After the Supreme Court of the United States of America legalized same-sex marrige, Clarence Thomas, an African-American judge argued that the Constitution does not grant liberty or dignity but operates to restrain the government from altering it. In his argument, he said something which really made me upset:
"Human dignity cannot be taken away," he said, while making a reference to the slavery of African-Americans, he argued that the government allowing slavery DID NOT STRIP AFRICAN AMERICANS OF THEIR DIGNITY. And Japanese-Americans interned in World War 2, DID NOT LOSE THEIR DIGNITY BECAUSE THE GOVERNMENT IMPRISONED THEM.
I was not the only one upset over this, George Takei, one of my heroes, who was one of the original Star Trek cast, who is gay, Japanese-American and a survivor of the Tule Lake and Rowher Internment camps went on a tirade against judge Thomas calling him a "Clown in Blackface" and accused him that he had abandoned his heritage. Takei later apologized saying:
"This was not intended to be racist, but rather to evoke a history of racism in the theatrical arts. While I continue to disagree with Justice Thomas, the words I chose, said in the heat of anger, were not carefully considered."
Despite his apology, I believe what everything Mr. Takei said to the all so great and powerful Mr. Thomas was right and correct.
I am so angry, that anyone would define slavery of African-Americans decent, especially coming from the mouth of an African-American himself. I have read many books on the subject: Twelve Years a Slave, Jubilee, The Life of Frederick Douglass, to name a few. Reading all of that and saying that it is was decent or correct is disgusting, I expected this to come from the mouth of a racist white supremacist. I agree with Mr. Takei, this so called Judge IS WHITE-WASHED and HE HAS ABANDONED HIS HERITAGE.
And another thing. The Internment of Japanese-Americans was not decent AT ALL. You think the status of these so called, camps, were decent? You will hear George Takei, as well as other persons of Japanese-American ancestry like Jeanne Wakatsuki who published Farewell to Manzanar as well as Mary Tsukamoto, a famous civil rights activist from my Sacramento hometown tell you the same thing. George Takei wrote the following paragraph:
Executive Order 9066, signed by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, was issued on the premise that anyone of Japanese descent could not be trusted and was to be treated as an enemy, even those of us who were American citizens, born in this land. We were viewed not as individual people, but as a yellow menace to be dealt with, and harshly. The guns pointed at us at every point reminded us that if we so much as tried to stand up for our dignity, there would be violent consequences. The order and the ensuing confinement was an egregious violation of the Constitution and of due process as we were held, without trial and without charge, awaiting our fate. A few months later, we were shipped off to the swamps of Arkansas, over a thousand miles away, by railcar. They placed in all one hundred twenty thousand of us inside barbed wire fences, machine guns pointed down at us from watch towers. We slept inside bug-infested barracks, ate in a noisy mess hall, and relieved ourselves in common latrines that had no walls between the stalls. We were denied adequate medicines, shelter and supplies. I remember as a child looking up toward a U.S. flag in the room, as we recited the Pledge of Allegiance, those ironic words echoing, “With liberty, and justice for all.” For many, it was indeed a great loss of self-worth and respect, a terrible blow to the pride of the many parents who sought only to protect their children from coming to harm. Justice Thomas need have spent just one day with us in the mosquito-infested swamplands in that Arkansas heat, eating the slop served from the kitchen, to understand that it was the government’s very intent to strip us of our dignity and our humanity. Whether it succeeded with all of us is another question: There was a guiding spirit of what we called “gaman”—to endure with fortitude, head held high—helping us get through those terrible years. At the end of it all, each internee was handed a bus ticket and twenty-five dollars, on which we were expected to rebuild our lives. Many never did.
Jeanne Wakatsuki and Mary Tsukamoto supports what Takei described, there were no partitions in the feces stained bathrooms, no air conditioning in the black tar paper barracks, 2-3 families staying together, no private conversations.
Despite my Italian-American heritage, I am a member of the Japanese American Citizens League Florin Chapter, I have met other World War 2 Internees who were sent to the camps, including Mary Tsukamoto's own daughter, Mariel Tsukamoto. My grandfather's uncle, an Italian immigrant, was also sent to an internment camp in Texas because he was accused of being a spy.
To say all this was decent, and coming from an African-American judge who has possibly been targeted because of his race as a child, it really disgusted and angered me. And I do not think George Takei should have apologized to this inflated hot air balloon, if I was in his position, I wouldn't have apologize, I would let people call me racist but I would have taken pride to know that I have spoken the truth, of what needed to be said.
Racism is a modern idea, race is a modern idea, underneath our skin we are all the same color. We are equal.
Though, for persons with Asperger Syndrome like myself, we are a far cry from equality. America is not divided on race, but also sexuality and intellegence. Persons with AS, myself included have been tossed aside when we graduated High School like a piece of garbage. We are seen as "eternal children" by our parents and family members and "worthless retards" by others. You think I love not holding down a job? You think I love living on SSI? You think I love living in a crummy apartment building with schizophrenics, drug addicts and mentally disabled persons? Do you think I like being criticized by the nurses who work in my apartment? Do you think I love lying to my friends, telling them I am working at Walmart or McDonalds so they won't find out I'm on SSI? Which, if they do find out, they will cast you aside like a retard or call you a liar?
America, one nation with liberty and justice for all!? Don't make me laugh, I believe that as a country we have 1000 years to go before Asian-Americans, Gays, Lesbians, and persons with Asperger's Syndrome are treated equally in this damn country!
Reading: The American Promise