Senator Chuck Schumer Discusses Japanese Incarceration Exhibit

Steve Adubato, as a MetroFocus contributor, interviews U.S. Senator and Senate Minority Leader, Chuck Schumer at the ICP Museum's exhibit "Then They Came for Me: Incarceration of Japanese Americans During World War II.”

3/10/18 #204






"We're talking to United States Senator Chuck Schumer, and the senator has just toured, and there's a group of people here at the ICP Museum. This exhibit, Then They Came for Me: Incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II. Senator, you saw this first in Chicago, this exhibit. What moved you so much? And why are you so moved again today? Well first, these are fine people. Immigrants. Children, grandchildren of immigrants. They looked a little different, maybe had different last names, but they were as American as any one of us. And yet, during a very dark period of our history, we took them out of their homes, out of their jobs, out of their schools, out of their livelihoods, and put them in camps. That's right. And the pictures are so moving because, you know, to use the cliche "a picture is worth a thousand words" - you can read about it, but seeing the pictures of these young people... that picture that I saw in Chicago. Yeah that one. I saw you paying attention to that Senator, on that train? That's... because it's all these fine people... Can we get a shot of this? ...being put in cars, railroad cars, to be moved to camps. It just brings home what we were doing. And, you know, with what's happening right now with the Dreamers, and with immigration, and that certain wing of politicians led by President Trump, tend to want to make immigrants... not tend, want to make immigrants as scapegoats, and people who look different, and might have different last names, that's a dark, dark side of America, that when you see pictures like this, it makes you want to fight it with every atom of your being. And that's how I feel. You know, to put things in perspective, we're talking about 120 Americans. Thousand. Excuse me, 120,000. Thank you Senator. Americans. Japanese Americans. Taken from their homes, taken from their businesses, and when they came... for several years, and then, Senator, when they came back, what was there for them? By the way, after Pearl Harbor, this is when it started. Yeah. When they came back, what was there? Well their jobs were gone, their livelihoods were gone, their structures were gone, but these, like almost every immigrant, were resilient people, and they came back and became good Americans once again. And when you read about them and talk to them, some are bitter, but most just have moved forward with their lives, glad to be part of America once again. So Senator, for those who say, "You know, it's for national security. That's what we did then in the 40s, and we need to do that again now..."