Eugene, Oregon’s Japanese internment memorial

February 22, 2007

11th grade history courses should be finishing up with World War II about now. If the course covered the material planned, it included a discussion of the internment of Japanese-Americans in the U.S. during World War II. The discussion should have included questions about whether the internment was just, and whether the reparations paid and apology made later by the U.S. government adequately compensated the victim internees.

Eugene, Oregon, hosted a “civic control station” where Japanese-Americans were forced to register. Most were later sent to internment camps — from Oregon, many were sent to Tule Lake, California. Oregonians, especially those who were interned and their families, are working to honor the internees and pass on the stories of the events. They want to highlight the fact that many of the interned citizens served gallantly during the war.

A memorial is being built in Eugene, featuring a statue of a young Japanese American girl sitting atop her luggage on the way to internment, reaching for a butterfly.

Below the fold I copy the editorial from the Eugene Register-Guard about the memorial — I’ve taken the liberty of copying the entire piece, as well as including a link (free subscription required). If the Register-Guard wishes I not promote their work this way, they know where to find me. It’s a good editorial on important issues, and it deserves broader circulation and preservation.

Read the rest of this entry »


Dressing as Jesus for Halloween

February 22, 2007

Educators get a few seconds to make a decision, usually with other kids yelling and a fight breaking out across the hallway. Lawyers and judges have more time.

But even with the advantage of cool reflection, the levels of irony in this case are too thick to cut through.

Can a kid dress as Jesus about to be crucified, for Halloween? Is the costume religious? If so, is the school’s allowing it to be worn an impermissible endorsement of religion? Is the costume blasphemous? If so, would the school be sued if they didn’t ban it? Is the costume in good taste, compared to the kid dressed as a chainsaw serial-killer, or one of the phantasms from Nightmare on Elm Street?

How do 10-year-old kids always come up with these questions?

With the disclosure that what I have comes from a press release from the Alliance Defense Fund, which has its biases, I post the details of the case as we have them so far, below the fold. Read the rest of this entry »


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