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On August 15, 1945, 68 year ago today, Japan surrendered to the Allied forces, signaling the end of World War II. For attitudes domestically in the U.S., WWII brought out the best and the worst in us. From the same president who brought us the Social Security Act and other saving elements of the New Deal also came Executive Order 9066, which imprisoned some 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry into relocation camps, the majority of whom were American-born citizens.

Exclusion Order posted to direct Japanese Americans living in the first San Francisco section to evacuate. Photo from National Archives.

Exclusion Order posted to direct Japanese Americans living in the first San Francisco section to evacuate. Photo from National Archives.

In face of blatant adversity and discrimination, Japanese Americans remained loyal to Uncle Sam, heeding the call-to-arms and fighting in the European theater during WWII. The 442nd Regimental Combat Team, a unit of mostly American soldiers of Japanese descent, went on to become the most decorated regiment in the history of the U.S. Military, earning the nickname the “Purple Heart Battalion.”

Unfortunately after the war, Japanese Americans continued to face prejudice. Some lost their homes, their businesses, and others unwelcomed in their former communities.

Attitudes have certainly changed since then, reparations and apologies issued. But the brush of the “perpetual foreigner” remains.
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A group of Asian American “DREAM Riders” from California, Illinois and Virginia will be traveling across the country in the next 2 weeks in a “national effort to build a unified Asian American voice for comprehensive immigration reform.”

They will be stopping tonight at 630pm in Charlotte at The Asian Library for a community forum “What’s ‘Asians’ got to do with it?” to address how immigration reform impacts the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. The forum is hosted by the Southeast Asian Coalition, United 4 the Dream, and the Latin American Coalition.

More information about the “DREAM Riders” tour across America here: http://krcla.org/en/Dream

Dream-riders-charlotte-poster

 

Can’t make it to our Crucial Conversation with Diane Ravitch in person?

No worries!

We’re livestreaming it at http://www.ncpolicywatch.com/streaming-video

Or watch it here:

Streaming video begins Thursday, 3/21/2013 at noon.

This event will also be recorded and posted on our website afterwards, in case there are any difficulties with connectivity.

For those of you joining us in person, see you soon!

Community leaders and activists from organizations such as SpiritHouse, the Durham NAACP and the N.C. NAACP will gather 8:30am tomorrow morning at the Durham County Courthouse to bring attention to the case of Stephanie Nickerson, a U.S. Navy veteran and alleged victim of police brutality.

Nickerson, 25, advised her friend against an unwarranted search of a home by police responding to a disturbance call on October 28, 2012.

In an ABC11 interview, she said, “He was like put your arms behind your back, and I jerked my arm away and said no I haven’t done anything wrong. And immediately after I jerked my arm back he threw me on the ground, he held me by my neck, and punched me repeatedly in my face and head.”

Here’s the complete report from ABC11:

Nickerson’s case might not be an isolated incident as a report by the North Carolina Advocates for Justice suggests a disturbing trend over the past decade of racial disparities in police encounters with minorities. Read More