Monday, May 21, 2018

Never again

The California Museum in Sacramento includes a powerful permanent exhibit -- UPROOTED: Japanese Americans during WWII. Seventy-six years ago, Japanese Americans in California were swept up and sent away to internment camps. Old people recount their memories of childhoods ripped apart.

"My grandmother was looking at her roses and she said 'I don't think I'm ever going to see this again.'"

These people were no threat to this country as cooler heads understood even then. But fear and racial panic overwhelmed common sense and human decency. Somebody had to suffer for the Japanese empire's attack on Pearl Harbor. (Ironically, Japanese Americans in Hawaii were not locked away. The U.S. Army welcomed their labor for the war effort.)

The actor George Takei of Star Trek fame was one of those children sent to the camps. He explains in a looping video at the entrance to the exhibit how travesty came to pass.

Here's more from Takei on the internment from a PBS documentary.
Finding this exhibit in a state facility just a block from the capitol building reminds me how glad I am to be a Californian. We are far from perfect, but we still think we can make our state kinder, smarter, and better.

1 comment:

Rain Trueax said...

I imagine you have been to Manzanar. We were there a few years ago and it was a combination of horrifying that we did this to the Japanese people in our country and the glory of the human spirit put into such a situation.

Slowly they are restoring the beauty they created there in the midst of what could have felt like nothing. Creative, inspiring. I wrote about it with some photos after I got home. It's at https://rainydaythought.blogspot.com/2011/05/creating-beauty.html if you are interested. The photos don't begin to do it justice. I did make a Japanese lantern from stone when I got home.

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