Can the Japanese-Internment be applied to the post-9/11 discrimination?

Author Archive

1700% Project: Mistaken for Muslim


Blog Presentation

1) Victoria- Why We Chose the Japanese Internment

    Victoria- What the Japanese Internment Is

                      WRA Propaganda Video

                      1700% Project

2) Alicia – Relationship to Present Day Racial Profiling

3) Pierre, Alicia, Victoria – Difficulties in Poetry Writing Process

4) Pierre – Pearl Harbor Poem

                       Pearl Harbor Images

                       Pearl Harbor Poem

5) Alicia – Internment Poem

                       Never Again Will This Happen Video and Poem

6) Pierre – Conversation Poem

                       Disillusion Info

                       Disillusion Poem

7) Victoria – No No Boys (Who they are and what they mean)

                        No No Boys Article

                        No No Boys Poem

8) Alicia – Fifth Years later

                        Clinton’s Apology Letter

                        Fifty Years Poem

9) Pierre- The Wire and what it Means

                       Some Information Possibly?

                       The Wire Poem

10) Victoria – Mass Perception of Two Racializations

                       Santorum Article

                       Mass Perception Poem

11) Alicia – Dr. Omar Shahin and Dialogue Poem

                      Article on Dr. Omar Shahin

                      What More (Dialogue Poem)

12) Victoria – Narrative of Today

                       Freedom and Fear Poem

Pro and Con Opinion Piece

In this post we will play devil’s advocate, showing both the positives and the negatives of racial profiling and stereotyping. The arguments in this blog post are not the opinions of members of this group. Similar to the Leadbelly poems that used different voices to explore the views of other characters besides Leadbelly himself, this post aims to examine the argument for racial profiling in the United States. Hopefully we can shed light on why racial profiling is such a highly contested issue in our country. After the Japanese dropped bombs on Pearl Harbor, the United States government deemed Japanese living in America a threat to national security, and had them interned in various camps. After 9/11, the U.S. government again has to deal with racial profiling issues. The goal of the government is obviously to protect the interests of the people, but how far is too far, and when do concerns for safety become concerns for racial profiling and human rights?

Many people think that racial profiling is bad, but what happens when another plane is blown out of the sky on American soil? Racial profiling, if done correctly, can help protect our borders. After the attacks on 9/11, Law Enforcement has been vigilant for attacks on the U.S. Airport security has rightly been increased. It is optimistic to think that all people are inherently good, but people are inherently evil have no disregard for the lives of others.If our justice system would rather send an innocent man to prison than let real criminals roam free, then we should utilize the same approach with racial profiling/stereotyping. Sure, many of the people that are profiled will be innocent, but all it takes is one terrorist to blow up a plane, and similarly it only takes one suspicious TSA officer to search that man and not let him on the plane.If you don’t want to be a victim of racial profiling, don’t have anything to hide. People inherently will judge you, whether you like it or not. You will make them feel better if they know that while on the outside you possess characteristics that lead you to be racially profiled, you are actually innocent. Yes, it stinks to be the turbaned guy who is stopped at the airport because he looks like Osama bin Laden, but his slight inconvenience is for the greater good. If he is clean, which he probably is, he can go on his merry way. If he is a terrorist, than a plane full of people has been saved.If more people stereotyped/profiled their peers, future crimes could be stopped. If people stereotyped Jerry Sandusky as a pedophile instead of a nice white guy, maybe he would not have raped those young boys at Penn State. “But he was such a good guy,” everyone said, “such a smooth-talker.” Parents trusted him, and he abused their children.It is better to be safe, and racially profile someone, then to let someone who is actually evil slip through the cracks and wreak havoc on society. If people don’t like being stereotyped, that is tough; if they are truly innocent, they should not matter being inconvenienced for a few moments for the greater good. Our justice system would rather see an innocent man go to jail than have a criminal go free. In that same light, it is better to profile innocent races rather than see acts of terror committed on American soil. If you look suspicious, you should be searched and profiled as an undesirable until proven otherwise. From blacks to Muslims to Latinos to Asians to whites, no race is safe from this racial profiling and stereotyping; but our country will be safe, and that is all that matters.
Racial profiling is an act that has been present for decades since long before the tragic events of 9/11 or World War II Era Japanese Internment camps. The fact of the matter is that racial profiling is a form of racial prejudice and leads to racially charged hate crimes. This is seen through a plethora of examples like the article on the Muslim-American doctor who was picked out of an airplane based on suspicions from other individuals despite the fact that he was as westernized as possible by speaking English and wearing common western clothing.In a more familiar example, the headline-making Trayvon Martin case is a prime example of racial profiling in which a young black man was fatally shot because of “suspicions” of violence even though the only belongings on him were a hoodie and a bag of skittles. This man was killed because he was black. He was racially profiled as a violent boy looking for a fight even though he stayed to himself. His murderer is not in jail now because of this racial profiling.It is not right to simply look at an individual and assume that because he or she is black, Muslim, a man, or any other basic identifier that he or she is suspicious and more likely to cause havoc. How many times have white females acted violently and committed crimes, causing the public to be surprised? This is because white females are deemed less suspicious or violent than other races and sexes, which is an unjust assumption. Race and gender should not make a violent crime any more or less shocking and should certainly not lead to racial profiling.Too often on our school campus “crime alerts” are sent out to students warning of a robbery, an assault, or a sexual assault. While this past summer the profile of the Ann Arbor rapist who tormented a handful of different women was reportedly a white male, the attention given to sexual assaults or robberies seen in the “crime alerts” focus on black males. This is racial profiling. As awful as it is to say, if the man who raped those women last summer was black, the police and the public would debatably be more outspoken and proactive in finding the man who committed these acts.Rape, just like any other crime, should not be measured on a scale of terror, with that terror relating directly to race, gender or any other difference. These crimes are violent and scarring despite the color of the perpetrator’s skin, which shows that racial profiling does little to help those victims of such acts. Victims do not want revenge on all of the people of the same race in which their perpetrator is, they want justice for the crime committed upon them by the perpetrator himself.The question is, why punish a large group of people whether it be based on race, religion, or gender, when only some of those people are the real perpetrators? Until the human race can rectify the crimes they have committed and grow enough to not put blame on groups of innocents rather than the specific perpetrators themselves, racial profiling will exist as a scapegoat. Racial profiling does nothing but add tension and catalyze violence between races and genders, causing more hate than there ever was to begin with.

