Pearl Harbor-We Remember the Innocent Japanese-Americans Who Were Rounded Up By Our Government

Today December 7th is the 69th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor Attacks. As was said back in 1941 by then President Franklin D Roosevelt it was ‘a day that will live in infamy‘. What also will live in infamy is the often overlooked plight that fell upon American citizens of Japanese decent. President Roosevelt fearing espionage issued executive order Executive Order 9066, in February of 1942 which led to the FBI and other government agencies rounding-up Japanese Americans, seizing their property  and locked them up what was called War Relocation Camps.  These internment camps which were essentially prisons became home to over 120 thousand Japanese American citizens many who had served our country, were productive citizens and pillars in the community. Sadly in our collective hysteria and us being in the midst of extra-ordinary times and feeling a need to take extra-ordinary measures.  we saw fit to lock up ( the word used back in 1941 was ‘evacuate) American citizens who fit a certain ethnic profile wholesale. It was a shameful moment for our country.

Could such a thing happen today in 2010? There were laws passed to supposedly prevent such things from re-occuring, but it sure seemed like that after the dreadful 9-11 attacks. If you recall there were all sorts of violent attacks against fellow citizens perceived as being Muslim. Some said the threats of another terrorist attack was so grave that ‘extra-ordinary measures needed to be taken including profiling, spying, indefinite detaining  and even confinement.

Periodically in the years that followed where hatred toward fellow American citizens who practice Islam have taken some nasty turns including a few months ago around the proposed building of an Islamic Community Center near Ground Zero. We had TV pundits and elected officials including a sitting congressman Louie Gohmert trying to scare the public about the imminent threats of Terror Babies’ being unleashed. These terror babies were the American born children of Muslims who were taken out the country shortly after birth, trained to be terrorists and sent back to the US  when they turned 18 to destroy our way of life. Hence it was strongly urged that we pass laws, change our constitution and take ‘extra-ordinary‘ steps do whatever it takes to protect ourselves.

Could internment camps happen today in 2010? Well many argue you see that’s what’s been happening now with undocumented people here in the states. There are numerous detention centers all over the country, that have held entire families including small children, the most notable was the T. Don Hutto Detention Center in Texas which was closed down sometime last year.

Now many would argue in 2010 with the same black and white vehemence expressed back in 1941, that our country is at risk and folks who don’t belong here or haven’t gotten their paper work straight need to be locked up-end of story.

Hopefully we remember the shame and harm done to fellow Americans after Pearl Harbor  and never travel down that path again no matter how big the crises.

Below is a song from Mike Shinoda of Linkin park and his other group Fort Minor. The song Kenji addresses this important issue

Mike Shinoda and his group Fort Minor did a song paying tribute to those Japanese -Americans interned at War Re-Location Camps Fort Minor – Kenji

My father came from Japan in 1905
He was 15 when he immigrated from Japan
He worked until he was able to buy to actually build a store

Let me tell you the story in the form of a dream,
I don’t know why I have to tell it but I know what it means,
Close your eyes, just picture the scene,
As I paint it for you, it was World War II,
When this man named Kenji woke up,
Ken was not a soldier,
He was just a man with a family who owned a store in LA,
That day, he crawled out of bed like he always did,
Bacon and eggs with wife and kids,
He lived on the second floor of a little store he ran,
He moved to LA from Japan,
They called him ‘Immigrant,’
In Japanese, he’d say he was called “Issei,”
That meant ‘First Generation In The United States,’
When everybody was afraid of the Germans, afraid of the Japs,
But most of all afraid of a homeland attack,
And that morning when Ken went out on the doormat,
His world went black ’cause,
Right there; front page news,
Three weeks before 1942,
“Pearl Harbour’s Been Bombed And The Japs Are Comin’,”
Pictures of soldiers dyin’ and runnin’,
Ken knew what it would lead to,
Just like he guessed, the President said,
“The evil Japanese in our home country will be locked away,”
They gave Ken, a couple of days,
To get his whole life packed in two bags,
Just two bags, couldn’t even pack his clothes,
Some folks didn’t even have a suitcase, to pack anything in,
So two trash bags is all they gave them,
When the kids asked mom “Where are we goin’?”
Nobody even knew what to say to them,
Ken didn’t wanna lie, he said “The US is lookin’ for spies,
So we have to live in a place called Manzanar,
Where a lot of Japanese people are,”
Stop it don’t look at the gunmen,
You don’t wanna get the soldiers wonderin’,
If you gonna run or not,
‘Cause if you run then you might get shot,
Other than that try not to think about it,
Try not to worry ’bout it; bein’ so crowded,
Someday we’ll get out, someday, someday.

