Week Eleven: Redress to Japanese Americans.

The Japanese redress film, opens with the chairman, Mr.Glickman, explaining the proceedings to the court. He states that with the passing of H.R. 422, Act of 1986, Congress will either support or disagree with the Act. It corresponds to the thousands of Japanese Americans who were imprisoned in the internment camps during World War Two after the bombing of Peral Habor, and after President, Roosevelt issues executive order 9066. Deeming that any persons of Japanese ancestry were assumed to be a spy towards the Empire of Japan. The main reason for this act was to not only offer an apology to the Japanese Americans, but to offer them $20,000 to represent the items and belongs they lost, and to educate the public, about this, and hopes that it will never happen again in American history. Throughout the hearing, four individuals speak on behalf of the Act with two who experience firsthand the hardships and trauma of the camps.

The first speaker was Norman Y. Mineta, who at the time of World War Two, was just ten-and a half-years old when he and his family were interned. He talked about that his life was interrupted and the camps damaged his life. The first question that he addressed to Congress, is how is a ten-year a threat to the United States of America? In fact, he fully states that he never got a answer. Much emphasis is put on his support for the bill, and why he does not want future generations, to know the importance of what happened to him and his family. However, while Mineta, supports the bill, it does not make up the past. In all honestly, while I do agree with him, something such as an act can not make up the past, or change American history, but it can change in how important and significant it was, in American history.

The second speaker was Robert T. Matsui, who also explains his response to the bill. At the time of the war, he was just ten-months old. He states that he and his parents were born in the United States, while his grandparents immigrated from Japan. Thus, making him and his parent’s national born citizens. While recounting his story, he became very emotional while giving his statement. This to me became very hard to watch, because he was recounting hard it was for his parents. During that he states that neighbors came to their house and offered to buy their furniture and belongs, believing that they would not need it, where they were going, and that it would be good to have some money, weather than leave it unattenuated for a stranger to come and take it. Just like Mineta, who stated that how does a ten-year-old pose a threat to the United States, Matsui was similar. His parents had to give up their house, for fifty-dollars, in which they had just recently put a down-payment on, and that his father had to give a produce business in response to everything happening. To that day, Mr. Matsui believes that there was a disloyal trust towards the Japanese Americans because the Japanese believed that they must have done something wrong. Yet, as time went on, Mr. Matsui realized that it was not his ancestry fault, but that of the government. I would agree with Mr. Matsui, and how he assumed that something must have happened to cause this hardship and how he thought that his ancestry had something to do with it. In all honesty, just because who are of a different race, does not mean that who are going to be working for the emeny.

The third speaker was Mr. Mike Lowry, who representatives the state of Washington. In 1979, he introduced legislation to the Redress for Japanese Americans. I thought that It was interesting to note, that he mentions Germans living in the United States at the time of the war, but that we did not do anything to them, as we were also fighting them in the war. He also states that he is in support of the act because he feels a priority should be compensation towards the Japanese.

The fourth and final speaker was Samuel Stratton and Dan Lungren. Both men opposed some parts of the redress. For instance, Stratton opposed the act, because he feels that it had happened a long time ago and that there is a gap of the generation which makes it hard for people to fully understand the hindsight. Lungren, on the other hand, supports the purpose of educating the public about what happened and to make sure that we learn from the past, and to hope something like this does not happen again.

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