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About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (Dec. 6, 1901)
I ' '.
WILLIAfl J. BRYAN, EDITOR AND PROPRIETOR.
Vol. i. No. 46.
Lincoln, Nebraska, December 6, 1901.
$1.00 a Year
The Yellow Peril.
. It will be necessary for the present congress
to. take acjtion upon the Chinese exclusion act
which expires by limitation May 24, 1902. The
Kjansas City platform contained the following
plank on the subject:
We favor the continuance and strict en-
forcement of the Chinese exclusion law and
its application to the samo classes of all
This plank was unanimously agreed upon by
the platform committee, and there was no dissent
from it among the delegates. It is to be expected,
therefore, that the proposition to extend the
Chinese exclusion act will receive the support of
all the democrats in the house and senate. The
editor of The Commoner received a letter a few
days ago from a democrat who complained that
the laboring men of the Pacific slope had ignored
the. Chinese question in the last campaign and
suggested that it would only be a merited punish
ment if the republican party refused to extend the
exclusion act. It is not unnatural that some
resentment should be felt toward those who sup
ported the republican party in spite of the dangers
which republican supremacy involves, and yet no
one can justify himself in either supporting a bad
policy or in failing to protest against it merely be
cause the policy would punish .some who ought to
have exerted themselves to prevent ij:. That
many of the republican leaders are in favor of a
..policy, Jfcat will flood the country with cheap ,
Chinese labor, is true, and that an imperial policy
tends to lend encouragement to the cheap labor
proposition, is also true, but the failure of the
laboring men' to see these dangers in advance
would not justify .democrats in remaining quiet
on this subject, although the republicans are in
"power and are responsible for legislation.
The Chinese question is one that effects the en
tire country, not the Pacific Coast alone or the
laboring men alone. It is true that the Pacific
Coast would feel the evil effects of Chinese emigra
tion first, and it is also true that the laboring men
would come into immediate contact with oriental
labor, but in its ultimate influence the subject
touches all parts of the country and reaches all
classes. The question is whether we are going to
build up a strong, independent, upright and pa
triotic people and develop a civilization that will
exert a helpful influence on all the world, or
whether we are going to be a greedy, grasping na
tion, forgetful of high ideals and concerned only
in the making of money.
Chinese emigration is defended by two classes
, of people. First, by those, comparatively few in'
number, who believe that universal brotherhood
requires us to welcome to our shores all people of
all lands. This is the sentimental argument ad
vanced in favor of Chinese emigration. There Is
no more reason why we should construe brother
hood to require the admission of all people to our
country than there is that we should construe
brotherhood to require the dissolution of family
ties. The family is a unit; it is the place where
character and virtue and usefulness are developed,
and from the family a good or evil influence ema
nates. It is not necessary nor even wise that the
family environment should be broken up or that
ill who desire entrance should bet admitted to the
family oircle. In a larger sense a nation is a
family. It is the center for the cultivation of na
tional character, national virtue and national use
fulness. A nation is under no obligation to the
outside world to admit any body or anything that
would injuriously effect the national family; in
fact it Is under obligation to itself not to do so.
The influence of the United States will bo much
more potent for good if we Temaln a homogeneous
nation with all citizens in full sympathy with all
other citizens. No distinct race like tho Chinese
can come into this country without exciting a fric
tion and a race prejudlco which will mako it moro
difficult for us to exercise a wholesome influence
upon the Chinese in China, not to speak of our in
fluence on other nations.
Let us educate tho Chinese who desire to learn
of American institutions; let us offer courtesy and
protection to those who come here to travel' and
investigate, but it will not be of permanent benefit
to either the Chinese or to us to Invite them to be
come citizens or to permit them to labor here and
carry the proceeds of their toil back to their own
The second, and by far the larger class, em
braces those who advocate Chinese emigration on
the ground that it will furnish cheap labor for
household- and factory work. There is no force In
the argument that is made by some that it is diffi
cult to secure girls to do housework. If domestic
service is not popular as compared with other
w.ork, it is because the pay is not sufficient to mako
it attractive and the remedy lies in better wages.
