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Today is a solemn occasion for the Japanese American community. It is Remembrance Day, marking the anniversary of FDR’s Executive Order 9066, signed in 1942, which set into motion the internment of 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry, two-thirds of whom were U.S. citizens.
My own family and I were taken from our home in LA at gunpoint and eventually sent to two different barbed wire-enclosed camps, first in the swamps of Arkansas and next in the desolate and barren wastes of Northern California. We would spend four years in captivity, held without charge or trial, simply because we happened to look like the people who had bombed Pearl Harbor.
It is important to note that FDR was a Democrat, and that grave injustice is the province of no particular political party. It can sweep over anation like a bitter and divisive wind—fed by fear, opportunistic politicians, and misinformation.
It has been my life-long mission to ensure that something like this never happens to anyone or any group again. But it takes all of us to become educated about the dangers of bigotry, ignorance and hatred. We must learn from our past so as never to repeat it. This lesson is more vital today than ever.
Working In These Times is dedicated to providing independent and incisive coverage of the labor movement and struggles for workers’ rights.
A roll of paper towels tossed to Mark Blackwell for sharing this with TWIT!
Don’t get me wrong, that’s very commendable. A million should buy what, five or six houses in East Texas? But let’s get serious here.
A million dollars to a billionaire is 1/1000th of his worth. That would be like you, assuming you earned $75K per year, giving $75.00. And Trump claims he’s worth $10B, so knock another zero off that. Seven and a half bucks. Still a nice gesture, but it’s not like a multi-billionaire is going to miss it. He probably spends more than a million each weekend playing golf.
For contrast, here’s how much the Obamas gave over just the first six of the eight years he was President: $1.1M. About $120K for disaster relief, $170K to children’s causes, $35K to veterans causes, $82K to African-American organizations, $54K to the homeless, etc. All told, the Obamas, who are worth between from 1/10th of 1% to 1% of what Trump has squirreled away in Russia or wherever… gave proportionately more than Trump claims he’ll donate to the victims of Hurricane Harvey. A LOT more.
But the BIGGEST difference between these two men? Even bigger than the lopsided amounts each man gave? Barack Obama’s White House didn’t issue a press release every time he felt the urge to give. He just DID IT. Because unlike Trump, his intent was to help others. Not to stick a feather in his ridiculous MAGA cap.”
– Bruce Lindner