As soon as war broke out
The F.B.I. came and they just come to the house and
“You have to come”
“All the Japanese have to go”
They took Mr. Ni
People didn’t understand
Why did they have to take him?
Because he’s an innocent laborer

So now they’re in a town with soldiers surroundin’ them,
Every day, every night look down at them,
From watch towers up on the wall,
Ken couldn’t really hate them at all;
They were just doin’ their job and,
He wasn’t gonna make any problems,
He had a little garden with vegetables and fruits that,
He gave to the troops in a basket his wife made,
But in the back of his mind, he wanted his families life saved,
Prisoners of war in their own damn country,
What for?
Time passed in the prison town,
He wanted them to live it down when they were free,
The only way out was joinin’ the army,
And supposedly, some men went out for the army, signed on,
And ended up flyin to Japan with a bomb,
That 15 kiloton blast, put an end to the war pretty fast,
Two cities were blown to bits; the end of the war came quick,
Ken got out, big hopes of a normal life, with his kids and his wife,
But, when they got back to their home,
What they saw made them feel so alone,
These people had trashed every room,
Smashed in the windows and bashed in the doors,
Written on the walls and the floor,
“Japs not welcome anymore.”
And Kenji dropped both of his bags at his sides and just stood outside,
He, looked at his wife without words to say,
She looked back at him wiping tears away,
And, said “Someday we’ll be ok, someday,”
Now the names have been changed, but the story’s true,
My family was locked up back in ’42,
My family was there it was dark and damp,
And they called it an internment camp

When we first got back from camp
It was pretty pretty bad

I I remember my husband

Return to Davey D’s Hip Hop Corner

How Distracting Has this Debate About the Ground Zero Mosque Been?

It’s funny how many of us were kinda caught off guard when it was announced that we were pulling our ‘combat troops’ out of Iraq. We would no longer be engaged in day to day fighting, instead the 50 thousand troops left behind would be in an ‘advisory and consultant’ role. So in short, things are being framed as the War in Iraq has ended and everyone is happy but scratching their heads asking ‘How did we not know this’? “Why did we not see this coming?’

By now we all know that the mainstream media and those who have access to controlling or influencing its inner workings have perfected the art of distraction. Maybe it’s a Tiger Woods scandal to overshadow our increasing troops and funding for the War in Afghanistan. Maybe its Lebron James and his big decision to leave Cleveland overshadowing the beg decision made by an LA jury to hand down a light sentence to a murderous cop. (Oscar Grant/ Johannes Mehserle).

In any case most of us know by now that when corporate backed news outlets start over saturating us with an issue, then something else is going on. That something else is usually something we should be paying attention to.

So what have we been talking about over the past couple of weeks? The main topics that have gotten us heated center around race and religion. They include: Anchor babies, Terror babies, Changing the 14th Amendment, Dr Laura using the N word and the dust-up over building a Mosque/Community center near Ground Zero.

I’ll be the first to say discussions about race and politics are always important but only  if we are 1-equal participants in framing the discussion and 2-If we have a desired goal we wish to reach. The above mentioned topics seem to have come out of left field with the end result being a lot of folks being put on the defensive and reacting to a script and a narrative already laid out. Many of us have spent hours debating these issues with groups of people who have decided that no matter what is said or how much logic is used they’re still gonna push the issue and stick to the main talking points.

Texas Rep Debbie Riddle believes we have Terror Babies to Fear

We’ve seen this play out around the issue of terror babies. We saw political figures like Texas Congressmen Lou Gohmert and Texas State Rep Debbie Riddle riding this issue hard only to find that once questioned they had absolutely no proof and had their stories were categorically refuted by the FBI’s terror experts. Nevertheless these advocates stuck to their guns and kept fanning the flames of a Non-Issue.

We seen this play out with the Mosque/Community Center near Ground Zero debate . For the past two weeks our TV screens and radio dials were filled with whining voices of people who aren’t even from New York declaring folks as un-American for being insensitive to 9-11 victims. They claimed that the land around Ground Zero was sacred ground and we all need to show respect. All that was coupled with over the top pejorative remarks about the ‘Evils of Islam‘. Of course pointing that the initial proposals to make Ground Zero a building free memorial park were rejected by developers who wanted commercial buildings on this ‘sacred ground’ was done without one word from many of the people talking that hallowed ground stuff today, has fallen on deaf ears.

Ann Coulter said the widows of 9-11 were 'enjoying their husband's death

The ‘deaf ear’ treatment continued when pointing out that there was a huge silence when right-wing pundit Ann Coulter accused 9-11 widows of ‘enjoying their husbands deaths‘. We didn’t see all these pundits running around demanding she show sensitivity. She wasn’t banned nor were her books removed from bookstores near Ground Zero.