Labor can be secured for any and every honorable
and the demand for Chinese servants comes with
poor grace from those who often spend on a sin
gle social entertainment as much as a servant'3
wages would amount to in an entire year. At this
time When skilled and intelligent American labor
is able to compete in foreign markets with the
cheapest, labor of the world, it is absurd to talk
about the necessity for cheap factory hands.
The increase in Japanese Immigration, or rath
er importation (for large numbers of them are
brought for specific purposes) has been referredto
in a former issue of The Commoner. IWwas there
suggested that the Japanese government would
doubtless, if asked to do so, place restrictions upon
Japanese emigration that would make it unneces
sary for us to deal with the subject by legislation.
This matter should at once be brought to tho at
tention of the Japanese authorities, and unles3
sufficient and satisfactory action Is taken by the
home government the Chinese exclusion act should
be made broad enough to extend to Japanese of
the same class.
The subject of oriental emigration cannot be
discussed without giving some consideration to
the danger of cheap labor from the Philippine isl
ands. It will soon be necessary to legislate on
this subject. If the Filipinos are permitted to
come here there is danger that the Philippine ques
tion will become only second in aggravation lo
the Chinese question. If, on the other hand, the
Filipinos are prohibited from coming here (if a
republic can prohibit the inhabitants of one part
from visiting another part of the republic), will it
not excite a just protest on the part of the Fili
pinos? How can we excuse ourselves if we In
sist upon opening the Philippine islands to the In
vasion of American capital, American speculators,
and American task-masters, and yet close our doors
to those Filipinos who, driven from home, may
seek an asylum here?
TIio democratic party should take a strong
and aggresslvo position on this question. It can
afford to'oppoBO Chinese emigration and insist
upon tho unity and homogoncousness of "oiir
nation. It can afford to Insist that Japanese la
borers shall be treated the samo as Chinese labor
ers and excluded, by agreement with tho Japanese
government if possible, by congressional legisla
tion if necessary.
The democratic leaders should further point
out that the Philippine question involves tho samo
menace to our country, and that as wo can neither
afford to admit tho Filipinos nor yet mako a dis
tinction between different parts of tho republic,
we should at once declare our purposo to give the
Filipinos independence as soon as a stable govern
ment can be established.
Can it be.
Referring to tho great railroad trusts, tho
Chicago Tribune says:
An issue of tremendous consequence Is
thus being brought to tho whole country. It
. Is a matter for conjecture if these railroud
and financial manipulators comprehend what
this issue is. The failure of full and effective
government regulation which the roads have
so far succeeded in breaking down means gov
ernment, ownership, nothing less than that.
And toward Just? that conclusion tho combina
tions are forcing tho country. It will be a
great mistake to suppose that tho present
patience of the people with the growing domi- -
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'tenroer will alwavs nrovo to bo. "tfflwafr
"What r.ighf. has the Tribune 'to ''contribute to,
the disquie't of the people?" . . ' " '.
What right has tho Tribune "to seek to mako
the people discontented?"
What right has the Tribune to "attack prop
erty?" Does not tho Tribune know that trusts are
"indispensable to progress," that "consolidation is
tho decree of destiny," that a railroad octopus for
tho United States of America will make us what
we so long have wished to be, "a world power?"
The Tribune threatens government ownership,
which tho Tribune and other republican newspa
pers have so often denounced as a populist fallacy.
What Is the world coming to when so strong a
republican newspaper as the Chicago Tribune
finds' it necessary to raise its voice in protest
against monopoly and goes so far as to threaten a'
populist remedy for a republican disease?
Can it be that after all there Is evil in the
trust system? Can it be after all that consolida
tion and destruction of competition are not good
for the public welfare?
Let Our Ideas Conquer.
One of tho presi denies of Lipa, Batanzas Pro
vince, P. I., has addressed a letter to the "Presi
centes of the Province" inviting them to join him
in sending two young men, to be selected from tho
students by competition, to the United States for
the purpose of studying American institutions.
He offers to give thirty dollars (Mexican money)
a month, and asks the. other "Presidentes" to con
tribute a like proportion of their salaries.
It Is a worthy precedent, and it is to be hoped
that it will bo followed in other provinces. Of
course these Filipino boys cannot come here to
study our institutions without becoming aware
of tho inconsistency between our professions at
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