Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Youth Gone Wild ...

I'm still reading Maury Klein's A Call To Arms. The book is full of tons of vignettes of the USA during World War Two. One I'd long thought of posting about is his account of how white Californians bought the farms from their fellow citizens of Japanese origin for a fraction of their true value, because those Japanese-Americans were about to be interred and had to sell their assets quickly. Before they were shipped-out to the barbed-wire camps in the desert, the Japanese were being held in squalid conditions at such places as "race-tracks, fairgrounds and parking lots with little consideration for their personal comfort or needs."

Even though their 450,000 acres comprised only 1% of California's land under cultivation, Japanese-American farmers managed to produce 40% of the state's total crop.

Hell, I'll just quote some more from Klein:
Once the evacuation began, members of the white-dominated Western Growers Protective Association and others swooped in to grab this land at eviction prices or rent it for a song. In the ugliest display of irony, the governor of California asked the War Department to hold up the relocation of Japanese in July and keep them in temporary quarters so that they might be hired as laborers at harvest time - perhaps on the very land they once owned. This was too much even for [War Secretary] Stimson, who protested it vigorously to Roosevelt and conveyed his feelings to Roosevelt. "After the Californians have been hellbent to get the poor Japs away from California and into other States," he grumbled, "now they are turning around and trying to stop them and keep them in temporary and unsanitary quarters for their own convenience for the period of the harvest."
And now, right-wing morons/assholes want to repeat the same insanity with Muslims!

But I really had to post today after reading the following. (And think about this the next time anyone ever tells you that the world is going to the dogs because the youth of today are completely out of control.)

In a section on the difficulties of raising children with both parents away (either in the military or in war production), Klein has a part about juvenile delinquency:
Sensational headlines leaped from the newspapers. In the Bronx twelve boys were indicted for raping a seventeen-year-old girl in a crowded movie theater. Two Cleveland brothers confessed to more than forty burglaries and three house fires. At home they had twenty guns and 2,000 rounds of ammunition. When their mother protested, one of the brothers shot her in the back, wounding her seriously. An eighteen-year-old in Los Angeles resolved an argument between his father and stepmother by shooting them both, then covering the murders by slaying his grandparents as well. When his eight-year-old brother started crying, he "let him have it too," then threw two of the bodies in a well. On Manhattan's Lower East Side police uncovered a vice ring that furnished teenaged prostitutes to middle-aged men. The madam running the operation was seventeen. All these revelations occurred during a single week. A month later Seattle uncovered "wolf packs" at two federal housing projects in nearby Renton. Fifteen boys and five girls admitted that to gain membership the girls agree to have sex with all the male members. One girl submitted to thirteen boys, another to ninety.
The "Greatest Generation" indeed.

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