Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Trump - definitely a concern

Japanese interment camp during WWII in the U.S.

As time marches on and we get closer and closer to the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary, Donald Trump is flourishing as the Republican front runner in those states and across the nation.

What everyone said, that he was a flash in the pan, he has shown us he is not, and he has a following of Americans that like and support his candidacy.  

The Silent Majority are in Trump's hands right now.  And how many of the Silent Majority are out there?   We don't know because some are remaining Silent.

Trump trumps himself with more outrageous comments each day that paint a dark future for America based on fear, zealotry, racism, and bigotry.  His brush with fascism is truly frightening.

His latest promise, that under his presidency all Muslims, with no exceptions, would be barred from  from entering the U.S.,and he included even those Muslim American citizens traveling outside the country will be barred as well is beyond the pale.

He has walked back his statement by saying he wants to bar Muslims only temporarily (how long is 'temporary' and how will it be determined?) and not any that are citizens of the United States.   Until we find out "what is going on" there will be no admittance of Muslims. No safe haven here for refugees fleeing the ISIS caliphate.

He previously said he wants to round up all undocumented workers and send them back to their countries of origin.  Eleven million of them.  Where will they be housed until they are processed to leave?  Detention camps?  

International leaders have publicly denounced Trump and shake their heads in sadness that this is what is happening in the U.S.

Many news pundits are claiming Trump will not be be president let alone the Republican presidential candidate.  I am not so sure about that.  We all thought Trump would have crashed and burned by now, but he is flying high at the moment.  Each outlandish comment he makes causes more supporters to flock to his cause.

Pundits are also saying that Trump could never bar Muslims from the U.S. because it would be unconstitutional.  But, just look back to WWII after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and see what was done to contain Japanese-Americans legally and constitutionally.

Through Executive Order 9066, President Franklin Roosevelt declared all Japanese and Japanese-Americans on the West Coast were to be rounded up and sent to interment camps where they were to remain until the end of the war.

Relocation, evacuation, and evacuees were some of the euphemisms used at the time to explain to the rest of the country what was happening to them.

The truth is, through Roosevelt's executive order, approximately 110,000 Japanese and Japanese-American men, women and children were robbed of their rights, property, and due process of law in the name of "national security."  Japanese immigrants were denied American citizenship.

Do you really think Trump would not do the same to the Muslims?   In the name of national security, he could do the same as Roosevelt.  He certainly could ban them from the U.S. through an executive order as Roosevelt did.  

As French President Francois Holland has claimed, we are at war with ISIS.  Trump has said the same thing.

The Japanese were 'relocated' to barbed wire compounds and hastily constructed prison barracks throughout the nation.

If it could happen then, it could happen now.

So deep was the persecution and prejudice against the Japanese and Japanese-Americans that newspaper columnist Henry McLemore said,  

          "I am for the immediate removal of every Japanese on the West Coast to 
          deep in the interior . . . Herd 'em up, pack 'em off, and give 'em the inside
          room in the badlands . . . Personally, I hate the Japanese.  And that goes
          for all of them."

Fortunately, I have not heard any news people express those sentiments about Muslims so far and I don't think they will.  But, I have heard some Americans voice those sentiments about Muslims.   Americans are nervous and frightened right now and so they blame a whole people rather than just the few who are radicalized.  Some have even issued death threats to mosques and Muslim leaders throughout America.

There was so much fear of the Japanese in America that entire libraries of Japanese literature were destroyed to erase the Japanese community's literary history.  Remind you of the book burning of Jewish books and literature during the Nazi days of Germany?

All of this through Roosevelt's executive orders.  Is this really the type of nation we want to become today?   Trump would do this in heartbeat.

The Japanese and Japanese-Americans, however, kept their literature alive as poetry clubs flourished in the interment camps.  Somehow they found a way not to let their dignity and humanity die along with their American rights.

Two examples of haiku, from the camp poetry clubs, that were written during Japanese interment:

                                               Autumn foliage
                                               California has now become
                                               a far country.

                                               ~ Yajin Nakao

                                               Frosty night
                                               listening to rumbling train
                                               we have come a long way.

                                               ~ Senbinski Takaoka

Do we really want to return to these dark days in American history?  By supporting and voting for Donald Trump, who plays on American's fears, those days may nearer in our future that we think.

Copyright  2015  Suzannah Wolf Walker  all rights reserved