The California State Grange, an agricultural fraternal organization founded in 1873, has written a formal letter apologizing for the way it treated Japanese Americans, reports Rafu Shimpo.
The group sent a letter to Japanese American Citizens League President David Lin. The Grange was a member of the Asiatic Exclusion League which also included the American Legion, the California State Federation of Labor, and the Native Sons of the Golden West.
The letter read in part:
“The California Grange passed a resolution in 1907 which stated that aliens living in the United States should be barred from buying and owning land. The California Grange was instrumental in passage of the Alien Land Law of 1920, and the 1924 law ending Japanese immigration to the United States.
“In 1922, the California Grange passed a resolution supporting federal legislation that resulted in the 1924 law that expressed ‘… the intense feeling of our people of the West in this matter, so absolutely vital to Christian civilization and the white races of our country.’
“In view of this history of discrimination, an apology is long overdue. The California State Grange, by unanimous vote of its member delegates, recently passed a resolution calling for an apology to the Japanese American community. As president of the California State Grange, I present this letter of apology to the Japanese American Citizens League, with the request that it be shared with Japanese Americans across the country.”
You can read the entire letter in Rafu Shimpo and find out about the Japanese American man who convinced the group to send the letter.