Racism and America’s Concentration Camps | Mas Hashimoto | TEDxMeritAcademy

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[Applause] how many of you are familiar with the japanese-american incarceration oh thank you and good night you guys are wonderful I was a prisoner of war during World War two held by my own country that was six years old this is my prison number one two five one two five two four I'm the letter D the family had one two five two four my family and I were incarcerated for three and a half years in post in Arizona during World War two as a teacher I would ask my students sometimes on the first day of school draw an American for me okay take out a piece of paper and draw an American cookie okay and then I would go around the room and check the drawings and sometimes the drawings would be of a stick figure okay not much better than kindergarten uh excuse me Marsha okay but Marsha is a kindergarten teacher my wife dropped an American for me you got somebody in mind hmm how many of you okay thought of drawing a woman thank you a majority of Americans are women who says it's a man's world men women can do everything a man can do and more how many of you thought of drawing a blonde blue-eyed hunk of a guy that Hitler would have been so proud of you too many Americans wasp is the American white anglo-saxon Protestant if you're not white anglo-saxon Protestant you're not really an American yeah you know I'm not Japanese I've never been Japanese I'm an American of Japanese ancestry my father was Japanese my mother was Japanese but I'm not Japanese when I go to Japan and I speak they too laughs and I go we don't talk like that anymore they know I'm a guy gene a foreigner when I was in London shopping and had a nice conversation with the sales lady and at the end she says oh you Yanks she's looking at me and I'm a Yank but in this country in parts of this country I'm a damn job hmm and I don't mean just the south they're parts of Idaho Montana and North Dakota as such yes it's kind of dangerous for me to travel hmm racism still prevails in this country after 9/11 the attack on the Twin Towers in New York there was talk about rounding up all the Arabs and Muslims Americans in this country and incarcerated them in concentration camps now to his credit george w bush the president he called the cabinet meeting and he told his cabinet members we're not going to do to the Arab and Muslim Americans in this country what we did to norm Mineta and his family and all talk about rounding up there the Muslims stopped and we were grateful now why was norm his family and 120,000 Japanese and japanese-americans two-thirds were American citizens from Washington Oregon and California incarcerated after the attack on Pearl Harbor well Cabrillo College instructor sandy Lydon historian emeritus said the Japanese strawberry farmer of Watsonville had nothing to do with the attack on Pearl Harbor did you know that there were a hundred and fifty-eight thousand Japanese and japanese-americans living in the territory of Hawaii it wasn't a state yet who were not incarcerated with the exception of about two thousand there in the war zone well they needed the Japanese and japanese-americans in Hawaii to run the economy of Hawaii they were the plurality there were 37 percent of the population the census was taken in 1940 their general Earthman said it's not necessary to do this there's no plans for sabotage we who were 2,500 miles away from the war zone we get incarcerated why I have to take you back a little bit in American history United States Constitution legalized slavery the US government condone and practice racism the Naturalization Act of 1790 Asians cannot become citizens of the United States the Cherokee Nation you've heard of the Trail of Tears they were forced out of their homes Dred Scott decision uses slave even free territory they're anti at Irish Catholic mentality in this country there were signs that were printed and displayed no Irish need apply hmm Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 police versus Ferguson separate bedico how can the separate be eagle a mitchell Palmer Raids 1919-1920 for communists and and Jews two were deported without trial just placed on the ship and shipped out Immigration Act of 1924 Japanese could not come to this country any more Fred Korematsu case our history is a history of racism discrimination regarding immigration as well in the early 20th century it was said in the newspapers that examiner the chronicle the McClatchy papers you know Sacramento Bee Fresno Bee ham The Sentinel that the Japanese race is an alien race which can never be assimilated into the American Way of life there's nothing of value of Japanese culture hmm nothing of value how many vegan sushi oh yeah sure she's good for you what about Banzai he kept on a flower arranging origami wax on wax off cut out a Japanese culture is rich and so many enjoy participating in Japanese culture to make sure the Japanese did not assimilate into this country the laws were passed Asians could not own property marry whites become citizens of the United States after the attack on Pearl Harbor December 7 1941 John elder whipped commander of the Western as 4th army at the Presidio of San Francisco had the ear of the President of the United States he said a Japs a Jap