The main point here is while we been going in on these topics, we missed the run up to our troops leaving Iraq and in doing so, we never got to ask all the hard questions like:

1-Did Iraq’s oil reserves really pay for the War? This was one of the strong selling points or us going to Iraq. Are getting reimbursed by them?

2-Suicide rates are at all-time highs with many of our troops having served 4 and 5 tours of duty. Are we equipped to absorb them back into society? Are they gonna be able to cope? Did we provide enough money in our budget to take care of their needs?

3-Will they have jobs waiting or will the returning soldiers join the ranks of under employed and un-employed?

4-What is Iraq to us now? Is it a sovereign nation free to do as she sees fit? Is it a colony of the US?

5-People who have been against the Mosque have talked about how allowing it to be built will send a strong negative message of us ‘giving in’ if we allow it to be built. What signal (positive or negative) is being suggested when we pull out of Iraq? Are we seen as winners or a super power that couldn’t get the job done?

6-Does a pullout in Iraq mean we are gearing up for the war in Iran?

7-Us pulling out of Iraq today overshadows the premier of the Pat Tilman movie where its pointed that the military brass deliberately lied and deceived the American public not only about the circumstances around his death but lots of other issues related to drawing us into war. One of the more damning facets highlighted in this movie is the role of former general Stanley McChrystal played in all this? Why was he kept on to run operations? Was the Tilman coverup an isolated incident or widespread?

Forget a proposed Mosque being built on private property lets talk about the wars we been fighting and what’s behind them. Forget the Mosque, lets talk about the plight of those returning to college. last year we saw massive strikes from New York to Cali as students protested fee hikes that ranged from 30-38% percent. With the economy in shambles, what’s happened to all those who couldn’t afford high fee hikes?

We can go on and on with questions and pointing out issues we really need to be focusing on. We could be talking about the rise in private prisons like Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and how they are connected to the push for tougher immigration laws like SB 1070.

We have the situation with the Gulf and the BP Oil spill. In spite of all the assurances that everything is ok, there has been recent citings of an oil plume 22 miles long. How much damage has been really been done? How much is being covered up? Should we be discussing this or the Ground Zero Mosque/ Culture Center?

Karl Rove has quietly started a Shadow RNC and plans to toss unlimited amounts of money at specific mid-term contests

We can talk about the Jerrymandering and Redistricting efforts that will take place after the 2010 elections-Perhaps we should be talking about the secret Shadow RNC that has been formed by former Bush advisor Karl Rove and former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie. They have raised close to 130 million dollars and will be taking advantage of the new supreme court rulings that allow corporations to spend whatever they want during elections. What will that mean?

Many of us have been remarking about how Sarah Palin has been defending Dr Laura and her using the N word. We definitely should shut that down, but we should also be paying attention to her Mama Grizzly campaign. She’s been stomping for a number of women to get into office where they can carry out her policies. Who are we stomping for?

Remember a distracted population is a dumbed down population. A dumbed down population is a population that’s easily manipulated and pimped.

something to ponder

-Davey D-

Return to Davey D’s Hip Hop Corner

Meet the 2 Most Dangerous White Women in America…Be Scared Folks Be Very Scared!

This has been a painful and turbulent week for white women everywhere. Just when we thought people were starting to come together, bridges were being built and brighter tomorrows were looming on the horizon, here come not one but two women who have set this country and white womanhood back at least 100 years. No we’re not talking Lindsey Lohan or Paris Hilton. Sure they do drugs, are a bit over the top with their behavior and done a little jail time, but hey we all have those moments.

No it’s not Britney Spears..We all have erratic behavior at times..We understand.

No, No, No it’s not Snooki-yeah she’s crazy, but who doesn’t like her? Fist pump everybody

No the two women who have done irreparable harm and have taken ding batness to new heights are actually considered pillars of society. They’re considered the type of individuals we should look up to because they’ve had measures of success. We’re talking about Texas rep  Debbie Riddle and radio host Dr. Laura Schlessinger.  Over the past week the stuff that has come out of these two women’s mouth has been more than shocking.

Texas Rep Debbie Riddle believes we have Terror Babies to Fear

Let’s start with Ditzy Debbie Riddle. She’s a horse breeder and has served in Texas House of Representativesoutside of Houston since 2003.  We always thought something was a little off about her.  She just had that look.. it was the look of extreme intolerance. Our fears came to fruition back in March 2003 when she gave an interview and said “Where did this idea come from that everybody deserves free education, free medical care, free whatever? It comes from Moscow, from Russia. It comes straight out of the pit of hell. And it’s cleverly disguised as having a tender heart. It’s not a tender heart. It’s ripping the heart out of this country.” .

