Manzanar Committee Denounces President Donald Trump’s Pardon of Former Maricopa County, Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio

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LOS ANGELES — On August 28, the Manzanar Committee denounced President Donald Trump’s pardon of Joe Arpaio, former Sheriff, Maricopa County, Arizona.

Arpaio was found guilty of contempt of court by United States District Court Judge Susan Bolton on July 31, 2017, after he ignored and willfully violated Federal court orders requiring the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office to cease and desist from racially profiling people, primarily Latinos who were “suspected” of being illegal immigrants.

“Not only did defendant abdicate responsibility, he announced to the world, and to his subordinates, that he was going to continue business as usual, no matter who said otherwise,” Bolton wrote in her decision, also noting Arpaio’s “flagrant disregard” for the court order.

Arpaio, an ardent Trump supporter, was pardoned on August 25, before sentencing for his contempt of court conviction.

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Manzanar Committee Statement on Racism, Xenophobia, and Terrorism In Charlottesville, Virginia

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LOS ANGELES — On August 12, the Manzanar Committee, sponsors of the annual Manzanar Pilgrimage and Manzanar At Dusk programs, repudiated the violence, fueled by racism and xenophobia, that occurred in Charlottesville, Virginia earlier today, not to mention President Donald Trump’s failure to condemn those who were ultimately responsible for the violence and terrorism that occurred.

“The Manzanar Committee is outraged by the vicious, premeditated attack on peaceful demonstrations this afternoon in Charlottesville,” said Manzanar Committee Co-Chair Bruce Embrey. “Today’s events can only be described as terrorism.”

“These acts must be condemned by all people,” added Embrey. “The Nazis, Ku Klux Klan, and other fascist groups, are, and have always been, terrorist organizations with no other purpose than to intimidate, terrorize and murder people of color. Domestic terrorism and racist violence have no other goals than to stop the expansion of democracy to those historically denied the full promise of the Constitution of the United States of America.”

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Coming Together to Stand Up – Reflections on the 48th Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage/2017 Manzanar At Dusk

Manzanar Committee Co-Chair Bruce Embrey addresses the crowd
during the 48th Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage on April 29, 2017
at the Manzanar National Historic Site
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: Gann Matsuda/Manzanar Committee

by Bruce Embrey

In the days and weeks leading up to Saturday, April 29, the day of the 48th Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage, the phone calls and e-mails poured in. There was no doubt that 2017 was the 75th year since our families, our community, were forced from their homes into horse stalls and barracks sparked interest in this year’s Pilgrimage.

People in their 80’s and 90’s, who had never been on a Pilgrimage before, called and told me their personal stories. Others were matter-of-fact: “Just the details on how to get to Manzanar,” some said. “Have to go before I cannot,” they’d say. Each and every conversation was meaningful.

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Every Day at Manzanar National Historic Site

by Patricia Biggs, Park Ranger (Interpretive staff), Manzanar National Historic Site


Manzanar National Historic Site has become an intense place to work lately. Every day, at least one visitor (usually more) tells me that he/she is worried that the same racist, knee-jerk reaction discriminating against a minority group is happening again.

Every Day.

And, if you’re wondering, most of the visitors making that comment are white men. Now, I love the white men in my life, and I think they’d agree, that when U.S. White Men are concerned about racial discrimination, it’s hit a new level.

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