it makes no difference whether that Jap is a citizen or not Jed ku Hoover said mr. president we don't need to do this Francis Biddle who was the Attorney General at the time said mr. president I don't think we we can do this there were no lawsuits filed on our behalf executive order 9066 it's past 75 years ago you know there was a one group nationally one group that supported us the American Quakers the American friends they're the only ones nationally not even the ACLU supported us locally luckily we had some friends city attorney of Watsonville with John McCarthy our police chief Matt graves screw teach public schoolteachers and many others supported us you know with their reward they were called Jap lovers for supporting us they had their homes and cars vandalized and they were among the very first to welcome us back we had some very dear friends in 1942 our homes were searched without search warrants the FBI came into our homes they got the information from the bureau of the census the bureau of the census not supposed to do that we were hacked there were no trials except for four people but for the rest of us we had no charges no attorneys no due process of law this the Constitution of the United States cease to exist for us from camp there were ten major camps and from camps art men and women volunteered to serve in the United States Armed Forces the men many of them were in the hundred 442nd Regimental Combat Team the most decorated arming unit for its size and length of service my two brothers were in the MIS military intelligence service because they could read and write Japanese they went to Japanese school after high school each day they fought against the Japanese we use the Japanese language has a weapon against the Japanese the MIS stayed after the war with the restoration occupation restoration of Japan their service during the war saved countless American and Japanese lives it is estimated that is shortened a war by two years Congress formally acknowledged the work of the hundred 442nd in MI ass with a Congressional Gold Medal we're grateful our forced removal was a legal right No no it's legal the government of United States can't evict anyone from their homes if under the guise of military necessity today we won't use that term would use the term national security Congress and the president apologized for her wartime experience Civil Liberties Act was passed on August 10th 1988 we have an official apology you know of the hundred and twenty thousand the government expected sixty thousand to have died and sixty thousand were still alive but we fooled them eighty thousand of us were still alive you see sushi is good for you there's only one race that's the human race there are those who wish to classify us you know oh you're Caucasian American you're asian-american you're Hispanic American or black American now it's only one race you know dogs have we call them German Shepherd and French poodles and Chihuahuas what they go to anybody huh right they're colorblind I wish humans or colorblind today the present administration is constantly issuing new executive orders and policies regarding immigration contrary to the spirit of America fortunately now we have the Southern Poverty Law Center the American Civil Liberties Union we have so many groups and individuals supporting what really is of true America something we didn't see in 1942 will it happen again memory is short no not under the guise of military necessity so who's the biggest threat some suspect it would be the reporters and producers of faith in Jews it doesn't have to be an individual or group okay add national group a racial group it could be an occupation the days of Walter Cronkite the conscious of America are long gone now we have the internet radio talk show hosts TV commentators I'm grateful to be living here in Santa Cruz County the second most liberal County in the nation you know if if you know the history of Santa Cruz City it wasn't always that way yeah minorities were not welcomed in Santa Cruz growing up I didn't come to Santa Cruz very often but I have all changed how thanks to Cabrillo College and the University of Santa Cruz University of California at Santa Cruz the intelligentsia came and it changed the whole county today this is the most wonderful place in the whole world to live and I kid you not Gordon Habashi he was a student at the University of Washington a Quaker he was arrested convicted imprisoned the prosecuting attorneys lied to the judges yeah he spent some time now his conviction was vacated not overturned vacated Gordon hereby she said ancestry is not a crime today we would add Islam is not a crime with our newfound energy we have a lot of work to do you know there was a gentleman who lived not too far from Charlottesville Virginia that a place come on to sell Oh Thomas Jefferson eternal vigilance is the price of Liberty it's up to us all of us to work in peace and harmony compassion to overcome hate and bigotry and we can do it thank you [Applause]
Channel: TEDx Talks
Views: 35,068
Rating: 4.7213116 out of 5
Keywords: TEDxTalks, English, Humanities, Discrimination, Government, Human Rights, Islam, Law, Race
Id: 1RO8RI9Wqms
Channel Id: undefined
Length: 18min 59sec (1139 seconds)
Published: Fri Feb 16 2018
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