|Day of Remembrance 2020|
|“Democracy in Crisis: 1942 and 2020”
By Richard Katsuda
The theme for Day of Remembrance (DOR) 2020 is “Democracy in Crisis: 1942 and 2020.” The program will take place on Saturday, February 15, 2 PM, at the Japanese American National Museum. Sen. Mazie Hirono will address the audience with a special DOR video, and Dr. Satsuki Ina will speak on the program’s theme.
Our community remembers how Japanese Americans in 1942 were removed from the West Coast and incarcerated without any formal charges or trial. They were victims of what the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians concluded was “race prejudice, war hysteria, and a failure of political leadership.” All three branches of our federal government fell in line and failed our democracy as they denied Japanese Americans the promises of equal protection and due process of law under our Constitution.
DOR 2020 tackles the dangerous and exhausting crisis our nation is facing as Congress confronts President Trump’s conduct in carrying out his duties to determine whether he should be impeached and removed from office. The partisan divisions in our government are tearing away any semblance of reasonable dialogue in viewing the President’s actions and judging what the Constitution and our nation’s founders called for in such a situation. The country as a whole is terribly distressed about this crisis in our democracy and wonder whether our fundamental democratic system will survive.
Sen. Mazie Hirono has been a strong warrior in the Senate, calling out what she sees as destructive and impeachable offenses by the President. She is tremendously busy at this time and will not be able to speak at DOR in person, but in a video specially prepared for DOR, she will share her perspective on the issues that the Senate is grappling with.
Dr. Satsuki Ina is a survivor of the Tule Lake Segregation Center and Crystal City Internment Camp. She draws upon her expertise as a psychotherapist and experience in WWII camps to speak out about the devastating effects of detention centers on migrant parents and their children. She is a leading member of Tsuru for Solidarity, which has been organizing protests against these detention centers.
DOR 2020 will act as a reminder about how fragile our democracy really is. NCRR and other organizations of the DOR Committee will propose actions that our community can take to defend our democracy. The DOR Committee includes Japanese American National Museum, Pacific Southwest District/JACL, Kizuna, Manzanar Committee, NCRR, Nikkei Progressives, Progressive Asian Network for Action, Go for Broke National Education Center, and Organization of Chinese Americans-Greater Los Angeles.
For more information about DOR, please call JANM at (213) 625-0414.