Sacramento Union – 5 February 1917
Cancellation of Oriental Liquor Licenses Asked
The Trade Protective League of Sacramento has sent communications to the city commission and to the board of supervisors asking those bodies to cancel all liquor licenses now held by Orientals. This action by the league was taken after the city of Stockton had adopted a similar plan and the Orientals in that city have been served with notice that their liquor licenses will be revoked in three months.
According to George Davis, secretary of the local protective league, the Orientals sell liquor cheaper than the white saloon men can buy it at wholesale. The breweries discriminate against the white men and in favor of the Orientals, but this charge they deny. “Not only do the Orientals sell cheaper than the white men can buy,” said Davis, “but they deliver to all parts of the city. In many parts of Sacramento the Chinese sell two glasses of gin for five cents and they sell short measure by the bottle. Many of them do not pay any license. Only last week State Sealer of Weights and Measures Charles G. Johnson was complained to about the short measure the Chinese were selling and he investigated and found the complaint true. They were allowed to go with a warning that the next offense would mean a heavy fine.
“The situation in California is getting acute. The Chinese control the pork and veal markets and the Japanese control the bean and vegetable markets and they are gradually reaching out all the time and it will be but a short time until they will control the market for other commodities. They pay no money to the schools, they cannot vote, are not subject to jury duty nor to the call of this country in event of war, with the result that their interests in civic improvements is nothing. The Idaho legislature is now framing a bill to keep the Orientals out of that state, because they realize what the future has in store for them if they are allowed to reach out in future as in the past.
“I was in a market in this city the other day when a white woman came
in and asked for a cut of steak off of a certain piece on the block. The Chinaman cut the steak and the woman told him she did not want the outside cut and asked for the next cut. The Chinaman laid the steak on the block and proceeded to wait on a number of other customers, making the woman wait until he was good and ready to wait on her. This shows they are insolent and independent.
“One has no idea how many white people patronize Orientals. Our investigations have shown us that many white people prefer to trade with Japanese’ and Chinese in preference to white merchants. We have found that a well known Sacramento physician goes to Oakland and has his dental work done by a Japanese dentist. We have also found that two certain bank clerks have their clothes made by Japanese tailors in the lower end of the city. This is hard to believe, but it is true nevertheless.
“Another thing we have found which we cannot understand is that many Sacramento saloon men have Japanese porters. The saloon men of course now are in a position where they need all the votes they can get, but they retain the Orientals in spite of the fact that the latter cannot vote. We have been told by white farm laborers that they cannot get a job as porter in Sacramento saloons during the winter when there is no work on the ranches, and these same men also have said that they vote against saloons just because of the attitude of the saloon men, who would rather have a Japanese or a Chinaman working for them than a white man.
“These are only a few of the conditions that the Trade Protective league of Sacramento is trying to overcome. The problem of handling the Orientals is a big one, and it Is going to take time and diplomacy to solve it. Our organization is but two months old, but we have taken up the problem and are trying to inform the public as to what they are doing when they encourage Orientals in the various lines of business.”