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bear by san

March 2017

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bear by san

Sporks at the ready, sir.

The nomailman just brought me Park Honan's Christopher Marlowe: Poet and Spy.

Why stop when I'm on a roll?




ETA: Go read what tanuki_green has to say about one particular internment camp survivor.

Comments

*nod* I've read his comments too. I'm proud of him for any number of reasons, really.
I'd find it hysterical.
Thank you!
Without taking anything away from the respect I have for Mr. Takei, several things need to be addressed in what you said.

1) Takei was a child during the internment.
2) Based on what I have read, I don't think he put quite the spin on it you recall.
3) Those guns were aimed *INWARD*. People were shot for approaching the fence. The idea that the internment was "more to protect the Japanese Americans" is a pernicious lie.
I have to say, my recollection of his comments on the issue are more in line with yours, trinker
I think there may be some intent in your original comment that's not plain in the text (it happens, the Internet being a tricky medium for communication, and people having a tendency to appreviate thought in writing because it takes a while)--because I'm afraid you didn't, in the original comment, say "as a child, etc etc" but rather "He felt it was more to protect him and his family more than vice versa." You do say "As a youth" in the first sentence of the paragraph, but to me it didn't appear as if that was necessarily meant to modify the final sentence of the paragraph, as in, "As a child, he also felt--"

Do you see where the confusion creeps in? Because I've read a fair number of interviews with him on the topic, wherein he discusses it as a human rights abuse. Which would seem to be a contravention of your original comment.

So I took it the same way trinker did, but I didn't choose to argue or comment on it. And so it turns out that what either of us read is not what you intended us to read, but I suspect if we both tripped, others may have as well.

I should say that I for one generally not capable of checking out dl'able audio or video files at home, as I'm on dialup, so I'm not personally capable of listening to the radio interview at present.
I've downloaded the Takei file and I hope to find time to listen to it soon.

In the broader context of Takei's own words on the internment, your (rough quotation?) seemed misconstrued. Until I hear the audio archive, however, I concede that I cannot speak authoritatively about the specific statement.

Recently, Michele Malkin has been spreading that "for their protection" lie about, and I think it's wrong to give an impression of support for that lie, especially by bringing George Takei's name into it.

If he *did* say that, I think bringing it up is somewhat akin to finding some child in the Jim Crow years who says that he never had issues with racial discrimination, and can't understand what the fuss is about. The child's statement may be heartfelt, but putting it out without context can lead to a mistaken impression on the part of those who don't have sufficient data. In an lj with a smaller readership, perhaps I would have done this as an offline note. My apologies for taking this action in a manner that created resentment.

(Anonymous)

I'm sorry that our communication has gotten so mangled.

I didn't mean to say that you went out of your way to find the quote, nor that you were actively bent on distorting the facts of the internment. I don't think you have a Jim Crow mentality; I can see why it seemed as if I said you did, and I apologize for going too far in attempting to illustrate the point I was trying to get across.

You point out that you have no idea who I am, and the same goes for me in relation to you. The extent of your reaction to the Takei quote was ambiguous to me, and I felt that I was responding in a way to clarify that. Sorry it read as an attack.

It wasn't clear to me that you were baffled by his spin, it seemed as if you were admiring of his ability to see it that way.

Trying again.

I'm sorry that our communication has gotten so mangled.

I didn't mean to say that you went out of your way to find the quote, nor that you were actively bent on distorting the facts of the internment. I don't think you have a Jim Crow mentality; I can see why it seemed as if I said you did, and I apologize for going too far in attempting to illustrate the point I was trying to get across.

You point out that you have no idea who I am, and the same goes for me in relation to you. The extent of your reaction to the Takei quote was ambiguous to me, and I felt that I was responding in a way to clarify that. Sorry it read as an attack.

It wasn't clear to me that you were baffled by his spin, it seemed as if you were admiring of his ability to see it that way.

Transcript

Having calmed down from your stinging comments, I went and pulled out my files from this interview. Sadly, I no longer have the original raw sound but I did have my paperwork. Included was a scribble where I wrote down Takei's statement that mirrors my initial comment. However, as I can no longer 'prove' that he made that statement, I've deleted all my comments in deferment to rightly placed concerns.

I assume that my judgement in 2000 was to delete Takei's comment from the final edited version that went online. It may be that George asked me to or that I decided it was irrelevant to the spirit of the interview.

However, to support your own comments and to show that I truly am on the same side (so stop swatting at me already), I've transcribed his experience. This took me an hour to do so I hope it's a demonstration of good faith.

Just relistening to this piece brings back again how deserving he is of any public platform he can obtain in which to share his views. His tireless efforts on many fronts have done a great deal:

For simply looking like the enemy our citizenship just evaporated. Due process just disappeared. We were forcibly rounded up and put into barb wire... essentially concentration camps. I was 4 years old at the time and really didn't understand that experience except for the fact that it was scary when soldiers with guns came to take us out of our homes. Certainly the tension on the part of my parents was something that I sensed. But that important story and the story of Japanese american men and women who despite that kind of injustice went out and fought for this country during the 2nd world war and became one of the most decorated soldiers to return. As a matter of fact, even after they came back with all the decorations the anti-japanese, anti-asian attitude was still fairly strong.

And it wasn't until this summer in the year 2000 that after the pentagon was requested to examine the 108 Asian American recipents of the 2nd highest military honor - the silver star - that they discovered that 22 of them were evidently worthy of the congressional medal of honor. So I was privileged enough to go to the White House and be an observer when these 22 very aged... well, as a matter of fact only 7 of them were still surviving... veterans of the 2nd world war were granted the medal of honor, the highest miltary honor that a soldier can receive from this country, granted to them by President Clinton at the White House.

