It was fitting to have the Nisei Veterans Memorial Hall host the showing of the film “For the Sake of the Children” on Saturday 23 Feb 2019. The film reveals the long-term impact of war-time injustice against Japanese Americans and moves us to prevent racially motivated injustice endangering freedom today. The Nisei Veterans embodied everything American by fighting with honor and valor for their country, liberating people from oppression despite how their families were unjustly imprisoned at home. Like the marshal in “High Noon,” they fulfilled their duty and could hold their heads up high. Their badge of honor gave the Japanese American community a legacy to compel a better America to rescind the shameful Executive Order, overturn racist Supreme Court decisions, apologize for unlawful acts and pay reparations.
Following the film, KOMO morning news anchor Ryan Yamamoto led a panel discussion including executive producer of the film Marlene Shigekawa and Executive Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) Masih Fouladi. CAIR has been invited to each showing of the film and has partnered with LatinX advocacy groups against post-911 anti-Muslim ‘Global War’ policies and southern border anti-immigration ‘Drug War’ policies. Saying “never again” will ring hollow if nobody knows or remembers how America allowed racial intolerance, envy and greed to unconstitutionally incarcerate her own citizens because once forgotten, history does repeat itself. It is no doubt important that young leaders of tomorrow know about our past through films like this, “And Then They Came for Us” and the play “Allegiance”, but it is also important for them to see and fight with clarity against the same threads that entangle our liberty today. If people are not vigilant, political leaders will paint events as ‘war’ to push us once more to a slippery slope rejecting citizenship status and infringing upon individual freedom.