on this day, seventy nine years ago, FDR signed executive order 9066 that forced all japanese americans into concentration camps. Dylan and my grandparents were placed for years at Tule Lake, the largest and most controversial of sites. the government sent internees here whom they deemed "disloyal," based on their refusal to go along meekly with the government's denial of their civil liberties, under heavy guard. politicians said that no japanese americans were forced to go and if they did, were provided with the best they could. the reality was that there were cracks in the walls where sand constantly blew in, shortages of food, milk, hot water and fuel to heat the barracks.
when my grandparents were taken to the camps, all they were able to bring with them was one suitcase each. as a result, family heirlooms were lost. refrigerators were sold for $5. families who stored their belongings in neighbors' garages had nothing to return to, their items stolen by those who promised to take care of them. not only were these "citizens" robbed of their dignity and material objects that they worked so hard for, they returned to their communities only to start again from scratch.
simply put, discrimination led to unjust and awful treatment.
and now today, in 2021, elderly asian americans are being attacked, robbed and killed. for walking down the block and "bringing covid to america." i urge anyone who is reading and listening to this music, to speak up and denounce these violent acts, watch the documentary on asian americnas on pbs, talk to friends and families about what has and is happening and to reach out to federal and local agencies to work with communities to combat racism. because racism is still alive and well...
all proceeds of this music will go towards Asian Americans Advancing Justice (www.advancingjustice-aajc.org
). hope you stay safe and help others around you stay safe.
released February 19, 2021
Patrick Shiroishi - alto & tenor saxophones
Dylan Fujioka - drums & percussion
recorded at Dylan's house on the 15th of February, 2021.
photograph is of Dylan's grandparents and family members at Tule Lake