War & Prejudice: Internment of Japanese Latin Americans

WAR & PREJUDICE: US Internment of Japanese Latin Americans
During WWII and Its Relevance Today

Film Screening:  Hidden Internment: The Art Shibayama Story
Saturday, September 22, 2007;  1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Japanese American National Museum
369 East First Street, Los Angeles, CA  90012
Admission is free
Tasty Peruvian refreshments from Mario’s Restaurant (Los Angeles) and Kotosh (Lomita)

Community Dialogue & Reception:
Congressional Representative XAVIER BECERRA
Art Shibayama, former Japanese Peruvian internee
Grace Shimizu, Campaign For Justice: Redress Now for Japanese Latin Americans!
Robin Toma, Executive Director, LA County Commission on Human Relations

An attack on America—fear, fury and calls for retaliation run rampant.  Kidnapping, indefinite detention without charge or legal representation, forced deportation, prisoner exchange.  The time is not September 11, 2001, but December 7, 1941, when the United States entered World War II.  The targeted communities are not only US citizens and residents of Japanese ancestry.  The U.S. government also went outside its borders to bring more than 6,000 Japanese, German and Italian residents and citizens of 18 Latin America countries to internment camps in the United States.

Hidden Internment: The Art Shibayama Story, a documentary produced by Peek Media, reveals the little-known history of the WWII internment of over 2200 Japanese Latin Americans.  The half-hour film centers on the life story of Art Shibayama, who, at age 13, was forcibly deported from his home in Peru with his family and interned in Crystal City, Texas, for the purpose of hostage exchange for U.S. citizens trapped in war zones abroad.  Art’s commitment to truth and justice inspires the ongoing struggle for government accountability for constitutional and human rights violations, including pending congressional legislation to establish a commission to investigate the treatment of the Japanese Latin Americans during WWII.

The public is invited to this free community gathering to explore how wartime fears, anti-immigrant prejudice and racism affected men, women and children against whom no charges of wrong-doing were ever brought.  Drawing insights and lessons from our past is particularly relevant today as our nation grapples with addressing national security concerns and upholding our constitution and democracy.

Sponsors:  Japanese American Citizens League, Campaign For Justice: Redress Now for Japanese Latin Americans!, Japanese American National Museum, Nikkei for Civil Rights and Redress, Go For Broke National Education Center, Nikkei Student Union/UCLA, Japanese Peruvian Oral History Project, National Japanese American Historical Society

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