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Unformatted text preview: 314 ' . ' ' Necessity of his kababayan, or countrymen, struggled for economic _justice,.
they came to realize how determined they were in their “search for a door into America.”19 The “Little Brown Brother” in America But the door was not open to Filipinos. They quickly discovered that
they were “little brown brothers” only in the Philippines; here, in
Continental America, their physical proximity exposed the limit of
American-white paternalism and benevolence. Explaining how he
had made the decision to approve the annexation of the Philippines,
President William McKinley said he had gone down on his knees to
pray for “light and guidance from the ‘ruler of nations’ ” and had
been told by God that it was America’s duty to “educate” and “uplift”
the Filipinos. The people of this new American possession were seen
by their guardians as backward natives to be “civilized” by Americans
seeking to carry the “white man’s burden.” Based on an ideology of
racial supremacy, American expansionism abroad turned into exclu—
sionism at home. “It must 'be realized that the Filipino is just the
same as the manure that we put on the land — just the same,” the
secretary of an agricultural association told an interviewer in 1930.
“He is not our ‘li'ttle brown brother.’ He isno brother at all! —- he
is not-o‘ur social equal.”20 '
Filipino immigrants encountered racial discrimination, often
ﬁnding themselves identified with the Asian groups that had entered
the c0untry'earlier. “Because of my color and race the white man
mistakes me for either a Japanese or Chinese,” a Pinoy said. When
a Filipino tried to get a haircut, he was asked by a white barber:
“Are you a Jap?” After he had been refused service in a white-owned
barbershop, Magdalene Abaya was ﬁlled with hurt and fear: “When-
ever I wanted to go into an American barber shop I always hesitated for fear that I would be treated like a dog again.” Filipinos were also ' sometimes thought to be black; staring at them whites asked, “Are
they colored?” On the doors of hotels, Pinoys often read signs saying:
“Positively No Filipinos Allowed.” They sometimes were excluded
from theaters or forced to sit in segregated sections. The Broadway
Theater in Portlandsegregated “the Filipinos, Japanese, Chinese,
Colored people on the balcony,” allowing “only whites on the ﬁrst
ﬂoor.” Filipinos were also frequently refused service in restaiﬁants.
Entering a coffee shop on Geary Street in San Francisco, Roberto
Valiangca sat down, waiting to be served. “The two waitresses simply
ignored me, laughing and joking with the other customers -—— acting Dollar :1 Day, Dime a i like I was not there,'.
and went — some ev.
but did not even bot!
twenty-ﬁve minutes, ;
realized then that 1 cm Finding a place t
were told by landlords
“Only whites are allc
Orientals are not alk
place might be overcr
the first one to try to :
as Japanese, Chinese,
to turn them away.”
cause they, like the J:
were not “white” an
“My folks were not <
buy a house. They b<
name and my brother:
a farm. They were jus
Not permitted by la‘
Angeles Mendoza rec
had been renting an
about the young Filip
money each month a
“That’s how we got t
“One of the white fa
we move out of the
sign it.”23a Called names lil
the arrest rate for Fil white males (accordin
1910 and 1940 the m ' the population Was 4.‘ for Filipinos), Filipinc
They were called “he:
ages, on the “same lei
the overwhelmingly 1
Immigration Study Cr
and their primitive m Necessity economic justice,
their “search for dear ly discovered that
lippines; here, in
tosed the limit of
:plaining how he
if the Philippines,
11 on his knees to
itions’ ” and had
:ate” and “uplift”
session were seen
ed” by Americans
on an ideology of
armed into exclu-
Elipino is just the
st the same,” the
:rviewer in 1930. ﬁber at all! — he rimination, often
. that had entered
:e the white man
?inoy said. When
r a white barber:
in a white-owned
and fear: “When-_
E always hesitated
ilipinos were also
hites asked, “Are
es were excluded
.5. The Broadway
vhites on th ﬁrst
ce in restargants.
stomers — acting Dollar 2: Day, Dime a Dance _ 32.5 like I was not there,” he bitterly recalled. “Other customers came
and- went— some even sat beside me. The waitresses served them '
but did not even bother to even talk to or look at me. After abOut‘ twenty—ﬁve minutes, I left the shop, feeling low, sad, ashamed; I realized then that I could not go anywhere because I was a Filipino.”21
Finding a place to live was usually a frustrating ordeal. Filipinos
were told by landlords and realtors: “Orientals are not allowed here.”
“Only whites are allowed in this neighborhood.” “The reason why
Orientals are not allowed to rent a place here is the fear that the
place might be overcrowded with other nationalities. You were not
the ﬁrst one to try to rent a place here. I have other Filipinos, as well
as Japanese, Chinese, and Mexicans in my ofﬁce, and always I have I
to turn them away.” Furthermore, Filipinos could not buy land be—
cause they, like the Japanese, Chinese, Koreans, and Asian Indians,
were not “white” and thus not eligible to naturalized citizenship.
“My folks were not citizens,” Terry Rosal said, “so they could not
buy a house. They bought the house, ,but the house was under my
name and my brother, George, and still is. . . . They could never own
a farm. They were just laborers, working in the agricultural ﬁelds.” -
Notpermitted by law to buy-a house in‘Oakland, Antonio and
Angeles Mendoza received special help from their landladies. They
had been renting an apartment from two Irish sisters; concerned-
abOut the young Filipino couple, the sisters secretly saved the rent
money each month and used it to buy a house for them as a gift.
“That’s how we got to own a house,” explained Angeles Mendoza.
“One of the white families tried to circulate a petition demanding ' '
we move out of the neighborhood, but no other families would
sign it.”22 .
Called names like “goo—goos” and “monkeys,” Filipinos re-
peatedly encountered anti—Filipino stereotypes and images. Though
the arrest -rate..for Filipino males compared favorably with that of '
white males (according to the Bureau of Census of Crimes, between
1910 and 1940 the number of felony commitments per thousand of ' the population was 4.4 percent for native whites and only one percent for Filipinos), Filipinos were often seen as “criminally—minded,” as.
troublemakers, willing to “slash, cut or stab at the least provocation.” They were called “headhunters” and “untamed” and primitive sav- '
ages, on the “same level as the American Indians.” Commenting on
the overwhelmingly male Filipino migration, the President of the
Immigration Study Commission stated: “These men are jungle folk,
and'their primitive moral code accentuates the race problem'even ...
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- Fall '07