Sunday, September 19, 2010

Could U.S. citizens ever be imprisoned based on ethnicity?

Yesterday while meeting with friends from high school after attending a service for the burial of one of our classmates our conversations of course returned to our high school classes.  Recently while attending the quilt show in the same town at which we were eating and conversing (Springville, UT), I asked them if they were as dumb as I was about the Topaz prison camps near Delta, UT during WWII less than 100 miles from our high school--yet I NEVER KNEW about this until I was married and with horror watched aTV show about such.  None of my classmates knew either--until later in their lives.  How can such things happen, I've asked myself...and then I read about hate over immigration issues now present and I'm reminded we don't seem to progress past hate very rapidly.

These are pictures  I took of a two sided quilt in the Topaz Display aside from the regular quilt show.  This was also at the Springville Art Museum, but loaned from the Topaz Japanese American Intermet Camp Museum (P.O. Box 241, Delta, Utah 84624--a non-profit organization).

Over the Moon

This is actually quilted on both sides.  A beautiful quilt indeed.  This is from the letter that was posted as part of the display. 

Over the Moon

Dear Jack,
I'm here at Tule Lake.  They call it a camp, but it is not like the summer camp we went to where we rowed on the lake and roasted marshmallows.  There is no lake anywhere, just dust.  It blows in my eyes and stings.  I have to sleep in the same room with my Mom and Dad on hard cots and there's no hamburgers or ice cream here, just potatoes and lotsa soup.

I mis my school friends and sometimes I even cry, especially when I think about Neko and Usagi.  You remember Neko, my yellow cat?  We gave her to the lady next door.  Sha (maybe incorrect spelling, but I can't read it too well) and I hope your Japanese cat gets along with my American cat.  I hope so too.  No one would take Usagi, even when I changed his name to Rabbit.  On that day we left, Mama told me I had to let him go free and we took him outside and opened his cage.  But he just sat there.  He didn't want to leave his home either.  Finally, Mama tipped over the cage and he hop, hopped away into the bushes.

Last night I couldn't sleep.  The coyotes were making awful scary noises, but I snuch out of our barrack anyway.  It was so bright with a big moon shining.  I went over to the barbed wire fence and was looking up at the sky when guess what I saw.  Two rabbits jumping over the moon.  It was Usagi and his new friend Rabbit.  I was so happy to see him again.  I yelled Usagi, down here, Usagi.  And you know what?  He turned around and looked right at me, just like that last day before he ran away.  I waved at him and started to laugh, but then the big spotlight came on and I ran back to my bed before they could shoot me.

Your friend 
Eddie Matsui


Cheri said...

When 9/11 happened the government didn't gather all Islamic people and put them in detainment camps. Perhaps that shows a little victory in the battle against hate.

QuiltSue said...

You make a good point, and so does Cheri in her comment.

Carol E. said...

Beautiful quilt and letter... and I'm afraid I agree with you that we have learned very little. Look at Guantonomo. It's pretty much what Cheri says we didn't do.