Posts tagged Injustice.
Hesitation amdist the excitement
Maybe it’s just me. Maybe I’m over-analytical. Maybe I’m jaded.
But bear with me (or keep scrolling down, your choice).
I’m excited for the 1,000 prisoners to be released, their families (and yes, also for Gilad Shalit and his family)- unjust incarceration is always wrong.
But I have to pause and wonder what kind of sick calculus is at play here. It’s nothing new, and its properties are shifting, but constant (if that makes sense, which I hope it will). What sort of value judgement does the occupying government of Israel impose on the value of Palestinian life and how does this release reinforce that. 1 Israeli for 1,000 Palestinians. Cast Lead saw somewhere around 1,400 dead Palestinians and 13 dead Israelis. There’s this. There are countless other examples of this macabre arithmetic….
And I’m left to wonder, how can the international community abide such blatant use of disproportionate force? How can people buy into the hasbara of Israeli victimhood?
This is where I get jaded- what sort of future can we expect when the Israeli arithmetic weighs the value of a Jewish life at a 1:100 or 1:1,000 ratio against the lives of Palestinians?
Sorry, that is not to detract from the excitement of people going home- just a thought that has been bothering me.
An Open Letter to the “Papers Please” Alabama Confederacy of Hate
I am a person of few words so I’m going to keep this short.
I love it when bigotry and hatred come out in the open, parading as just laws upheld and sanctioned by our institutions and structures, because then, everyone can see that we don’t live in a “post-racial” society and an America that welcomes immigrants. And then, everyone fighting for racial justice and immigrant rights can hone in on you as a convenient target for structural and institutional oppression.
I have never been to Alabama. I was never going to come down there. It’s not like immigrants really want to live in your confederacy of hatred and racism. But I may change my mind now.
You’ve made it a criminal offense to provide transport or housing to any allegedly undocumented immigrant. I thank you kindly for this move because we are sure to send a large contingent of undocumented youth organizers to your state who shut down the streets and your Capitol with our message of courage and resistance.
And when your racist cops rise their batons to hit our friends and family members, when you call Immigration and Customs Enforcement to detain and deport young people of color Americans who were raised in this country and done nothing wrong, the world will be watching. And we will win.
Finally, you are getting sued pretty soon since your new law is unconstitutional, so I hope you have several millions for litigation. But really, it’s the non-legal forces of resistance that you should worry about more.
Thank you for the incredible gift,
A queer brown allegedly “illegal” immigrant
P.S. All the best building your tornado-devastated state without the help of cheap undocumented labor
Originally posted here. Feel free to reblog.
100% support this.
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt declared that the day of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941, would live in infamy. The attack launched the United States fully into the two theaters of the world war. Prior to Pearl Harbor, the United States had been involved in the European war only by supplying England and other antifascist countries of Europe with the munitions of war.
The attack on Pearl Harbor also launched a rash of fear about national security, especially on the West Coast. In February 1942, just two months after Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt as commander-in-chief, issued Executive Order 9066, which had the effect of relocating all persons of Japanese ancestry, both citizens and aliens, inland, outside of the Pacific military zone. The objectives of the order were to prevent espionage and to protect persons of Japanese descent from harm at the hands of Americans who had strong anti-Japanese attitudes.
In Washington and Oregon, the eastern boundary of the military zone was an imaginary line along the rim of the Cascade Mountains; this line continued down the spine of California from north to south. From that line to the Pacific coast, the military restricted zones in those three states were defined.
Roosevelt’s order affected 117,000 people of Japanese descent, two-thirds of whom were native-born citizens of the United States. The Issei were the first generation of Japanese in this country; the Nisei were the second generation, numbering 70,000 American citizens at the time of internment. Within weeks, all persons of Japanese ancestry—whether citizens or enemy aliens, young or old, rich or poor—were ordered to assembly centers near their homes. Soon they were sent to permanent relocation centers outside the restricted military zones.
For example, persons of Japanese ancestry in western Washington State were removed to the assembly center at the Puyallup Fairgrounds near Tacoma. From Puyallup to Pomona, internees found that a cowshed at a fairgrounds or a horse stall at a racetrack was home for several months before they were transported to a permanent wartime residence. Relocation centers were situated many miles inland, often in remote and desolate locales. Sites included Tule Lake, California; Minidoka, Idaho; Manzanar, California; Topaz, Utah; Jerome, Arkansas; Heart Mountain, Wyoming; Poston, Arizona; Granada, Colorado; and Rohwer, Arkansas.
As four or five families with their sparse collections of clothing and possessions squeezed into and shared tar-papered barracks, life took on some familiar routines of socializing and school. However, eating in common facilities and having limited opportunities for work interrupted other social and cultural patterns. Persons who became troublesome were sent to a special camp at Tule Lake, California, where dissidents were housed.
In 1943 and 1944 the government assembled a combat unit of Japanese Americans for the European theater. It became the 442d Regimental Combat Team and gained fame as the most highly decorated of World War II. Their military record bespoke their patriotism.
As the war drew to a close, the relocation centers were slowly evacuated. While some persons of Japanese ancestry returned to their home towns, others sought new surroundings. For example, the Japanese American community of Tacoma, Washington, had been sent to three different centers; only 30 percent returned to Tacoma after the war. Japanese Americans from Fresno had gone to Manzanar; 80 percent returned to their hometown.
The internment of persons of Japanese ancestry during World War II sparked constitutional and political debate. In the 1940s, two men and one woman—Hirabayashi, Korematsu, and Endo—challenged the constitutionality of the relocation and curfew orders. While the men received negative judgments from the court, in the 1944 case ExParte Mitsuye Endo, the Supreme Court ruled that, “Mitsuye Endo is entitled to an unconditional release by the War Relocation Authority.” Some people refer to the relocation centers as concentration camps; others view internment as an unfortunate episode, but a military necessity. During the Reagan-Bush years Congress moved toward the passage of Public Law 100-383 in 1988 which acknowledged the injustice of the internment, apologized for it, and provided a $20,000 cash payment to each person who was interned.
One of the most stunning ironies in this episode of American civil liberties was articulated by an internee who, when told that the Japanese were put in those camps for their own protection, countered “If we were put there for our protection, why were the guns at the guard towers pointed inward, instead of outward?”
Hmmm, “others sought new surroundings”? My complaint about this lies in the omission of certain extenuating circumstances faced by the post internment community. Huge financial losses were suffered, often rendering return to a viable life in the former community impossible. $25 and a train ticket “home” was a continued slap in the face- particularly to the now-displaced tenant farmers from the Japanese American community. With $25, a train ticket and newly-acquired homelessness- I think that “sought new surroundings” should be clarified to include those who had no other option than to try to find new means of livelihood in “new surroundings” as a matter of necessity. The various reasons for the delay in closing the last of the camps should also be highlighted- including trying to figure out what to do with the Japanese that the US took from Peru as hostages.
The agents completed paperwork and told the parishioners to sign their names on forms written in English. When the men and women hesitated—not knowing what they were signing—the agents reportedly told them, in a mix of Spanish and English, that if they did not sign the forms, they would be sent to separate jails, and the children would be sent to orphanages and become property of the United States.
When some began praying and softly singing hymns, an agent, according to the testimony, laughed and told them, “Let’s see if your God will save you from this.”
Similar to some Mennonites and the Amish, the congregation’s women do not wear pants and always wear colorful head coverings that are netted and sometimes beaded. Two agents reportedly told the women they “looked stupid,” and another asked, “Do you wear those scarves so you don’t have to brush your hair?”