Wednesday, November 23, 2016

#JTOWN4UNITY -- United for Compassion

Last night in San Francisco under the Peace Pagoda, several hundred Japanese Americans and friends gathered to show solidarity with communities targeted in the wake of the election.

According to Nichi Bei Weekly

Since and before the elections, there has been a rise in incidences of hate throughout the country, which appear to be emboldened by the “misogynistic, xenophobic and racist” rhetoric of the Trump campaign. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), to date, has documented more than 430 incidents since the elections alone, including physical assaults and racist vandalism.

Citing its firsthand knowledge of the effects of “wartime hysteria, racial prejudice and the failure of political leadership,” the community is responding to this rhetoric as a “stark reminder of the effects of the deprivation of civil liberties.” .

Event organizers aim to convey their expression of unity with the targeted communities, which include Muslims, Arab Americans, immigrants, Latinos, African Americans, Asian Americans, LGBTQ people, Native Americans and women.

Since that was published, the count of hate incidents recorded at the SPLC has risen to over 700.
Several elders recalled being placed in camps behind barbed wire during World War II, despite being citizens and loyal to their country. They know too well what fear can do.
Youth leaders were attentive.

The Bay Area Day of Remembrance Consortium put on the event with sponsorship from the San Francisco chapter of the Japanese-American Citizens League, the Japanese Community Youth Council, the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California and the Nakayoshi Young Professionals, along with the Nichi Bei Foundation.
UPDATE: In response to this post, an older white friend passed on this story:

During WWII my aunt worked for a lovely Japanese family named Nockeye (sp?); they owned a gift shop. She went to work the one morning and the shop was locked and the entire family was gone. No warning, no explanation - just vanished. What a shameful time for our country.

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