We Can’t Go Back
George Takei

One hell of a lot of people voted for trump (and Sanders) because the elites are one hell of a lot more equal than the rest of us. And if America’s minorities did not put party loyalty above their own common sense, they would see that the establishments of both parties are more dedicated to those elites than to them.

In this election we were given a choice of only two candidates, and at least there is a chance that Trump will favor the common citizen over the elites. No guarantee. But Hillary was a flat guarantee for politics as usual. This was primarily an election about class discrimination, not race; about government policies that half the country disagrees with and feels are being forced upon them by arrogance in both parties.

There is no basis for the slander that Trump or his supporters will disinherit American citizens from their rights. The juxtaposition in this article of Trump with the world war two internment of Americans of Axis extraction is just another such slander.

Regarding that WWII policy, there is no doubt it was carried out in a reprehensible manner. And perhaps there was prejudice involved in its execution, but that was not the prime motivation.

It should be acknowledged that Japanese, German and Italian Americans were moved away from the coasts and those moved were interned inland. One reason was the memory of twenty five years earlier when German Americans actively spied for Germany and engaged in espionage in this country during world war one. Another reason was that Japanese persons were actively engaged in spying in Hawaii and the Philippines in support of the Pearl Harbor attack and the Philippine invasion. It was reasonable to assume that Japanese, German and Italian persons had been planted in this country in preparation for war.

It should also be recognized that at the time of Pearl Harbor and the Philippine invasion, Americans had been witness for years to the utter barbarity of the Japanese military against the citizens of China. We were treated for years to stories and pictures of the rape and murder of hundreds of thousands of Chinese men, women and children by the Japanese. They were as bad as ISIS today and a thousand times more effective. They slaughtered millions of non-combatants.

There was considerable and justified fear of the intentions and the cruelty and the capabilities of the Japanese nation. The Japanese military was very much larger and more potent than the US military at that time. Japan then was not Japan today.

It’s quite easy now, decades later and after the Japanese culture and politics has become vastly more benign, to say that those fears were overblown, that the safety of America was not in serious danger. But that assurance comes only with hindsight. At the time, there was no way for the authorities to know the future.

This is not to defend the manner in which those internment policies were carried out. It is intended to counter what always seems to be the narrative, that the policies were motivated solely by racism. And those events are so often invoked today to accuse today’s Americans, not yet born at that time, of continuing that racism today. As George Takei does here, by implication.

Frankly, I’m fed up with the slanders. As are a lot of Trump voters.