to California, we heard all kinds of terrible stories

( 132) about Japanese, how they had poisoned a certain woman who would not lease land to them, etc. I have had Japanese gardeners treat me rudely and lie to me, and I knew they were lying, just for their own convenience, rather than put up a few vegetable plants that were in plain sight. They had more important engagements, so told me they did not have the plants. I should have stated that in going through China we heard all the time about the faithfulness and honesty of the Chinese, but only of the dishonesty of the Japanese. Even the Japanese themselves will not trust their own people in banks, etc., but, rather, put in the honest Chinese. Of course, in China no one would trust the Japanese, so we were told. Then again, in Japan, I was at first rather shocked because the Japanese would not get up in a street car that was crowded and offer me a seat. I was often the only woman in a car, yet they all let me stand. All these things brought about a general dislike for the nation as a whole, although I adored picturesque Japan.

As to the change of attitude which I now possess, this came about when I really began to know the Japanese, when they began to open up their hearts to me and tell me of their difficulties, seeing that I was naturally sympathetic, regardless of race. I was interested in going around on case studies, visiting Japanese homes here. I began to get into the very inside of this much misunderstood race and to see their side of the situation. When I understood the terrible way the Japanese were being treated here in California, I was very sorry for them, and began to bear with them their cruel treatment, to feel ashamed of my own race, and to realize that in many respects the Japanese were ahead of us. As I began to understand their customs and manners, I saw that I had misunderstood them.

I could give dozens of examples, but one will be enough. Perhaps you know a Japanese laughs when we would cry. He will tell you of the death of his son, the most terrible tragedy that could befall him, in a laughing manner. He laughs when things hurt him most or are most serious. This custom we think almost as incongruous as that of the Chinese wearing white as a mourning color while we wear black. I think the great bulk of ill-feeling between races is just that lack of understanding of the point of view of each. As I have visited and gotten acquainted with the Japanese, I see how superior they are to us in the many ways in which they are often thought to he inferior, judged by those who do not know them. I wish my home were as clean,

( 133) my children as neat and courteous and well-trained as those of the Japanese in whose homes I have visited. I can say the same of the Hindu homes in the city. In the Japanese Christian churches, in the schools, in the debating societies, in contests, the Japanese excel. The teachers in the schools invariably declare that the Japanese are their best students. In the university I have some Japanese friends. They are much more informed, more interesting, and better company than many of the American students. This can also be said of the Chinese and other oriental students. I would like to be as well equipped as they when it comes to brains. The Japanese, I believe, is the coming race of power in the world. They cannot be kept down. The Americans tried to keep them out of the best schools in Hawaii, setting a very high English test for entrance. This only spurred the Japanese on to greater work. They specialized, particularly in English, and passed the entrance tests above the Americans. They are bound to have the best along all lines.

I have no race prejudice as such, I believe. The question of marriage with oriental races or with mulattoes is a matter of logic - of expediency rather than race prejudice. I have seen the results in the Orient of marriage between, say the Indian and the white, in which we get the Eurasian, a useless, weak, degraded product - neither one thing nor the other, only the weaknesses of both races. That is not so true of the Chinese and the white as it is in most of the other cases.[8]

A study of these materials gives an idea of the actual ways in which reversals, both from friendly to antipathetic, and from antipathetic to friendly, both sudden and gradual, take place. By examining these, procedures may be devised for preventing unnecessary losses of racial good will, and for transforming prejudice into friendliness. The impact of a series of favorable contacts, providing there is not too much deep-seated prejudice to be overcome, and providing there are no intervening adverse experiences, usually brings about a reversal. It is wise, therefore, to exercise control over as many conditions as possible under which racial contacts occur.

( 134)


1. Choose any reversal of attitude (preferably a race attitude) that you have experienced, and describe the factors accompanying the change.

2. Compare the reversals from antipathetic to friendly, and from friendly to antipathetic, in as many different ways as possible.

3. Compare sudden reversals with gradual reversals from as many different angles as you can.

4. Work out an educational program for either an urban or a rural neighborhood whereby reversals from unfriendly to friendly attitudes may be effected on the part of natives toward immigrants.

5. Compare the full meaning and process of mutation of a racial attitude with the mutation of any other type of attitude.

6. Write a short story in which there are at least two reversals of race attitudes.


BRANDENBURG, B., Imported Americans, Chap. XX. Stokes, 1903.

BRIDGES, H. J., On Becoming an American, Chap. V. Jones, 1919.

COOLIDGE, MARY R., Chinese Immigration, Chap. XIV. Holt, 1909.

FAIRCHILD, H. P., Immigration, Chaps. XVII, XX. Macmillan, 1925.

LIPSKY, A., " The Political Mind of Foreign-born Americans," Popular Science Monthly, Vol. 85, pp. 393-403.

PANUNZIO, C., Immigration Crossroads. Macmillan, 1927.

STERN, ELIZABETH G., My Mother and I. Macmillan, 1917.


  1. Social Distance Studies.
  2. Ibid.
  3. Ibid.
  4. Ibid.
  5. Ibid.
  6. Pacific Coast Race Relations survey.
  7. Social Distance Studies.
  8. Pacific Coast Race Relational Survey.

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