The irony that my family was persecuted by the Japanese during World War II and spent years in concentration camps, yet in the 21st Century, it’s the United States that is doing the persecution and making the concentration camps, and I’m living in Japan for a higher quality of life!
While on home leave here in Florida, I’d rather be catching up my blog on all the wonderful things I experienced in Japan. Trump and his horror show, however, just won’t let me.
The United States is separating families of immigrants and refugees in a most inhumane policy, just as the Japanese did to my father, separating him from his mother and two sisters for two years as a 10-year-old to survive alone during WWII. It causes horrible psychological damage.
Of course this is old news, the United States put Native American children into boarding schools to assimilate kids and wipe out their culture and ancestral connections.
It also put Japanese-Americans into internment camps, but as survivor George Takai said, at least they weren’t separated from their families. Family separation definitely damaged my father more severely. It’s causing enormous damage on these refugee kids already. I think it’s intended. It’s inhumane and barbaric. Worse of all these 21st Century American concentration camps are for-profit!
And now they are housing migrants at Fort Sill, former site of Japanese-American internment and Geronimo. It seems this is all intentional and the U.S. is slipping into tribalism with its irrationality under Trump, blood money lust or reporter bashing. It’s also regressing in disturbing sadistic ways.
Sen. Lindsey Graham’s bill would reverse a long-standing order on detention dubbed the “20-day rule.” The rule, adopted after the 1997 Supreme Court Flores agreement, which set the nation’s rules for the treatment of immigrant minors in federal custody, says that migrant children, whether they arrived with family or are unaccompanied, cannot be held in detention for more than 20 days. Graham’s bill would instead recommend holding migrant children with their families for 100 days.
Why on Earth do that? Because private for profit prisons get $775 per child from taxpayer money, that’s why!
But there is good news that Bank of America just relented to pressure to stop funding for profit prisons, maybe SunTrust Bank, that is merging with BB&T to become Truist Bank, will follow suit. Read my boycott Truist Bank blog post here! Your voice and pressure has been making this happen! Thank you!
I went to Homestead on Father’s Day to witness for myself. How could I not? Ancestral trauma reactivated in my DNA led me there. There was a mass protest that day.
More than 300 people showed up, although heavy rain kept the more than 800 who had RSVPd away, but not the message!
I drove down and spent the night before getting there at 9 a.m. to meet others. It was pouring rain, and lightening is a hazard too. I was horrified, traumatized, to see this concentration camp actually happening. But I was among so many amazing, loving, powerful activists. I learned so much! We shall overcome just as we always have!
I arrived early to witness, but the march didn’t start until after 2:30. I spent all day in the rain with the march. It was a fabulous turnout, and it got a lot of press, as people are waking up to this horror that it their country and realizing that being silent is complicity.
Democratic candidates are flooding to Homestead to witness this atrocity. Another march is July 12 for the nationwide Lights for Liberty.
This is what we live for! It’s showtime! Get up and be there or at your local chapter event! I will be there! This time I will be also stopping at Miramar, Florida, where just like the Nazis forced Jews, immigrants are forced to line up in the sweltering Florida heat at the ICE there and report.
Here are some of my photographs from the June 16, 2019 Father’s Day March. It was hard to protest and photograph and witness, especially in the rain! I’m putting together a film as well.
My signs melted, but not the message! This is my witnessing for the prosecution. Because there will be war crime tribunals. There will be justice. There will be reparations, just like there was for other victims of persecution, including my father.
Yes, it definitely can be upsetting, especially when I witnessed the camp and the children, the similar fence my father described, how people would slip them notes at risk of prosecution, the same lack of education, the same milling around doing nothing. Children can’t even touch each other, yet my father at least had back scratching, he said, that soothed each other when despair prevailed. These children have no comfort. It’s cruel.
These poor children. I wondered their individual stories as I watched with binoculars. Were their families dead? Alive? Where are they from? Horror! These poor children! Their poor parents!
It’s agonizing. But I always recover. I hold to the center until it passes. Mostly the pain of people’s silence can be mind-boggling. The responses I’ve gotten are because they are afraid or just don’t know or care. But I have compassion for them. I tell them:
Luckily, history is on our side. The battle is already won. Humanity wakes up because people out there care more about children than their next stock trade or McMansion purchase. Because are we humans or are we machines? It’s our capacity to care that exemplifies our humanity. And the United States and the world deserves a caring economy, not a prison economy.
Please call your Congresspeople EVERYDAY! I met so many amazing activists who do JUST THAT! Call their Congresspeople EVERYDAY! It makes a difference! You can too! I called my Rep. Michael Waltz to sponsor the HR 1945 Berta Caceres Act. End military aid to Honduras. Raise your voice today! Every voice counts for peace!