The Chink

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When he was eight, he emigrated to the United of America, where his uncle tended gardens in San Francisco. [. . .]

The Chink picked English and other bad habits. He to high school and other dangerous places. earned American citizenship and other dubious distinctions.
asked what he wished to do with life, he answered (although he had learned appreciate movies, jukebox and cheerleaders) that he wanted grow yams on the side of volcano - but as that impracticable in the city of San Francisco, he , like uncle, a gardener. For more than dozen years he made grass greener and flowers flowerier the campus of the University of California at Berkeley. [...]

By special arrangements his employers, the Chink attended class a day at the university. Over a twelve- span he completed a good many courses. He graduated, but it would be a mistake to assume he not receive an education.

He was astute enough to warn his relatives, December 8, 1941, the day Pearl Harbour, "The shinto is gonna hit the fan. We'd better get yellow asses back to some safe volcano and eat yams this blows over."

They didn't listen. all, they were patriotic, property-owning, tax-paying citizens.
The Chink wasn't anxious to , either. He was in love again. Camping the rim of a different volcano. So to speak.

On February 20, 1942, came the order. Two weeks , the Army took steps. In March, evacuation in full swing. Some 110,000 people of Japanese ancestry moved out of their homes in "strategic" areas of the West Coast and settled in ten "relocation" further inland. They could bring to camp what they could carry. Left behind houses, businesses, farms, home furnishings, personal treasures, . Americans of non-Nip ancestry bought up their farmland ten cents on the dollar (The crops failed). Seventy percent the relocated people had born and reared in the US. "Loyal" Japanese were separated from "disloyal." If one would swear allegiance to American war effort - and could pass an FBI investigation - had the choice of remaining in a relocation camp or employment in some non strategic . The camps were militaristic formations of tarpaper barracks, supplied canvas cots and pot-bellied stoves. Six to nine families lived in a barracks. Partitions "apartments" were as as crackers and did not reach the . (Even so, there were an of twenty-five births per month in most .) There was no great rush to leave the camps: a loyal that had been relocated on an Arkansas farm had been killed by an irate anti-Jap mob.

Disloyal Japanese Americans - who expressed excessive bitterness over the loss of property and the disruption of their , or who, for various other reasons, were suspected of being to national security - were given the pleasure of another's company at a special camp, the Tule Lake Segregation Center in Siskiyou County, California. The Chink had been asked if he the American war effort. "Hell no!" he replied! "Ha ha ho ho and hee hee." He waited for the logical next , did he support the Japanese war effort, to which he would have given the same negative response. He was still waiting when the military police shoved him on the train to Tule Lake
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From Even Cow Girls Get the Blues by Tom Robins, 1976

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