Jump to content



Photo
- - - - -

Tom Brokaw: Friends Across Barbed Wire and Politics


  • Please log in to reply
18 replies to this topic

#1 RememberSchiff

RememberSchiff

    Your Friendly Neighborhood ModeratorMan

  • Moderators
  • 2892 posts

Posted 12 August 2017 - 06:32 AM

https://www.nytimes....an-simpson.html

 

Tom Brokaw writes about the friendship between two scouts that started at a scout Jamboree at Heart Mountain (WY) internment camp,  Only one scout troop from outside the camp accepted the invitation. Interesting story.


  • 0

#2 SSScout

SSScout

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 4033 posts

Posted 12 August 2017 - 10:31 AM

Sad but true.  


  • 0

#3 TAHAWK

TAHAWK

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 2883 posts

Posted 12 August 2017 - 01:20 PM

Not at all unique, the U.S. did it's best to fan the flames of hate.


  • 0

#4 Col. Flagg

Col. Flagg

    Robert E. Lee - Patriot

  • Members
  • 1348 posts

Posted 12 August 2017 - 09:40 PM

Didn't see the hate after Reagan won, or Bush, or Clinton. After Bush 2 won the vitriol started and escalated.
  • 0

#5 TAHAWK

TAHAWK

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 2883 posts

Posted 12 August 2017 - 09:48 PM

It's been rough before.  "Ma', Ma', where's my pa?  Gone to the White House; ha, ha, ah."

 

http://freakonomics....ing-for-a-vote/


  • 0

#6 Lurking...

Lurking...

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 12252 posts

Posted 13 August 2017 - 06:31 AM

We live in an era of extremism.  We see it with Islamic push for power, with NK push for the world stage, and it's happening in our own country.  Trying to find a moderate today is difficult at best.  The media has given up on journalism and has gone the National Inquirer/People Magazine approach to sales.  The more inflated the story, the more it will sell over the competition.  

 

I've seen it in the past, the riots of the 60's and the Vietnam War protest marches.  This sort of thing will take time and a lot of people dying before everyone realizes the foolishness of their extreme actions.  When one sees people physically injuring others because they had their feelings hurt, this country is in serious trouble and has been for a number of years now.  It's just that it has gotten to the point where people die.

 

In spite of all that, there are still the islands of hope that this article indicates.  Just one scout was brave enough to take on the challenge.  Sometimes that's all it takes.  So, who in this day and age is the one that's going to step up?


  • 0

#7 RememberSchiff

RememberSchiff

    Your Friendly Neighborhood ModeratorMan

  • Moderators
  • 2892 posts

Posted 13 August 2017 - 07:20 AM

In spite of all that, there are still the islands of hope that this article indicates.  Just one scout was brave enough to take on the challenge.  Sometimes that's all it takes.  So, who in this day and age is the one that's going to step up?

 

Could have happened at Jambo, say when the President arrived to speak. I am not aware if there was a welcoming  skit which celebrated the diversity (race, religion, location, etc. ) of Scouting in America. So in the assembled crowd of  40,000  have a dozen or so Scouts stand  in turn and state "I am  a  .(religion, location, etc)... "  Then everybody stands "We are all Scouts. We are all Americans. Welcome to Summit, Mr. President."

 

Anyway you get the idea.


Edited by RememberSchiff, 15 August 2017 - 08:46 AM.
40,000 not 400,000

  • 0

#8 Lurking...

Lurking...

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 12252 posts

Posted 13 August 2017 - 08:41 AM

Anytime one is required to choose sides, it means the polarizing affects of politics is beginning to take it's toll.  Once it gets out of hand, it never ends well.

 

We scream and yell about what the Germans did to their citizen Jewish population.

 

Is it any different than what we did with our Japanese population? or what we have done and continue to do to the Native Americans?

 

Please explain the philosophical differences between concentration camps, internment camps and reservations.....  Surely one's freedom is not really celebrated in those settings.

 

If one thinks it puts a person in a bad situation to be on one side with a ton of people against you on the other.   The only other place worse is the middle where no one likes you. 