One Sentence Poems

The Outside Perspective:

Give us 30 minutes, and we’ll show you your world,

But only the parts you’re supposed to see,

And we’ll take creative license as well, If only to ensure,

You will think the way you’re meant to,

And accept the stories we tell you, like a child before bed,

So that you will ignore completely

The past laid out behind you, in order to maintain the status quo,

of having you believe

your lifestyle is in peril, and we have a clear enemy,

clearly distinguishable

in the forties as a man, woman or child of Japanese descent,

and today as an Arab,

because a war a world away means they are enemies.

A Changing Society:


such person or classes of persons

as the situation may require –

deemed a threat the United States of America;

all enemy aliens,

all persons of Japanese ancestry,

aligned with the emperor,

(taken for their protection)


the loyal among them say we’re right,

as we’ve provided buses, facilities –

being that even their people are ashamed of those free,

look at their smiles

see how close that naval base is

to your children,

different than theirs by sight, but


due process is not for terrorists,

have to trade up liberty for security,

and must look to peaceful Israel and find the bomber,

not the bomb,

by reporting suspicious activity,

any activity at all:

perpetrated by a color, you see


they hate our freedom and liberty

and train their children to hate us too,

what does it mean to be American now, but

let’s ask the expert:

terrorism is only against the US,

all inside can be spies

How important is their voice?



 Posted Japanese American Exclusion Order. N.d. Photograph. Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaWeb. 1 Feb 2012. <;.

War Activities Committee, dir. Japanese American Internment (U.S. Govt Propaganda). 1942. Film. <;.

Friedler, Sorelle. “Poetry written by adults in the Japanese internment camps:.” World War II Poetry. Swarthmore College Computer Society, n.d. Web. 10 Feb 2012. <;.

Friedler, Sorelle. “Poetry written by children in the Japanese internment camps.” World War II Poetry. Swarthmore College Computer Society, n.d. Web. 13 Feb 2012. <;.

Matsumoto, Nancy. “Documenting Manzanar: Toyo Miyatake.” Discover Nikkei. Japanese American National Museum, 2011. Web. 24 Feb 2012. <;.

Lange, Dorothea. Grandfather and grandson of Japanese ancestry at the War Relocation Authority center. . 1942. Photograph. Les anglonautes, California. Web. 1 Mar 2012. <;.

Davis, Myron. Overall view of the barracks at Heart Mountain Relocation Camp for Japanese Americans.. 1942. Photograph. Les anglonautes, California. Web. 1 Mar 2012. <;.

Luggage – Japanese American internment.. 1942. Photograph. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, California. Web. 1 Mar 2012. <;.

Muslim Americans concerned but optimistic a decade after 9/11, Pew report finds. 2011. Photograph. Hearst Communications Inc, Houston. Web. 1 Mar 2012. <;.

American Muslim Hijabi Face Paint American Flag. 2011. Photograph. Faisal KuttyWeb. 1 Mar 2012. <;.

First-graders, some of Japanese ancestry, at the Weill public school, San Francisco, Calif., pledging allegience to the United States flag.. 1942. Photograph. Les anglonautes, California. Web. 1 Mar 2012. <;.

