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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How The Japanese American Community Should Commemorate the 74th Anniversary of the Attack on Pearl Harbor

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

LOS ANGELES — On this day, the 74th 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.

But today, perhaps we should keep our collective chins up and ignore those insults, epithets and comments. After all, given the circumstances, this year, December 7 should remind the Japanese American community of what the attack on Pearl Harbor meant for us…the unjust incarceration of over 110,000 of us—two-thirds citizens by birth—in American concentration camps, because of racial prejudice, wartime hysteria and a failure of political leadership.

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Manzanar Committee Condemns Statement By Roanoke, Virginia Mayor David Bowers Regarding Syrian Refugees

To download a copy of this statement,
click on the image above.
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LOS ANGELES — On November 18, the Manzanar Committee repudiated statements by David Bowers, Mayor, Roanoke, Virginia, in which he used the unjust incarceration of over 110,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry as justification for his demand that Syrian refugees be denied asylum in the Roanoke area.

In an official statement, Bowers said, “I’m reminded that President Franklin D. Roosevelt felt compelled to sequester Japanese foreign nationals after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and it appears that the threat of harm to America from ISIS now is just as real and serious as that from our enemies then.”

Manzanar Committee Co-Chair Bruce Embrey rejected Bowers’ remarks out of hand.

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Flap Over Muslim Community Center In New York: History Is Repeating Itself…Again

The recent flap over the Cordoba House, the Muslim community center that will include a mosque that is proposed to be built near the site of the World Trade Center in New York—Ground Zero, one of the targets of the September 11, 2001 attacks, draws disappointing and dangerous parallels to what Americans of Japanese ancestry faced before, during and after World War II.

Two recent stories and a radio interview highlight these parallels and the dangerous road our nation appears to be traveling down once again. Read more of this post