I finally finished reading "A White Man's Province - British Columbia Politicians and Chinese and Japanese Immigrants" by Patricia E. Roy. All I have to say is give me books on philosophy, give me religious texts..... heck, I would have read Sartre in French instead, if I had known how irksome this book would be. I wasn't bothered by the reprinting of racist comics and poems from the 1900s, or the racist comments made by politicians and journalists of the time, as much as the author's writing style, which seemed to lack continuity and timeline in subject matter, jumping from one year's events forward, then back and forth through different years in more than one chapter. Often it appeared to me that quotes were re-quoted in further chapters as was other content. There also seemed to be a lot of generalizations made by the author, not just the generalizations made at the time about the Chinese and Japanese immigrants themselves.
It is apparent that there is not a lot of commentary available on the Japanese people who were in the province at the end of the 19th and into the 20th century... but it is known that their numbers were considerably less than the Chinese (data provided in the Appendix). I had to chuckle to myself when on Page 232 the author states: "So different were the attitudes towards Chinese and Japanese immigration and their home countries that it is advisable to examine the two matters separately." One would think that upon determining this fact in her research, being fairly extensive, that she would have published a slightly different book.
And.... sadly, it would appear that the author does not fully understand the meaning of racism, for all her good intent. "The campaign for a "white man's province" though blatantly racist in appearance, was, in fact, a catch phrase that covered a wide variety of concerns and transcended particular economic interests." Can you say.....racism?
This is my first critical review of a book on my blog, and I may be totally off-base, however, regardless of my opinion, I still recommend it to anyone interested in.... well.... racism in British Columbia history.