When Will They Come For You?
Has the culture of America been so changed by 9-11 that the sixteen year olds can justify something that the most of the rest of us condemn?
Which takes precedence, the security of the community or the rights of the individual? George Santayana said that those who ignore history are bound to repeat it. How many generations does it take before the injustice of a situation becomes rationalized as the sense of what is just and unjust evolves and perhaps not for the better.
This notion was powerfully brought home to me today at school. Because I am an assistant for a Sophomore student at Gig Harbor High School, I sit in high school classes along with the students and sometimes it is difficult for me to keep my mouth shut for, although I seem to be a perpetual high school student, I am a 61 year old high school student who has been around the block a couple of times so when the question above came up in conjunction with the internment of Japanese Americans during WWII and a majority of the students in class felt that it was justified, I was horrified. Those who felt the internment was wrong were not particularly vocal leaving me to think about the Germans who did not speak up when their Jewish neighbors began to disappear.
I have a friend whose Japanese American parents were interned during WWII. What sort of message is our culture going to be sending to the survivors of that ugliness and their descendants? This attitude is frightening to me!
Has the culture of America been so changed by 9-11 that the sixteen year olds can justify something that the most of the rest of us condemn? Are we doomed to have history repeat itself because of our fear of the Middle Eastern Boogie Man? Following 9-11 I feared for my son whose father was born in Iran. I was worried that history would repeat itself and that he and his father would be rounded up with others of Middle Eastern decent and put in internment centers. I was prepared to see that they both made it to Canada. Fortunately that fear was never fulfilled, but today I realized that we need to worry about the future. If today’s young people can justify taking away the civil liberties of Japanese Americans in the past, to what extremes will their fear lead them in the future?