Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Hip Hop and Politics | MIke Shinoda on the Japanese Internment

One of the important functions of art within culture is to illustrate life in a way that touches our common humanity. Hip hop is a medium that has been successful at providing this access to cultural understanding - despite the tendency of American culture to focus on the negative representations of hip hop music. 

Check out this video by the Mike Shinoda's (producer and MC of Linkin Park) side project Fort Minor.

On February 19, 1942, Franklin D. Roosevelt (yes the social hero of liberal America) issued executive order 9066 - ordering the internment of approximately 122,000 individuals of Japanese ancestry on the west coast (70% were American citizens). 
For more information check out these sights:

Congress passed the Civil Liberties Act in 1988 which stated:

“The Congress recognizes that, as described in the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians, a grave injustice was done to both citizens and permanent residents of Japanese ancestry by the evacuation, relocation, and internment of civilians during World War II.
As the Commission documents, these actions were carried out without adequate security reasons and without any acts of espionage or sabotage documented by the Commission, and were motivated largely by racial prejudice, wartime hysteria, and a failure of political leadership.
The excluded individuals of Japanese ancestry suffered enormous damages, both material and intangible, and there were incalculable losses in education and job training, all of which resulted in significant human suffering for which appropriate compensation has not been made.
For these fundamental violations of the basic civil liberties and constitutional rights of these individuals of Japanese ancestry, the Congress apologizes on behalf of the Nation.”

We think it is important to remember these lessons as we continue the "War on Terror" and the scapegoating of Muslim and Arab Americans. As a nation we view the treatment of Japanese Americans as a stain on our moral history. We have a chance to learn from our mistakes by rejecting the use of torture in Iraq and Afghanistan and by extending religious liberty to Muslims (the ability to build Mosques).

For more Linkin Park and Fort Minor check out the WUW?'s Linkin Park Spotify Discography.

Looking for the good in humanity,

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