9066 Today

Dear J-

I am a couple of days late this year — sixty-eight years and two days since FDR signed Executive Order 9066 into being — and it’s more relevant than ever. Lessons of the past mean that we can avoid mistakes of the future, ranging from the small (subheadline from this morning’s Union-Tribune: “Asian emersion: Kim Yu-na of South Korea leads a crop of skaters trying to keep the U.S. without a medal”) to the large (the current flap over the UCSD fraternity party with a “Compton Cookout” theme).

The actual article about the rise of Asian figure skaters was pretty good, actually (there are cultural and physical reasons, even if those were based on dated assumptions), but (1) I’m not even sure that “emersion” is a word and (2) if any country is kept off the medal podium, the fault can be traced directly to that country and not some other country’s nefarious machinations. Blaming other folks for things within your control seems to be the lesson passed down lately; if you can’t pass the buck, then you’ve failed your mission. It’s the little things that lead to bigger misunderstandings, though; you start with a small assumption that acts as a key to unlock a whole world of ugly.

And speaking of ugly, folks are quick to flock behind the UCSD students as youthful hijinks and to wrap themselves up in the First Amendment: yes, you are as free to be as offensive as you want, and I’ll defend your right to do so. Yet you can’t have both: the silence of the fraternity and television programs are telling — you’re willing to claim the right of satire, yet unwilling or unable to claim the responsibility for your words. Part of maturity is learning consequence; if we understood what we might set into motion sixty-eight years ago, perhaps we wouldn’t be rushing into satire so quickly.

Mike

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One Response to “9066 Today”

  1. Montana Says:

    You real can’t take these uneducated UCSD white trailer trash anywhere. This is what happens when more than one of these guys puts their minds together.

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