How The Japanese American Community Should Commemorate the 76th Anniversary of the Attack on Pearl Harbor

The Soul Consoling Tower marks the cemetery at the
Manzanar National Historic Site.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: National Park Service

LOS ANGELES — On this day, the 76th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, many Japanese Americans will grit their teeth, expecting to see anti-Japanese comments, not to mention the racial slurs and racist comments that our community has had to endure for our entire history, and given the current political and social climate following the 2016 Presidential election, hate-based attacks are far more frequent and violent.

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Manzanar Committee Statement On 2016 Presidential Election and its Aftermath

LOS ANGELES — The 2016 Presidential election has unleashed thoughts, feelings and acts that are antithetical to our democracy. Blatant racism and xenophobia are on the rise, including a dramatic increase in anti-Asian racism, and hundreds of hateful incidents, along with unconstitutional calls to ban or deport immigrants and Muslims—all of this grips our country. At the same time, an emboldened alt-right, neo-Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan, among many other hate-based organizations, threaten our society and our democratic traditions.

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Manzanar Committee Decries Donald Trump’s Recent Remarks On Muslims, Japanese American Incarceration

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LOS ANGELES — On December 9, the Manzanar Committee repudiated comments by Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump, who called for barring all Muslims from entering the United States, and just one day later, stating that he might have supported the incarceration of over 110,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry in American concentration camps during World War II.

“Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on,” a campaign press release stated on December 7.

“Without looking at the various polling data, it is obvious to anybody the hatred is beyond comprehension,” Trump said, in the statement. “Where this hatred comes from and why we will have to determine. Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victim of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in Jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life.”

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Manzanar Committee Calls Ret. General Wesley Clark’s Remarks on “Radicalized” Muslims “Xenophobic”

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LOS ANGELES — On July 23, the Manzanar Committee denounced remarks by retired United States Army General and former NATO Supreme Commander Wesley Clark, who called for the incarceration of “disloyal Americans” in camps eerily similar to the American concentration camps in which over 110,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry were unjustly incarcerated during World War II.

During a July 17 interview by Thomas Roberts on MSNBC, in response to the recent shooting in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Clark said, “During World War II, if someone supported Nazi Germany at the expense of the United States, we didn’t say that was freedom of speech. We put’em in a camp. They were prisoners of war. So if these people are radicalized and they don’t support the United States and they are disloyal to the United States as a matter of principle, fine. It’s their right and it’s our right and obligation to segregate them from the normal community for the duration of the conflict.”

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