Go For Broke National Education Center (GFBNEC) denounces the recent statements of Carl Higbie, spokesman of Great America PAC. Citing the incarceration without charges, trial, or due process of American citizens of Japanese descent during World War II as a precedent for any federal policy is misguided and dangerous. In 1983, the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians (CWRIC) clearly stated that the incarceration of Japanese Americans was the result of “race prejudice, war hysteria, and a failure of political leadership.” The Commission went on to describe the policy as having been “…conceived in haste and executed in an atmosphere of fear and anger…”
In 1988, President Ronald Reagan signed the Civil Liberties Act of 1988 which granted an apology and monetary reparations for those who had been wrongfully incarcerated. The Act stated, “The Congress recognizes that…a grave injustice was done to both citizens and permanent resident aliens of Japanese ancestry….For these fundamental violations of the basic civil liberties and constitutional rights…the Congress apologizes on behalf of the Nation.” At the signing, President Reagan clearly stated, “For here we admit a wrong; here we affirm our commitment as a nation to equal justice under the law….the ideal of liberty and justice for all – that is still the American way.”
“We urge all Americans to rise above fear and anger and recommit ourselves to the value of equal justice under the law,” asserted Mitchell T. Maki, CEO and President of GFBNEC, “To cite the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II as a precedent for federal policy is to completely disregard due process as a core American value.”
“Americans come in all colors and from all parts of the world,” stated Bill H. Seki, Chair of the GFBNEC Board of Directors, “Despite the unconstitutional incarceration of the Japanese American community, thousands of Japanese Americans served in the U.S. military during World War II and became the most highly decorated military unit in American history. They did this because they believed in our nation – a nation of laws in which all people are treated equally.”
Equal justice under the law – it is still the American way.
About Go For Broke National Education Center (GFBNEC)
Founded in 1989, Go For Broke National Education Center provides educational outreach to share the legacy of the Nisei veterans. Collaborating with organizations that share our vision, including the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles, the Japanese American National Museum, the National Veterans Network, and Japanese American veterans clubs throughout the country, we continue to promote educational programs about the Japanese American World War II experience. Through these life stories, we hope to inspire today’s generation and those of tomorrow to live the core values embodied by these Nisei soldiers: courage, humility, self-sacrifice, integrity, equality, patriotism.
Go For Broke National Education Center is located at 355 E. First Street, Los Angeles. Exhibition hours are Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Thursday from noon to 8 p.m. General admission is $9 adults, $5 students and seniors, free for members and children under age five. Admission is free on Thursdays from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and every third Thursday of the month from noon to 8 p.m. General admission prices and free admission times may not apply to specially ticketed exhibitions. Closed Monday, 4th of July, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. For more information visit www.goforbroke.org or call (310) 328-0907.