Members of the Trump administration have raised the specter of a Muslim registry and instituted an immigration ban against people from Muslim majority countries, citing the unconstitutional incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II as precedent for its actions. (Social Action Media.) The Appreciating Diversity Film Series will present the powerful 2017 documentary “And Then They Came for Us” – a film by Bay area filmmakers Abby Ginzberg and Ken Schneider which demonstrates that the registration and incarceration of Japanese American was one of the worst violations of constitutional rights in American History, and features Japanese Americans who survived that experience speaking out today.
As a result of President Franklin Roosevelt’s 1942 Executive Order 9066, approximately 120,000 men, women, and children of Japanese ancestry were evicted from their homes son the West Coast of of the United States and held in American internment camps and other confinement sites across the country.
Over two-thirds of the people of Japanese ethnicity that were incarcerated were American citizens. Many of the rest had lived in the country 20 to 40 years. Most Japanese Americans, particularly the first generation born in the United States (the nisei), considered themselves loyal to the United States. No Japanese American citizen or Japanese national residing in the United States was ever found guilty of sabotage or espionage. The film features interviews with George Takei and others who were incarcerated, and stunning photos by Dorothea Lange and Ansel Adams. It’s a moving film you won’t soon forget.
Following the screening in Piedmont, there will be a panel discussion features Dianne Fukami, an award-winning documentary and television producer and a member of the U.S. – Japan Council, and Piedmont resident Don Tamaki, who served on the pro bono legal team that reopened the landmark Supreme Court case of “Korematsu v. the United States”.
Free; no need to RSVP.