Wednesday, November 25, 2015
Someday historians -- good ones -- will analyze our era, as most now do of my idol FDR’s internment of the American Japanese during WWII, as shameful. NPR broadcast a segment of a Japanese woman who, as a young child, was interned in a Japanese-American camp. What her family went through, like many Holocaust survivors, was heart wrenching. The psychological scars often did not heal and, like many who survived the German camps, her father could not and never did talk about it. Their property was confiscated and their lives wretchedly uprooted.
George Takei of Star Trek fame tells a harrowing story of his family and him bused to a Japanese relocation camp of an American variety. These were people who did NOT hold allegiance to Japan. They were thoroughly American. Their only sin was to be born Japanese at a time when this nation was at war with Japan. Interning them is an indelible stain on this nation's history that can never be washed away. I thought when I heard the rendition of the American Japanese experience that our nation would never again do such a thing but, as the conservative icon Ronald Reagan would say, "There you go again." The rancid rhetoric and treatment of those Syrians who merely want to escape war with their lives in a nation whose Lady Liberty statue welcomes the huddled masses with open arms is an abomination.
The US Syrian refugee vetting process is in extremis complex and the ad infinitum requirements to get into this country many. The fiery hoops Syrians must jump through to gain sanctuary let alone citizenship are daunting. Why Syrian refugees would want to come to our exceptionally unwelcoming land I do not know. It's hard enough for persons of color whose ancestors came here in chains. Those African Americans who were born here have had their voting rights taken away, many have been jailed and more than a few have been shot dead in the streets by over-reactive police.
A pox on Republican heads whose racist rhetoric is reflected in what comes out of the mouths of the leading Republican candidates and is a national disgrace. When these mendacious Republicans die may their souls, if they have them, never rest in peace!