Nathan Schultz Japenesse Redress Blog

The house committee on debating Japanese redress for internment was an interesting and admitabliable confusing look into the American action to correct the wrong of Japanese internment. The interest of these committee proceedings lies in how the members of congress who testified for the legislation spoke so passionately and directly about Japanese internment. What really got them was the raw emotion that exists with internment, this is related to how that many of these congressmen interred themselves along with their families. One of the congressmen spoke on a narrative for his family that pretty much lived the American dream. He spoke on how his family who immigrated to American lived in California who opened a produce store and had just given the down payment of a house. This life was essentially the idealist American dream that is so often spoken of in America. But, these immigrants had their dream stripped away from them during interment due to simply their ancestry and nothing more. So the visceral image of people being stripped of the dream they spend their lives working towards is in itself horrible. 

The aspect of this hearing that really surprised me was the dissenting opinion of those who did not support the legislation. The first dissenting opinion was an older man that harped on the idea of pearl harbor and the horror of pearl harbor and how people did not expect pearl harbor. Which was a strange aspect of the negative opinion he tried to say how wartime hysteria was partially correct or at least justified. While the other dissenting opinion did offer a more balance or at least intellectual perspective on the subject. The surprise can be with the congressmen who came in right at the end of the time we had to watch who gave the most touching testimony who destroyed the opposition.

Overall the testimony was interesting on the disconnect that was felt between the two different opinions on the passing of the legislation. As the pro seemed to be emotionally connected to it and that told in their testimonies the con seemed instead to offer a different calculated approach to the idea of no reparations. In the end, the pro matter the most since it was the one adopted by the committee and eventually carried out.

One thought on “Nathan Schultz Japenesse Redress Blog

  1. Your blog most was extremely brief compared to the amount of content and meanings transcripts in our two hour watching of the CSPAN on Japanese redress, but you made some though-provoking points. The older man you are discussing, standing as the first dissenting opinion, is Stratton. You claim at least Lungren was much more logical than Stratton, and I believe this “logic” you are referring to are his inquisitive questions he proposes that may be conflicting and provides answers to at the end of his testimony. Just because the presentations of these two dissents differ, I would argue they are two sides of the same coin, as they both call for museums for remembrance, increased education, and a sincere apology to be enough. In addition, both of there arguments circumvent the understanding of the past perspective and criticize it is not accurate for us to judge internment, come to modern assumptions of past intentions, and provoke modern solutions to redress the effects concerning Japanese internment without truly considering and trying to deeply understand the perspectives which motivated the actions of the past, whether we deem them as right or wrong today. Both of these white, privileged men argue the urgency for the military to take action against the perceived threat of Japanese spies, in which both of these men hold as real truths despite evidence against such, made internment a justified move. I see a diverging of their accounts when Lungren, the second, younger dissenter, directly confronts the moves to have been, while justified, still wrong, although these statements can be argued as contradicting I am sure. At least Stratton just stuck with the latter to keep his point simple and concise! The two questions Lungren proposes which were actually compelling to juggle in my own mind were 1. why should reparations, the involvement of money, have to be necessary for a plan of redress to seem sincere and meaningful today? Wouldn’t that set a financially motivated, impersonal agenda for proceeding redress? While I understand his sentiment, that wronging rights could be toxic and in-genuine if driven by money-hungry eyes and handouts, I feel like he was not making this point personal to the concern of internment, evacuation, and losses suffered by the Japanese Americans. Later, the last Japanese American Senate man to testify, points out the relocation of Japanese Americans to internment is considered the WORST wartime mistake, so perhaps Lungren should give it the personal, individual, and ungeneralized attention as such when he speaks on the matter of reparations being deserved at all.
    2. If we admit reparations to the Japanese Americans, wouldn’t we be pressured to do the same for everyone who lost and sacrificed in the war, for a wide collection of historically marginalized groups mostly?
    Lungrens lost list of other historically marginalized groups, such as the Native Indians, and the Chinese, were effective in supporting his point, that we can’t return justice to this one group decades after their suffrage, because then we’d have to for all. But, like we observed in Chinese immigration, how dozens of court cases were approached individually before a collective legislation was put in place, legislation typically works piece by piece. And I believe if Lungren is concerned providing reparations to the Japanese Americans is a reparation-initiating starting point for other marginalized groups, perhaps his concern is understandable, and I sure hope this is the case. I sure hope that like Japanese Americans, Native Americans, Chinese, and other marginalized groups will take this exemplary legislation of H.R, 442 to fight for reparations for their cultural, community losses by governmental constraints as well! Lungren may be right that if we give reparations to the Japanese, we have to do the same for all marginalized groups. And I first I saw this as an inhibitor to pass the legislation, a threat to our budget if he’s right- an initial reaction characterized by WHITE PRIVILEGE, which these marginalized groups can’t apply. However, in my revaluation, for the name of justice, so be it, let these reparations be a launching pad for others to get their justice of the manner!

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