The bimonthly Gender Reader will be back eventually, but for now, a slightly different reader focusing on the upcoming anniversary of Executive Order 9066, which gave the US military the authority to forcibly relocate more than 120,000 Japanese Americans during WWII. In this reader: Allegiance the musical is having an encore; Japanese Americans speak out against the “Muslim registry”; fighting revisionist history; a new book about Fred Korematsu; and more.
My hero pic.twitter.com/YnEuIFmWIq
— John Early (@bejohnce) January 21, 2017
First off, are you following Densho on Facebook? Their Facebook page is a great source of news, and their website has a free archive of oral histories of the Japanese Americans who were incarcerated during WWII.
George Takei’s musical Allegiance, which was filmed and broadcast in movie theaters nationwide, is stunning. Not only does the musical portray how different factions of Japanese Americans resisted incarceration, each of the sides is given equal time and weight: trying to enlist in the military; answering no to questions 27 and 28; resistance; and attempts to smuggle information about the camps out. Plus the music is excellent. See it in Feb. 19 theaters nationwide.
KUOW interviews Tom Ikeda of Densho in the 11-minute piece “Muslim registry ‘alarming’ says descendant of Japanese internment.”
KUOW also interviewed Frank Abe in “Remembering those who resisted Japanese internment” about the tension and relationship between the resistance and the JACL.
“We Remember,” a letter to the then-President Elect, by a group of Yonsei:
And we say to our communities, to those who have forgotten– what is the point of our ancestors being released from concentration camps if we choose to remain mentally enslaved to the logics of capitalist white supremacy and xenophobia? What is the point of our freedom if we do not stand in solidarity with those whose freedom is threatened now? Do we no longer need watchtowers and prison guards to keep us timid and silent? Have we given way to fear? Is our ignorance and comfort worth the cost? How will we embody the spirit of gaman and ganbatte in solidarity with each other and others today?
David Muto’s piece “An Unsung Hero in the Story of Interracial Marriage” details the role of lawyer William Marutani and the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) in Loving v. Virginia, as well as Marutani’s incarceration at Tule Lake.
“The [LA ]Times regrets publishing letters about the Japanese American internment that weren’t ‘civil, fact-based discourse'” – The LA Times apologized for publishing two racist, revisionist letters saying (basically) “the internment camps weren’t so bad.”
For a detailed breakdown refuting pieces that erase the history of Japanese American incarceration point by point, see “I Can’t Believe I’m Responding to Another Pro-Japanese Incarceration Piece” on Angry Asian Man, published in response to a piece in The Tri-City Herald.
“There’s A Long, Ignominious Trail Of Bans, Registries And Forced Relocation” on NPR’s Code Switch discusses the history of bans, registries, and forced relocation in the US from 1882-2001. (No discussion yet of banning radicalized white men like Dylan Roof, Adam Lanza, or James Holmes.)