I am an American

This Oakland, CA store owned by a man of Japanese ancestry is closed following evacuation orders to force Japanese Americans into concentration camps in April of 1942. After the attack on Pearl Harbor the owner had placed the “I Am An American” sign in the store front window. (AP Photo/ Dorothea Lange)

2 thoughts on “I am an American

  1. Every time I’m reminded of the Japanese internment camps, I think of 9/11 and the people who exclaimed, “We should just put all the Middle Easterners into camps until we figure this out!” People who don’t remember history…

  2. Back when I was interested in belonging to organised secularist movements, I frequented a lot of atheist-friendly websites. You’d be amazed how many otherwise reasonable people think it’s a good idea to ‘solve the Islamic problem’ by banning all further immigration to Western countries and sticking all Muslims into camps awaiting deportation unless they can prove their loyalty by abandoning their religion. Their attitude is basically that all Muslims are guilty until proven innocent.

    One of the reasons I left ‘organised atheism’, is that it’s so backward in examining privilege and addressing social justice issues. Straight white males tended to be overrepresented in the atheist community (although this is starting to change). Atheists tend to come from better educated, intellectual, scientific, geeky and wealthier socio-economic backgrounds, and in the West that means the demographics are still slanted in favour of white males. That’s one of the reasons I found that many in the community were unable to understand what it feels like to belong to minority group. They simply deny the existence of discrimination against women and other minorities.

    As for that sign, it really strikes a chord with me. I live in a Western country and I am always a stranger in my own land because I’m not white. This is my home, but people look at me and see a foreigner. We need to let them know that we belong here.

    P.S. (I’m the commenter formerly known as Naga)

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