Yep you guessed it,  good ole Debbie was acting like one of the good ole boys and showing her unabashed disdain for anyone not Anglo. She really had it in for the Brown folks of this good state and sadly when ever possible you could count on Ditzy Debbie to stand up and advocate for any sort of legislation or measure that most of us would find oppressive.

For example, back in May in typical fashion Riddle couldn’t contain herself in showing support for Arizona’s Apartheid-like law SB 1070.  But leave it to Ditzy Debbie to take it to another level. In an interview with ABC News as reported by Houston Free Press ,she was asked why she thinks that minorities might be opposed to laws requiring them to show their identification papers to local law enforcement. Riddle replied; “When you have people that are used to entitlements, then they like the entitlements and they want the entitlements to keep coming… ”The people who are saying these laws are racially motivated are trying to divert attention for their own selfish greed,”

Thats classic Debbie…but fret not, this week she out did herself and drove the car off the cliff. During a CNN Interview she came up with this delusional story about how mothers were coming over to America, having babies returning to their country so they could have American citizenship, forcing the kids to join terrorists cells and then sending them back over to the US when their 18 so they could commit acts of terror. She termed these babies ‘Terror Babies‘.. Yes, you read all that correctly.. Here take a minute and re-read that. Better yet, look at this CNN interview where you can see and hear Debbie in all her glory. All this stems from Riddles desire to get rid of so called ‘anchor babies‘. She wants to see the 14th Amendment change so that we could strip kids of their citizenship if born in the US with undocumented parents.

We don’t know whether we should laugh at this shear stupidity or cry especially since none of this could be confirmed by the FBI or any other terror expert. Realizing she’s a bona-fide lawmaker we shudder because Ditzy Debbie tries to craft policies around these outlandish beliefs. Lord help us all..

Dr Laura showed and proved that she could be a member of NWA any day.

Next up we have Dr Dingy aka Laura Schlessinger. Maybe its me but she looks like she could be Ditzy Debbie’s sister. Anyway not to digress Dr Laura has always been the personification of hypocrisy and contradictions. She’s been on the air forever, dispensing advise on morals, family values and telling us how we should all live our lives. There’s nothing wrong with that per say, but Dr Laura has always been abrasive and uncompromising. She’s been known to go in on people and make them feel bad for divorcing or having sex outside of marriage. She’s been quick to smash on folks for behaving in an immoral fashion.

However when you take a closer look you find that it’s been, Dr Laura who got a divorce. She’s the one who had an affair. She’s the one who had naked pictures of herself surface. All her talk about having integrity went out the window when it was discovered that she was using her staff as fake guest for her short-lived talk show.

What really got into hot water was her outlook on Gays. She’s always seen them as an ‘abomination’, ‘deviant’ and a ‘biological error’. She was not shy about stating her opinions publicly which led to widespread protests and resulted in her having to publicly apologize or suffer serious economic consequences.

Dr Laura’s latest antic came the other day when she decided to step up and spout out the N word 11 times while speaking to an African American caller. Many of us thought she was trying to ensure a spot in the next NWA reunion. Here’s what took place.

An African American caller named Jade called in to talk about her interracial marriage. She noted that some of her husband’s friends and family members make racist comments. She complained that her husband would ignore the remarks and that left her feeling hurt.

Dr. Laura responded by saying, “sometimes people are hypersensitive.”

Later in the conversation Jade talked about the use of the N word and that it bothered her. Thats when Dr Laura rattled it off 11 times stating that Black people use it all the time. She said  “I don’t get it, if anybody without enough melanin says it it’s a horrible thing, but when black people say it it’s affectionate.”

Later on Dr Laura intensifies things by saying all sorts of crazy stuff about  “We got a black man as President and we have more complaining about racism than ever and I think that’s hilarious”

She told Jade who objected to the use of the N word that she had a chip on her shoulder  and was too sensitive and needed to get a sense of humor.

“Okay, all right, chip on your shoulder can’t do much about that. I think you have too much sensitivity and not enough sense of humor.

She even accused jade of trying to ‘NAACP her” and noted that “Hypersensitivity”  is being bred by black activists.

She concluded her call by saying: “I really thought that once we had a black president, the attempt to demonize whites, hating blacks, would stop. But it seems to have grown, and I don’t get it. Yes I do, it’s all about power.”

All you could do at the end of the call was shake you head in utter astonishment…Peep the call below

Ditzy Debbie Riddle and Dr Dingy Laura Schlessinger what more can you ask for? Like I said, if it wasn’t for the fact that one is lawmaker crafting policy and the other is a Dr who dispenses advice on the air, this would be funny or something we could easily brush off. But they have creditability and get taken seriously in many circles. They’re living proof this country has along ways to go..Thank you ladies for taking America to new lows..

Return to Davey D’s Hip Hop Corner