Japanese American internment notice, April 1, 1942. Exclusion Order posted to direct Japanese Americans living in the first San Francisco section to evacuate. • Photo by U.S. Department of the Interior
Japanese American internment notice, April 1, 1942. Exclusion Order posted to direct Japanese Americans living in the first San Francisco section to evacuate. • Photo by U.S. Department of the Interior

Thirty-one governors have it wrong, our governor has it right. Governor Inslee, you stated that America should continue to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees who need a home. Further, you cited an event in American history when our political leaders succumbed to fear and prejudice and chose an expedient political path, incarcerating more than 110,000 people of Japanese ancestry for no other reason than they looked like the enemy. Ironically, this indefensible action was led by President Franklin D. Roosevelt who declared, “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.”

With current events, we need to be forever vigilant against any similar reactions of fear and prejudice towards Syrian refugees, and rebuke politicians who misguidedly cite the unconstitutional incarceration during WWII as a valid historical precedent.

Governor Inslee, our organizations support your principled leadership and thank you for your honorable stand. We recognize that your position may not be popular with some people, but it is the right one. Your stance reaffirms our organizations’ goal to, “Let It Not Happen Again.”

Mary Woodward
President, Bainbridge Island Japanese American Community

Bill Nakao
President, Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial Association

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