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They're not the "other"

Reader comment on item: Why the Japanese Internment Still Matters

Submitted by Tasha (United States), Nov 26, 2005 at 18:28

Okay, some of you have mentioned the huge "pay-out" that Japanese Americans received from the government - if you call $20,000 a huge sum of money compared to loss of total possessions, home, business, etc, you are quite mistaken. Also, most of the people who were most adversely affected by internment were older Japanese-Americans, most of whom had since died and never saw the apology or the reparations.

Having said that, my question is - if a white, conservative Christian ended up committing some terrorist act in America, would you believe all such persons in America should be tracked? Probably not. And the reason is that you see yourself as being more American than the Japanese-Americans in the 1940s and the Muslim/Arab Americans now. You see them as the "other," somehow not being as American as you, and that "we" must protect "ourselves" from all of "them" in our society. Shame on you. You have not cornered the market on being American in this country.

It is this profiling and tracking of peoples that are seen as the "other" in American society that perpetuate acts of racism and violence against them. I am a conservative Christian myself, but I fully recognize that if an extremist, say the KKK for example, commits some act of terrorism, this does not represent all such individuals in the US. Can't you make the same distinction and realize the consequences of not doing so?

I just hope that when someone in any way similar to yourself goes out and commits a terrorist act, that you are at least consistent enough to suggest similar tracking and profiling of yourself. But I guess since you in the majority, that would never happen. If it did, however, and you and your family were herded into a nice little camp for several years, at the loss of you income, job, home and possessions, you would be entirely pacified by $20,000 of pay-back money received 40 years later? Surely such a huge payout would make everything right, fine and dandy.
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