Lange, Dorothea. A Japanese American unfurled this banner the day after the Pearl Harbor attack. 2011. Photograph. Introduction to the History of Photography, California. Web. 1 Mar 2012. <;.

WRA. Sand Island Internment Camp. 1942. Photograph. Pacific Tsunami Museum, Hilo. Web. 1 Mar 2012. <;.

Nittle, Nadra. “Remembering The No-No Boys.” Race Relations. New York Times , n.d. Web. 3 Mar 2012. <;.

Bernstein, Nina. “Relatives of Interned Japanese-Americans Side With Muslims .” New York Times. 03 Apr 2007: n. page. Web. 25 Mar. 2012. <;.

Condon, Stephanie. “Rick Santorum endorses Muslim profiling.” CBS News 22 Nov 2011. Web. 25 Mar. 2012. <;.

Goldman, Adam, and Matt Apuzzo. “AP IMPACT: NYPD shadows Muslims who change names.” Associated Press 26 Oct 2011. Web. 1 Apr. 2012. <;.

“ARC Gallery: Japanese American Experiences during World War II.” National Archive. The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration. Web. 26 Mar. 2012. <;.

Philips, Jessica Bennett,Matthew. “‘Flying While Muslim'” The Daily Beast. Newsweek/Daily Beast, 21 Nov. 2006. Web. 26 Mar. 2012. <;.

“Children of the Camps.” PBS. PBS. Web. 08 Feb. 2012. <;.

To A Suicide Bomber

Enemies Grow Stronger

To A Suicide Bomber

Dr. Rafey Habib

You do not speak for me:

You who soak yourselves in blood

Are far from the Prophet’s mantle.

You who act beyond the Book

Are far from the Word.

You do not speak for me:

You who do not know, and kill,

Murder your own soul

You blew up a young girl.

A mother’s heart will bleed forever.

A father’s will is broken.

Because of you their world is ended.

What good have you done?

Your own wife, young,

Curses you in her sleep, her nightmare.

Your children betrayed

To a myth; they still ask for you.

Your parents dragged

Through your empty dream.

Because of you their world is ended.

You have brought not paradise

But hell: hell to all around you.

Their ghosts will rise around you,

Asking: Why? Why?

What good have you done?

Because of you, I am reviled;

Because of you, your own people suffer;

Because of you

Oppression speaks louder.

Because of you, my religion reels in shame.

Because of you, two countries lie in ruins.

Because of you, a deserted nation suffers.

Because of you, the corrupt have grown stronger.

The bigots can speak without shame.

Because of you, the good people the world over

Have no name.

With each act of your violence,

Your enemies grow stronger, harsher

More justified in killing and conquest.

Each life you take weakens your cause, turns

An indifferent world against you.

You call yourselves holy warriors:

But you have never read the Holy Book,

Never tried to understand,

Never struggled with yourself.

You took the easy way:

And what will you say on the Day of days?

What will you say to your Lord, to

Those you killed, to your family?

What good have you done?

It is not you who bear

The prophet=s sword; the

True sword is a word, a thought,

Touched by light, forged

In wisdom and

Relentless in love.

It is not you who wear

The prophet=s mantle but those who

Strive , armed not with bombs but with

Patience, with a Book,

High in words and deeds.

You do not speak for me

Or the sweetness of my God;

You do not speak for me.

I thought this poem was very moving and really emotionally driven. I thought there was a lot of symbolism in the poem that made it speak a greater message and to a larger audience. Every person may not understand every aspect of the poem, but enough so that they would understand the message and feel its political implication.

Frightened and Free

Frightened and Free

I am like the Bedouin who travels on hostile sands,

Stranger to all, mistrusted, to be driven from the land.

I exalt peace with a hushed prayer and elicit fear,

Reason has died and I am left to weep before its bier.

My self is only what a frightened fool desires to see,

stripped of dignity, handcuffs in lieu of humanity.

Here in the land of the frightened and the free.


We dressed in suits and irony and spoke fine English, we thought.

The six of us awaiting takeoff performed our noon Salāt.

Love is blind, but Fear is not and someone raised the alarm:

Suspicious Arabs aboard the flight, intent on causing harm.

We Imams, we Leaders, we men of God and peace,

Played by all the rules but still lost out,

Here in the land of the frightened and the free.


They took us away in handcuffs, at a whisper’s beck and call,

Worse yet I saw the faces, fear or hate covered most all.

In the face of such recklessness what good can reason do?

In all of History it’s been the same, the many rule the few.

The word “Imam” means leader, and so I’ve tried to be,

Yet in this world I’m suspect, my race is all they see.

And we’re still looking for equality,

in the land of the frightened and the free.