On February 19, 2017, more than 750 people gathered in San Jose's Japantown, commemorating 75 years since a shameful chapter of the nation’s history was signed into action. Residents representing different backgrounds and religions, survivors, and the descendants of those held in internment camps came to show their support, strength, and unity. This year's attendance tripled, compared to past years' numbers, with many voicing their concerns of the possibility of history repeating itself again in the 21st century.
Read the San Jose Mercury News story in its entirety here
The following excerpt is from FACES' Executive Director, Samina Masood's speech at the Day of Remembrance event:
Read Samina's speech in its entirety here
"What stands us apart today from 75 years ago, is our ability to use our civic awareness and employ legal argument to take a stand against injustice, hate, and discrimination based on race in the name of political gamesmanship.
We have more tools today to bring issues of political and social injustice to light, than we had seventy five years ago, But the fight is still far from over.
It is unfortunate that in today’s America, despite our tremendous advancement in technology and science, we seem still to indulge in Neanderthal practice of hate and violence against each other, sometimes in the form of naked bigotry and other times garbed in the misrepresentation of national safety.
A nation that needs to keep humble hard working minorities away from its shores is not a nation that needs more security, it is a nation that needs more education in diversity and inclusion.
History has taught us many times over that breeding hate and separating each other based on race is not beneficial for anyone. When you bring different cultures together, you create a beautiful community with an open mind.
We cannot let racism and bigotry overrun Americans’ conscience and good faith. The tragedy of Japanese-American internment cannot, must not, be repeated."
(Pictured here: Supervisor Cindy Chavez, one of the speakers who survived internment, Samina)