‘only what we could carry: the japanese american internment experience’
“I’ve read “Only what we could carry”…well, most of it…it was amazing how little I knew about Japanese internment. The image that stuck out in my mind the most was the flyer that depicted in great detail the difference between a Chinese person and a Japanese person.”
i never learned about japanese american internment in school. i think i only learned about it in college, but not in class… it’s scary to know what our government is capable of. and makes me angry. 110,000 japanese americans put in camps in the middle of deserts, middle of nowhere, taken and moved inland. and almost no german americans or italian americans. ‘perpetual foreigners’ indeed. they (our government) even took folks of japanese descent from peru and other latin american countries, and put them in camps in crystal city, texas.
one part that really got me…
‘On the last day of school, Ollie Mae and I were strolling home. We were a pair – the best spellers in second grade, and from the same street. She had arrived in the middle of the year and immediately established a radiant presence. And her older sister even watched out for us at recess.
We were chatting along in the heat, and as we passed Bobby’s house, she exclaimed – “Oh, look – we used to have a big garden like that in Arkansas!” And I replied, “We used to live there too. But in a camp” and she looked at me and said, “Is that what that was?”
She stared into my eyes. I glanced at the ground. We resumed walking, and never mentioned Arkansas again. Ollie Mae was to die that summer, from rheumatic fever.
Yes, Ollie Mae. That’s what that was.’