“We are constantly doing events with (California Democratic Rep.) Mike Honda to draw parallels between what happened after Pearl Harbor and 9/11." Jim Matsuoka, 78, who was 7 years old when he and his family were rounded up from their home in Los Angeles' Little Tokyo and sent to Manzanar, is "extremely proud" of his community's response to the post-9/11 backlash against communities of color.
Back then it looked as if the country, a member of NATO since 1952, could end up being pulled into the Soviet Union’s orbit.
The violence—assassinations and massacres—reached its peak during the late 1970s and claimed more than five thousand lives.
It is partly because Japanese-Americans spoke up for their Muslim compatriots that Muslims didn't suffer a similar fate, said Susan Uyemura, head of Japanese American Living Legacy, a Los Angeles–based nonprofit organization that collects and preserves Japanese-American oral histories.
"The significant difference this time around was that the Japanese-American community’s concerns were recognized and consequently motivated our government’s leaders to unilaterally address the American public in defusing the volatile social backlash against the Muslim- and Arab-American communities," Uyemura said.
Second, assassinations have tended to take place in particular geopolitical circumstances, namely whenever Turkey’s long-standing commitment to the Western security alliance has seemed to be in jeopardy.
The first wave came in the 1960s and 1970s, when the left was ascendant in Turkey.
"There are definitely feelings among brown men that it's difficult. There are fears of coming through the border from Canada to the U.
S." Masaoka agreed with Tarin that the backlash against the Japanese-American community was much more systematic, but she said that in both cases, innocent Americans were criminalized because of their origins.
Shortly after she heard the Muslim woman's story on the radio, Masaoka's Japanese-American rights group, Nikkei for Civil Rights and Redress (NCRR), held a candlelight vigil in memory of those who died on 9/11 and to take a stand against the violence, racial profiling and detentions faced by Americans of color in the attacks' aftermath.