As I was reading the daily pundit summary on Daily Kos, I came across this fascinating account of the anti-Asian paranoia in the early part of the twentieth century that led eventually to the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II. I mention it here because it gives me the opportunity to tell once again a family story of which I am very proud. Faithful readers of this blog will recall that my paternal grandfather, Barnet Wolff, was a leader of the Socialist Party in New York City during the first quarter of the last century. In 1910, he went as a delegate [representing the Jewish Agitation Bureau!] to the annual Socialist Party convention in Chicago. At the convention, I am appalled to have to report, the assembled socialists voted in favor of excluding Asian workers from the United States. But my grandfather, God bless him, voted against the proposal.
For my account of the affair, you can read pages 22-5 of Barney’s Political Career archived at box.net, accessible via the link at the top of this page.