Wednesday, July 31, 2013

An Appeal for History

Hardly a day passes that George Takei and his hilarious wit doesn't bring a smile to my face as I scan the day's FB posts.  I never knew that he and his parents were once prisoners in Tula Lake, a WWII Japanese internment camp.

Now the historic yet infamous camp is in danger and Mr. Takei is asking for assistance.

From Allegiance Musical...
When I was but a small child, my family and I were forced at gunpoint from our home in Los Angeles and spent years in two internment camps, first in the swamplands of Arkansas, and then into a notorious “punishment” camp in Northern California at a terrible place called Tule Lake, reserved for “disloyal” internees.

My parents were considered “disloyal” because of their answers to an infamous “Questionnaire” circulated by the U.S. government. This is the same government that had taken everything we ever had and sentenced us, without charge or trial, for the crime of looking like the people who bombed Pearl Harbor. It was the most egregious of violations of our constitutional rights. So when the government asked my parents in the questionnaire where they would agree to serve in the army wherever ordered, and whether they would reswear allegiance to the United States after what it had done, they took a principled stand and answered “no.” 
No: They would not repledge their loyalty to a nation that had broken its most fundamental promises to them and held them and their children for years in deplorable conditions. My father, though from Japan, had grown up in San Francisco. My mother, brother, myself and my sister were in fact U.S. citizens, born in California, but we had no rights either. We were all prisoners in our own land...

...I recently learned, however, that the FAA has proposed to construct an 8 foot high, 16,000 foot long fence to close off the Tule Lake site, ostensibly to protect the airstrip (used primarily for cropdusters) along the campsite firebreak road. This fence, which is overkill simply to keep out wildlife such as deer, would prevent any visitors to the grounds of the former internment camp, include the infamous stockade. It would be a body blow to our efforts to keep this critical piece of American history, however blighted, from fading from our collective memory. 
I ask, as a favor, that you join me in sending a petition to the director of the FAA, Michael Huerta, to stop the building of this fence. While many petitions never see the light of day, this one will reach the FAA, and the more signatures it has, the most the FAA will listen. You can sign the petition here. Thank you for listening...

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