But there's both that glorious aspect to that story but also the fact that those recognitions came late. That needs to be told. The Musuem tells that story. As well as the success of Japanese Americans in subsequent generations. In...as a matter of fact, I donated my Star Trek uniforms to the museum. And the Captain Sulu uniform for the interest of Star Trek fans is on display there at the Museum. We've had a lot of Star Trek fans show up at the Museum...

So that's one of my passions right now but I also serve as President Clinton's appointee on the Japan friendship commission ...


This can be found about 28 minutes in.

Racisim, slavery, cultural hatred... These issues have been around for thousands of years. They need to be talked about, not shied away from. My own relatives were lost to the concentration camps of WWII, go back 2000 years and the Romans took people from their homes in Britain (and other nations) and used them as slaves throughout the Empire. Every culture, every nation, has at one time been in the position the Japanese were in. In fact, the Japanese did it to the Chinese. And not so long ago, I might add.

Does that make it right? No. And still we continue to do it. For thousands of years, we seem to want to have mastery over each other.

The only way we're gonna get past this dark side of humanity's nature is to discuss it. Openly. Throwing attacks at someone who says something you're uncomfortable with won't make it go away. Discussing it will. Or at least, perhaps, it will move us closer toward understanding agressive qualities that overtake our senses, that have us subjugate other people.







Re: Transcript

Thank you for posting the transcript.

Re: Transcript

My apologies for stirring up a mess. There's far more to the interview than this piece (it's an hour long) but the rest of it deals with Japanese culture and economics, the space program, UFOs, and of course, Star Trek. This was the relevant piece.

Re: Transcript

Nah, seriously, I like open communication here--I learn a lot. My concern is getting the miscommunication cleared up so the dialogue can happen.

Thank you again.

Re: Transcript

Thank you for the transcript.

Just as a quiet note, I see something in what you wrote that gets to the heart of one of the troubling things about the internment. Let me frontload what I'm saying by stating that I don't think you did this out of malice, but that I think it's worth examining.

Every culture, every nation, has at one time been in the position the Japanese were in. In fact, the Japanese did it to the Chinese. And not so long ago, I might add. You go on to note that this doesn't make it right, but the thing you haven't said here is that "the Japanese" who did this to the Chinese are not the same as the Japanese Americans who were interned, and that the lack of distinction is in fact one of the root causes of the internment.

Whenever I talk about anti-Asian discrimination in the U.S., I get told "well, Asians do shitty things in Asia, so...", as if that should have any bearing on what's going on. Jews did nasty things in ages past, Israelis are doing things that trouble some people now, but it's not something that people bring up when talking about anti-semitism or the Holocaust. Why the difference in this case?

Re: Transcript

I agree! I'm part Jewish and I find Israel's actions despicable. And when I try to discuss the uprooting of the Palestines (and I'm still unclear how FDR, Churchill and the UN got away with this)with Jewish-Americans, they don't want to hear it.

In fact, I know quite a few folks of the Jewish persuasion that are staunch supports of GWB because he's so pro-Israel. Boggles my mind. You would think that we'd never to do others what was done to us.

But then again, as I said earlier, we just can't seem to learn this lesson. When I look at a photo of a young boy in Israel KICKING an old Palestine woman, my gut twists.

I am trying to be optimistic in regards to this particular issue. Shimon Peres has long supported giving back land to the Palestines and now it sounds like a new party is being formed there, a centrist one, that has this as a key objective.

Re: Transcript

Looks like you missed part of what I said, but entirely got another part.

The thing is, talking about the situation in Israel -- the things that were done to Jews in Europe makes sense.

Talking about what happened to Japanese Americans, noting what Japanese have done, that *doesn't* make sense.

Meanwhile, I have recently told several Jewish Republicans that I believe with the party acting as it is now, they're cutting their own throats to go that way. (And I shouldn't get started on how annoyed I get by the way some people use "never again" to mean only "never again to Jews".)

Re: Transcript

Are you referring to: "the lack of distinction is in fact one of the root causes of the internment." ??

And I don't disagree. Sorry, dropped the ball there. If you read the transcript, this is what Takei was pointing out as well. And unfortunately, the issue continues. Muslim-Americans of Middle Eastern descent are suffering from this in the same painful ways. I even remember hearing dialogue right after 9/11 where some morons proposed internment camps again. I HOPE that idea got squashed, hard.

A counter thought though... I've heard a few people point out their belief that the added tags of African-American, Jewish-American, Japanese-American cause more devisiveness then help. In other words, instead of separating ourselves from each other, should we all just call ourselves "American" ?

I partly get this rational, but on the flip side, I relish diversity and would hate to see us all become bland politically correct drones. Everyone has something to bring to the pot and if we remove that contribution, what's left?

More importantly, as you and I have both pointed out... When do we truly use the phrase "Never Again" to mean just that: That as humans we will never perform such heinous crimes against humanity, nor allow them to happen to ourselves or our neighbors. When do we get to learn that lesson?

And more importantly, how?
Except I have nothing to spork so far. *g*
:O

No sporks yet?

Maybe I should actually get this book...
Mr. Honan is notoriously a better scholar than Mr. Ackroyd.
So far, so good?

I tell you, you read more NF than I do, Liz and Deb read more than I do, in quantity I feel like my modest efforts on my blog to document my reading just shows how weak I am compared to heavyweights. :)

Looking forward to Worldwired coming out. I did have someone at work ask me when the third was going to be published. :preens:

I like NF. I never get distracted by trying to figure out the plot in advance. (I did also just back-to-back two Harry Potter books, so it's not like it's all work and no play over here.)

And yay for pimping Worldwired to the people at work. Tuesday! Tuesday! *frets and bites fingernails*
oh. jealousy. oh. want. book...
It is a good good book.