70 Years After Internment
February 19, 2012
Today is the 70th anniversary of the signing of Executive Order 9066, which cleared the way for the forced removal and incarceration of more than 110,000 people of Japanese ancestry 11,000 people of German ancestry (including Jews) and 3,000 people of Italian ancestry. This anniversary is being commemorated by Japanese American communities all over the U.S.
I’m proud to have my film Enemy Alien be a part of this commemoration, screening in Films of Remembrance, a film program put on by community organizations in San Francisco's Japantown. In the name of fighting terrorism, the past decade has seen waves of government surveillance, arrest, deportation and detention, targeting more than a hundred thousand people, mostly non-citizens, from predominantly Muslim countries.
As I write this
Now in its second decade, the so-called “War on Terror” has fragmented into an “era of persistent conflict.” On this anniversary we can well ask, What has the U.S. government learned? Unfortunately, apologies notwithstanding, it’s clear that the only lesson being applied by our government is that a conventional war is too limited a tool for keeping a populace fearful of “enemy aliens” in its midst. Like its global counterpart, the Domestic War on Terror is a state of “permanent war,” where pretexts for surveillance and detention are constantly provoked and renewed.
More articles on 70th anniversary of EO 9066:
November 18, 2012
October 20, 2012
July 28, 2012
July 9, 2012