A Vigil was held on December 7, 2016 at the JACCC plaza in Little Tokyo
The following statement by NCRR and the Nikkei Progressives was made to combat the racist comments made by those who want a Muslim registry. We wish to stand with our Muslim, South Asian and Arab brothers and sisters in the struggle to stop this discrimination. NCRR and the Nikkei Progressives are committed to defending their civil rights and civil liberties as the rights of all people.
75 years ago, our community was viewed as alien and not quite American, even though two-thirds of Japanese Americans were citizens. Buddhism was seen as a strange and subversive religion and the Buddhist priests were the first to be picked up by the FBI after Pearl Harbor was attacked by Japan on December 7, 1941 and taken to Department of Justice camps in places like Santa Fe, NM and Bismarck, North Dakota.
Since the election the American Muslim and immigrant communities are being viewed as alien and have been more vulnerable to hate mail, bullying and physical attacks. NCRR and the Nikkei Progressives are committed to defending their civil rights and civil liberties as the rights of all people.
We take inspiration from the courage and resilience of the Issei and Nisei who suffered the greatest losses during World War II and survived to rebuild the community.
We take inspiration from the progressive history of our community - from the people who challenged the evacuation, like Mitsuye Endo, Gordon Hirabayashi, Fred Korematsu and Min Yasui, to the Nikkei Progressives who challenged racist housing laws to the Sansei who opposed the Vietnam War, fought for ethnic studies, inspired by the civil rights movement and returned to defend Little Tokyo from redevelopment.
We take inspiration from the fighting spirit of our community during the almost ten-year campaign to win redress and an apology from the United States government in 1988 – setting a precedent against such scapegoating and incarcerations ever happening again. We proudly take on the responsibility to stand up for others who face similar discrimination.
And we can build off of the ties and relationships we have built with the Muslim American community since September 11, 2001
Most importantly, we can rely on our history and our cultural values of gaman (persevere), gambatte (we can do it) and compassion to strengthen us as individuals and as a community to fight against divisiveness and hate.
NO to a registry of people based on their religion or ethnicity.
NO to a wall to keep people out based on their religion or country or origin.
No to the President-elect’s hateful policies and NO to racists for government offices
We pledge to make Little Tokyo a safe place no matter a person’s race, religion or gender preference.
We pledge to see Little Tokyo as a welcoming place - as long as they take their shoes off.
We are Muslims. We are immigrants. We are Sikhs and Jews. We are LGBTQ. We are marginalized. We are women and we stand together for __________________________.