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Another Racist Construction of Government: From Concentration Camps to Heritage Months

In 1942, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066, enabling the forcible incarceration of 120,000 Japanese-Americans solely on the basis of their race, effectively circumventing due process and suspending their Fifth Amendment Constitutional rights to favor political expediency. 

In the wake of the December 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor, public envy of the economic success of Asian immigrants collided with popular contempt for everything resembling the Empire of Japan. 

For four years, the lives of many were unalterably ruined and thousands perished across at least ten camps from Camp Upton in New York to Manzanar and Tulelake in California. 

During this time, an estimated value of $10 billion (in 2018 dollars) of lost property and income was accrued and tens of thousands of Americans were deprived of their Constitutional right to due process and their right to appeal, while political righteousness was palatably pursued by men and women adorned in the latest fashions, whose daily indulgences would scarcely encounter the despicable consequences of an executive order which appeared to them only as palpable as the dried ink they read on venerated sheets of paper. 

Ironically, though, the democratic heirs to the throne deem fit the occasion to appoint a whole month to celebrate the general demographic of persons whose eyes take that same squinty, slanted form. 

The unquestioning public, as if wholly absent or completely ignorant of this history, willingly accepts and embraces this occasion, unwittingly bowing down to the very despotic regime which remains prepared to pummel them on moment’s notice, should circumstances change. 

It appears evident here more than anywhere that government has committed a great disservice by way of inconsistency and hypocrisy, failing routinely and predictably the freedoms of the individual and the integrity of demographic groups. 

Years removed from the sin of systemic racial discrimination, the new pundits within that same Leviathan stand ready to declare themselves, once again, the leaders of high moral and ethical thought, miraculously washing away the tears and bloodshed of their offices’ past transgressions, trailblazing the primrose path to intercultural nirvana. 

I, for one, am not buying it. 

Just as the federal government reserved no right to encroach upon the lives of Japanese-Americans in 1942, that institution bears no business in indulging itself in their affairs in 2018, just because it has become the fashionable thing to do today. 

Of course, this fashionability rests squarely on the employability of said demographic for purposes of the political front, on the campaign trail, and at the ballot box. 

These seemingly innocuous and laudable initiatives perniciously pull at heartstrings and lull unsuspecting observers into the trap of accepting government’s role in these matters and evaluating bureaucrats on their likability instead of on the basis of logical coherence. 

These small steps eventually stretch many miles into vast frontiers far removed from the original intents of government, affording a voice to authority where it was never even imagined upon inception, and admitting a sort of Trojan Horse within the social arena of morality. 

This occasion, then, forms the appropriate opportunity for all persons to contest those smallest of margins and those very inches of government influence. 

This implores the layman to stand up and declare the government irrelevant to affairs both moral and ethical, as its record of ambivalence renders it wholly unreliable, at best, and widely diabolical, at worst. 

I, for one, require no such government to prompt me to celebrate culture. 

I am happily engaged to a beautiful and inspiring woman of Filipino descent. 

I love her not merely for her slanted eyed, her luscious brown hair, her fascinating dialect, or her gorgeous complexion, but rather for the unconditional love, the profound and incomparable connection, and the joyous and enthralling moments we share together. 

Candidly, I wish we could all be so fortunate. 

Once we begin to patiently evaluate other people as individuals, with the benefit of extirpating government, its dispensable boondoggles and questionable motives, we can finally fully appreciate life on our own terms, unadulterated and unencumbered by the cold and weighty chains of agenda-setting politicians and implacable bureaucracies. 

We can give ourselves a snowball’s chance at overcoming our own biases and unfounded misconceptions without the constant and threatening onslaught of divisive commentary which serves only to violently tear us apart, to distract us from these more pressing points, and to vilify still other groups based on the same incomplete criteria.

If we can get this far, we can finally emerge as free human beings, represented by, as Martin Luther King proclaimed in his 1963 speech in Washington, the content of our character, not by the color of our skin. 

We can finally be free.


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