Japanese Internment Tag

After the London bombings, the debate on racial profiling was everywhere, on television and in newspapers. As the film crew and I traveled around the country, interviewing victims of prejudice and profiling, two New York legislators announced an upcoming bill that "called for racial profiling” on subways. While this announcement was met with signs of protest (like that pictured), it still gave me chills. I saw the way that racial profiling – in airports and on the streets – had damaged entire communities. How could they fail

Today we continued our production travels on the road with a trip to Yale Law School , where we interviewed the Dean of Yale Law School, HAROLD HONGJU KOH, a champion of human and civil rights. I first met Dean Koh at Yale Law School's admit day this spring, and after hearing him speak, I was certain of two things: that I wanted to study at YLS next year and that this documentary film needed his voice. He offered a larger perspective on the shift in law

This week, we take a break from production, but there is no rest for Sharat and me. We flew to Montana to fundraise for the film and spent the weekend in Livingston, MT, a small eclectic town at the mouth of Yellowstone Park. Penny Ronning, who hosted screenings of our work on Friday and Saturday nights at her art gallery, House of Fine Arts, organized our visit. We showed Sharat’s award-winning short film American Made and our film trailer for Divided We Fall, which was followed

We interviewed Nitasha Sawhney, a lawyer at Burke, Williams, and Sorenson, LLP in Los Angeles, who has focused her energy on civil rights cases on behalf of Sikh Americans since 9/11, including Swaran Bhullar. As a Sikh American lawyer and activist, she spoke with great passion about her community's experiences. She feared that many Sikhs have simply become accustomed the prejudice they face daily. And she hopes that with enough education and advocacy, people may begin to recognize one another as Americans: "As long as there is a

Today, we interviewed California Assemblymember Judy Chu who pioneered a number of hate crimes legislation to protect the rights of Sikh, Arab, and Muslim communities in California since September 11, 2001. She spoke with knowledge and eloquence about how lives have changed for many minorities who now fear discrimination in their own neighborhoods. She remembers learning about the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II in college as a student of Asian American Studies. Her awareness of the power of fear and hysteria in times of war

Today we sat with a group of Japanese Americans who shared their memories of the Internment during World War II. In their seventies and eighties, they exuded the warmth and wisdom of grandparents. All of them were born in the United States. The afternoon was organized by Janelle Saito, the mother my dear friend Brynn, at the United Japanese Christian Church in Clovis, California. We talked with this group for hours. At times, they drew haunting parallels to present-day America. Here are sketches of their stories. Aiko