January 16, 2017
by Karen Strickland, President, AFT Washington
“Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.” This quote, initially stated long ago either by Edmund Burke or George Santayana, seems especially relevant today, as the 75th anniversary of Executive Order 9066 approaches. Executive Order 9066 was President F. D. Roosevelt’s order to incarcerate roughly 120,000 Japanese Americans during WWII, resulting in the loss of possessions, homes, businesses, dignity, family stability, and more. February 19th is a day for reflection on this painful piece of our history. We must not ignore the ways in which we may well be repeating this history with the Executive Orders President Trump has been signing. Chief Justice Earl Warren, who as California Attorney General in 1942, supported this order, later recanted decades later “because it was not in keeping with our American concept of freedom and the rights of citizens.”
We the People need to recognize and defend human rights and stand up for the tremendous value that diversity brings to our society, and we must strive for rational, fact-based and humane laws and policies pertaining to immigration, just as we must apply those principles to all of our laws and policies.
Please check out the events occurring in commemoration of this somber anniversary at the link below. It is through our awareness and understanding that we can work to ensure we don’t repeat this history.