Questions for Consideration
What does this article tell us about white fears regarding African American attitudes of World War II?
What kind of propaganda does he accuse Japanese agents of spreading, and why does Caylor believe it might be effective?
Does he make a distinction between Japanese agents and Japanese Americans?
This, in a way, may be an add on [Westbrook] Pegler's Friday column, in which, among other things, he made very clear the importance of the Negro people’s attitude toward the war. My story is that, whatever the philosophy involved, the enemy’s agents in our town are not neglecting an attempt to create a Japanese-Negro anti-white-race fifth column.
The Japanese colony and the Negro colony in San Francisco are close enough neighbors to provide many contacts. They share some things in common. The color-line is not so noticeable as it is elsewhere. This had made it possible, my agents learn from loyal Negro sources, for Japanese to spread racial propaganda.
It isn’t propaganda of the ridiculous Nazi kind, either. It doesn’t tell the Negro people that they’re really black Aryans. It points out subtly that their own experience should teach the Negroes that there’s less difference between brown and black than between black and white.
It takes advantage of all the real discrimination that has gone on, as well as the propaganda the Communists have used in past years in their effort to grab off the Negro vote. It attempts to sell the Negro on the idea that, although pacific by nature, he has often been forced into American military enterprises—and paid off in dirt.
It’s not nice to think that Japanese agents should be trying to stir up strife right in our own town—and at a time when the Japanese problem may mean such tragedy for loyal Japanese-Americans. But if you don’t think such things can go on, who do you suppose is tearing down air-raid shelter signs and defacing other notices designed to prevent confusion and save lives? Now is the time for Jap spies to do their stuff.
The San Francisco News