REVIEW: “They Called Us Enemy”

We have a rule not to be overtly political here at Four Foxes, One Hound and I agree with. None of us are ever in possession of all of the facts and there are many facets to many problems which we face individually or collectively,

and we must not fight among ourselves; we are all in this world together.

We must, however, strive to alleviate whatever problems we truly can that are around us, or at the very least, not cause anyone else any harm.

I am under-the-weather but wanted to make a post about what should in no way be a controversial book, however, someone may make something of it anyway.

The Husband came in last week after stopping at the library on his way back from the doctor,(he should have not been on his bad ankle), and he came in with only one book, one borrowed book,oddly, a graphic novel:

George Takei’s “They Called Us Enemy”.

I am probably not the Fox who should be talking about the Japanese-American experience, but I sat and read this all the way through in one sitting.

I had not read a book in one sitting in some years.

I knew the terrible way in which the people were treated. In fact, when I lived in Colorado, it was realized that although each state was allowed two statues of their prominent citizens to be placed in the U.S. Capitol building, Colorado had only added one. It was time to decide on another.

Of those in the running, my vote was cast for Governor Ralph Lawrence Carr, who refused to inter his citizens of Japanese descent. The bravery of the man, to stand against the country, (and even the president), when others stepped on their lives as rungs to climb the political ladder, is astounding.

I even lived on “Carr Loop”.

From George’s childhood point of view, things were not good, but his parents made it all tolerable. Looking from his parents’ generation’s POV, well, God bless every one of them; they more than paid their dues,

and as in George’s father’s case, allowed themselves to understand and to forgive, accepting the good that was done by the same who did them injustices.

I met a woman last year whose parents were of German descent. They, too, were interred in a combination Japanese/German camp in Texas, removed from their homes in New England and the Upper Midwest. The fathers and grandfathers were separated from their families and treated as traitors, spies and potential saboteurs as well. She did not know all that her grandfathers and great-grandfather went through, but out of it came  her grandparent’s life-long friendship and her own parents’ love story, (which to be only came after they left the camp and saw each other for the second time years after the war ended; it’s a sweet story.)

During the Watergate hearings, Senator Daniel Inouye was called a racial slur by one lawyer. The senator had been a decorated WWII veteran who had lost his arm in battle. I remember feeling so terrible listening to him tell his story afterward in an interview of how he came back to the States, in uniform, empty sleeved, but still was refused a haircut by a Caucasian barber.

All of what I had found out only within the last ten years or so ago of how so many men of African descent were truly railroaded for decades into prisons to be used as actual slave labor in roadwork, construction, and factories by cronies of the politically placed and corrupt judges, came flooding back to me while reading this.

The treatment of those seeking work coming across the U.S. borders is another scandal, one which is covered up, one in which the richest of our country are involved, and why I refuse to participate or even acknowledge the Kentucky Derby or any of Churchill Downs and the like.
When will it end?

George Takei’s book is gently written, but hard-hitting for those who truly see what the people went through.

It should, could be, read by everyone,

and it be taught in every school.


About Tonette Joyce

Tonette was a once-fledgling lyricists-bookkeeper, turned cook/baker/restaurateur and is now exploring different writing venues,(with a stage play recently completed). She has had poetry and nonfiction articles published in the last few years. Tonette has been married to her only serious boyfriend for more than thirty years and she is, as one person described her, family-oriented almost to a fault. Never mind how others have described her, she is,(shall we say), a sometime traditionalist of eclectic tastes.She has another blog : "Tonette Joyce:Food,Friends,Family" here at WordPress.She and guests share tips and recipes for easy entertaining and helps people to be ready for almost anything.
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7 Responses to REVIEW: “They Called Us Enemy”

  1. Jeff Salter says:

    Certainly a very disturbing chapter in America’s history.
    I’ve read several articles in m WW2 magazines about some of the camps in which Japanese-Americans were interned. Families were sometimes separated, businesses (& other property) lost / stolen, and many other abuses.
    Even those who served in uniform, as in your example with the senator, faced on-going prejudice and mistreatment.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Patricia Kiyono says:

    Sounds like a book I should read. Thanks for the recommendation!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, Patty. I am sure that you would get something from it, but I doubt that you need the lesson. George’s parents are very inspiring. There are harder-hitting stories from the camps, I am sure, which I hope are told.


  3. Elaine Cantrell says:

    I get so angry when I think of what our government did to the Japanese. I knew Germans were viewed with suspicion, but I didn’t really realize that they too were sent away to camps. I’d like to think that nothing like that could happen in the modern world, but unhappily I think it still does. I will never understand it.

    Liked by 2 people

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