No, I didn’t think it was possible either.
I’ve been reading The Train to Crystal City by Jan Jarboe Russell. It’s an account of how the United States treated people of German and Japanese extraction during World War II, focused on the Crystal City, Texas internment camp. It could be a guide to our future.
I’d already known and written about the mass internment of Japanese immigrants and their children. I hadn’t known that German immigrants were also sometimes treated that way, though not on the same scale. People were arrested and imprisoned simply because of their nationality or the nationality of their parents. Some German Jews were treated as “Germans.” Guards treated people brutally. Will we start seeing that again?
There’s no use in my just being negative, though. Giving up accomplishes nothing. Government gets its power from the consent of the governed — and that doesn’t just mean casting a vote. Withholding consent means standing up against the abuses of power that are going to follow. Speaking out. Refusing to help. Even in Crystal City there were Americans who tried to make the place as humane as they could.
Let’s all think about some way we can keep Trump from running amuck as much as he wants to. I still have hope for building a truly liberal movement that will provide an alternative to progressivism, religious conservatism, and Trumpism.
The battle doesn’t end in the voting booth. It’s a battle of ideas. There were good signs even in this election; Gary Johnson got over three million votes. Some anti-prohibitionist measures passed. A southern state elected a black senator to a six-year term, the first time that’s happened since Reconstruction. The outcome was a vote against Clinton much more than a vote for Trump.
Bad times are ahead, but let’s focus on making them less bad.
The unthinkable happened before, to my family in WWII. We got thru it. We held each other close. We kept our dignity and held to our ideals.
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) November 9, 2016