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"Degradation" - Manzanar, Part 2

Posted by
Denny Jump (Bellevue, WA, United States) on 9 January 2013 in Documentary & Street.

Imagine, if you can, the following:

You have a loving family, a good job, perhaps you own your own business or teach school. You have a modest but comfortable house. You own a shop, or store, or farm. You are happy and you are very proud. Your kids are getting a good education, life is good.

Then, one day, all hell breaks loose. All of your customers - the ones who, just yesterday, loved you and smiled at you and asked about your kids.... Now, they are all amassed outside your shop or home, throwing rocks and blocks of wood - screaming names at you....All hell has broken loose. Your kids come home or are sent home crying because they were dragged out of their classroom while the other kids called them terrible names that they did not even know the meaning of. If you are lucky, your kids haven't been beaten up by others.

In a day or two...very soon....you are told that you will lose your home, lose your business or job, you wll lose your car, and you will be moved to a place not known. Your head is spinning and the next thing you know, you are on a train or a bus packed with others. All you have with you is your family - if you are lucky - and whatever clothes you can pack into one bag. Later, your family may be seperated.... and now, you have no idea where anyone is.

Then, you find yourself in a place caled Manzanar, or Tule Lake , or another place out of dozens of places that you have never heard of.... It is July, the temperature is 110 degrees Farenheit and you are sick, and your head is spinning.

Then, soon again, you are in a line, sick to your stomach, afraid, embarassed, bewildered, crying inside....or maybe outside....You are now being told that you can only eat when told to do so, you can only go to the bathroom when you are told that you can go. You then must line up with others whom you do not know, and you are degraded even more by being forced to use a toilet in front of strangers in the heat and stench and humiliation.

Welcome to the new hell for Japanese Americans..... Degradation, humiliation, and fear became the environment.

Next edition, part 3 - there will be more to learn.

** Staples Singers - "Respect Yourself"

- " We do not move forward from a middle opinion, which is undemocratic but mediocratic.
We advance from a creative passion "- (Edgar Morin)

- "To photograph is to hold one's breath, when all faculties converge to capture fleeting reality. It's at
that precise moment that mastering an image becomes a great physical and intellectual joy."
- Henri Cartier-Bresson.

::Words from Denny:
- My beliefs, and values, have always been strongly tied-to music, especially Jazz, and Blues.
- The following artists and lyrics seem to "sum-up" where my spirit resides:
EARTH WIND AND FIRE;
"HOLD ON TO YOUR SPIRIT,
ALWAYS FEEL YOUR SOUL....
HONOR THE MAGIC IN YOUR HEART"
; Earth Wind and Fire