Category Archives: human rights

Opinion | I Know What Incarceration Does to Families. It Happened to Mine.


When the family first heard about the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941 on the radio, they dismissed it as the work of a few fanatics. But that evening, several F.B.I. men came to their house and took my grandfather away. He and dozens of other Japanese-American businessmen and community leaders in the Bay Area had been deemed “enemy aliens,” and he was sent to an army internment camp in Montana.

In the following weeks and months, the fear-mongering grew, and officials increasingly took to using racist epithets. “A Jap is a Jap,” said Lt. Gen. John DeWitt, the commander of the Western Command and the Fourth Army, in February of 1942. “The Japanese race is an enemy race,” he wrote, “and while many second and third generation Japanese born on United States soil, possessed of American citizenship, have become ‘Americanized,’ the racial strains are undiluted.” Assistant Secretary of War John J. McCloy shrugged off questions about the legality of the situation, writing “the Constitution is just a scrap of paper to me.”

After President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 in February 1942, which authorized the forced removal of residents of Japanese descent from the Pacific Coast, an 8 p.m. curfew was imposed on Japanese residents there and they were ordered to turn over all “contraband,” including firearms, cameras, radios and binoculars. My mother handed over her Brownie camera to the local police. In April, they were designated Family Number 13453, and given 10 days to pack up and vacate the house where they had lived for a decade and a half.

They were allowed to take only what they could carry. Everything else had to be sold, thrown out, given to friends, or put in storage — including the piano and the rest of the furniture, books, records, paintings, rugs, linens, plates and glasses, silverware, boxes of family letters, photographs and old Valentine and Christmas cards, and all the knickknacks and bits of yarn and fabric that my grandmother, a devout hoarder, had saved during her more than 25 years in America. The three of them (my grandfather was still in the internment camp in Montana) practiced trying to walk with the two suitcases they were each allowed to take. They had to give away their collie, Laddie, who, my mother later learned, died weeks after they left him.

The 6-Year-Old Heard on Border Facility Audiotape Is Still Separated From Her Mother, Who Must Parent From 1,000 Miles Away — ProPublica

Jimena Madrid riveted people around the world when her voice was captured on an audiotape after she was separated from her mother inside a Border Patrol detention facility. Three weeks later, reunification remains uncertain. “She says over and over, ‘Mommy, I want to be with you.’”

Source: The 6-Year-Old Heard on Border Facility Audiotape Is Still Separated From Her Mother, Who Must Parent From 1,000 Miles Away — ProPublica

I’ve Been Reporting on MS-13 for a Year. Here Are the 5 — ProPublica

Last month, I accompanied the mother of a high school freshman killed by MS-13 to a Trump event on Long Island. Inside a government building, the president railed against the gang. “They killed a cop for the sake of making a statement. They wanted to make a statement, so they killed a cop,” he said. (They did not kill a cop.) Outside, the mother drifted between a pro-Trump rally and a counter protest. She took tranquilizer pills so she could face local reporters, and then told them she was unsure if Trump really cared about victims like her. She said she hoped the president’s fixation on MS-13 might spur changes that will keep other kids from being attacked and recruited by the gang. But for any policy to work, it needs to be rooted in reality.

Source: I’ve Been Reporting on MS-13 for a Year. Here Are the 5 — ProPublica

Racial hiearchy and migration in Britain | Windrush 70th Anniversary series – Media Diversified

Gurminder K. Bhambra illustrates historical differences in the treatment of white and non-white migrants to the UK in the fourth article of a series curated for Windrush Day by Kiri Kankhwende
— Read on

Opinion | Why We Are Leaving the G.O.P. – The New York Times

We don’t have the space to outline President Trump’s transgressions, but it is important to understand that his rise is an inevitable result of the hostility to women within the Republican culture. Women’s reproductive freedom has shifted with the wind: Remember that Ronald Reagan once supported abortion rights, as did George H. W. Bush, Mitt Romney and Mr. Trump himself. We can no longer support a Republican Party that is shutting down low-cost health care clinics offering cancer screenings, basic health services and much-needed family planning services. It has become a party that wants to punish pregnant women by limiting their economic choices, that wants to reduce access to sex education programs that prevent unintended pregnancy and disease. It is no wonder that women are voting with their feet.