By Teka Lark (June 8, 2020)
During WW2, over 127,000 Japanese Americans were put into internment camps.
The Japanese American community lost $400 million, which would be $5 billion in today’s money. I don’t give a damn if Japanese Americans got a pathetic amount of reparations (if they were still alive), you never recover from someone uprooting your family and throwing you in jail. You can never make a thing such as that right.
The good old days were not good for everyone.
Racism creates two parallel worlds one for white people
and another for nonwhite people, a world where you have to be
exceptional, and nearly perfect, to have the life of an ordinary white person.
For Japanese Americans, Mexican Americans, Chinese Americans, Native Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Black people, the fear that white people have now due to Trump, we have known that fear, and sadly many of us are numb to it.
The only difference with this particular leader is he is messing with white lives now. He is going to destroy the white middle class. He’s going to destroy your colleges. He’s going to destroy your tenure. He’s going to dismantle your K-12 schools. He’s going to dismantle labor laws. He’s going to make you choose between getting your teeth fixed and paying your light bills. He’s going to make you choose between paying your rent and staying home to raise your child, which seems unreasonable, for a person, not working class, not Black or Latinx. Those problems are coming for you under Trump.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure this US is much worse for you if you’ve never been enslaved in the US, lynched in the US, excluded from jobs and/or housing in the US, because of your race, murdered for reading, murdered for owning a business, had your whole life taken from you and your family locked away, because white people are afraid. I’m sure if you’ve never experienced this on US soil, this America is terrifying for you.
I’m sure my great-great-great-great-great grandfather was terrified too when they brought him over here in chains on a boat, so I understand.
I know you may think I am exaggerating, that’s because you live in an entirely different America than I do.
Many of us not protected by white supremacy have had the displeasure to come upon your grandparents.
You don’t need to warn us about things that happened outside the US. We have lived nightmares in this country under your leaders. Leaders like Washington, Lee, Roosevelt, Lincoln, McKinley, and Polk have murdered us, kidnapped us, stole our land, lynched us, and interned us. You don’t need to point to anywhere else, you can just point to the horrible things that happened to nonwhite people here.
You can say, “Please, don’t vote for Trump, because I don’t want to be treated the way the US has had no problem treating nonwhite people for the 243 years existence of this stolen country.”