Berkeley Chapter (2)
Carl R. Griffith, Jr.
Jefferson County Courthouse
1149 Pearl Street
Beaumont, TX 77704-4025
(409) 727-2191, ext. 8466
Dear Judge Griffith,
Thank you for placing on the Jefferson Commissioners Court agenda July 19, a hearing on the road name of "Jap Road" in Jefferson County. This road name as well as "Jap Lane" in Orange County is of great concern to Japanese Americans. The discrimination faced by Japanese immigrants and their descendents was extensive and costly, resulting in the wrongful incarceration of over 110,000 people of Japanese ancestry, most of whom were United States citizens.
There were laws prohibiting Japanese immigrants from becoming naturalized citizens.
There were laws restricting the right of Japanese immigrants to own real property.
This is still true in Florida even today. Yes that law is still on the books!
Japanese immigrants and their children were rounded up and imprisoned for over 3 years in desolate internment camps, without probable cause or due process, for the crime of being of Japanese descent.
It is a truly remarkable coincidence that this occurs in Texas; your local residents might want to chat with some of the WWII veterans from the 141st Texas Regiment. They became famous as 'The Lost Battalion'. They were cut off and surrounded by German troops, were running low on all their supplies including ammunition and were facing certain death. The 442 Regimental Combat Team, the all-Japanese American unit, rescued them after six days of fierce and bloody fighting. To the U.S. Army, the rescue of the Lost Battalion is one of the top 10 battles in its history. Japanese Americans have earned the right to be addressed with respect. This does NOT include being subjected to the use of the very offensive word 'Jap!'.
For more information see their web site:
Japanese American Citizens League