  • 0

#9 TAHAWK

TAHAWK

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 2883 posts

Posted 13 August 2017 - 08:56 AM

Anytime one is required to choose sides, it means the polarizing affects of politics is beginning to take it's toll.  Once it gets out of hand, it never ends well.

 

We scream and yell about what the Germans did to their citizen Jewish population.

 

[1] Is it any different than what we did with our Japanese population? or [2] what we have done and continue to do to the Native Americans?

 

[3] Please explain the philosophical differences between concentration camps, internment camps and reservations.....  Surely one's freedom is not really celebrated in those settings.

 

If one thinks it puts a person in a bad situation to be on one side with a ton of people against you on the other.   The only other place worse is the middle where no one likes you. 

1. Yes.  Clearly.

2. Yes, although less so.  There were some who favored extermination, but they lost that debate.

3. Exterminate vs. imprison.  Exterminate vs. semi-autonomous states.  


  • 4

#10 NJCubScouter

NJCubScouter

    Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 6154 posts

Posted 13 August 2017 - 09:50 PM

Stosh, if you don't know the difference between dead and alive, I can't help you.
  • 1

#11 Col. Flagg

Col. Flagg

    Robert E. Lee - Patriot

  • Members
  • 1348 posts

Posted 14 August 2017 - 07:45 AM

I believe @Stosh is referring to the xenophobia which created the MIND SET that leads populations to single out a certain race, NOT the outcome. Clearly @Stosh knows the difference between extermination and incarceration.
  • 1

#12 TAHAWK

TAHAWK

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 2883 posts

Posted 14 August 2017 - 08:55 AM

Bearing in mind that my Scout tent-mate for two years was born in a concentration camp, I suspect the victims were/are more concerned with the BEHAVIOR than the MIND SET.

 

Interestingly enough, support for internment was strongest in California, with a history of racism, and almost zero in Hawaii, where the military governor, newspapers, politicians, and business community opposed it.  The extremely right-wing Santa Ana Register opposed internment as illegal and unconstitutional.  The L.A. Times continued a long tradition of racism against those of Asian ancestry by vigorously supporting it, joined by the N.Y. Times and Washington Post.


  • 0

#13 Col. Flagg

Col. Flagg

    Robert E. Lee - Patriot

  • Members
  • 1348 posts

Posted 14 August 2017 - 10:33 AM

Really? Do you think those held in the camps in the US weren't concerned about Uncle Sam doing the same to them as the Germans did? Because that's been widely noted in interviews with former Japanese Americans.
  • 0

#14 TAHAWK

TAHAWK

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 2883 posts

Posted 14 August 2017 - 01:45 PM

I am sure they were afraid.  And not without reason given wartime propaganda, governmental and private, about the "dirty Japs."

 

But in the end, we did not do to them what Germany under Hitler did to Jews, Romani, Soviet POW's or the mentally handicapped.

 

And I "really" believe that being alive was more important to them than the evil we did to them.  So they told me.  

 

We had a half-dozen Nisei Scouts in our troop and another half-dozen Sensei.  I ate at my buddy Toshi's house many times and talked to his dad, Toshi, Sr., about the camps and his family losing their farm and house.  "Tosh" Sr. started a Scout troop in the camp and was an SA in our troop.  (The family had a "truck farm" where the John Wayne Airport is located.)  There is a street named for the family in Garden Grove.


Edited by TAHAWK, 14 August 2017 - 01:52 PM.

  • 0

#15 Col. Flagg

Col. Flagg

    Robert E. Lee - Patriot

  • Members
  • 1348 posts

Posted 14 August 2017 - 08:31 PM

I'll let @Stosh argue his point.

A Japanese American in March 1942 had no idea of his fate in a detention camp than a Jew or Gypsy or Catholic or dissident had in Dachau in 1934. Only the outcome was different. What put them in those camps was fear and hatred. As Americans we focus on the outcome because we don't like to think about the reason why we put them there in the first place.

I won't even bring up the Indians. We outright slaughtered them.

Edited by Col. Flagg, 14 August 2017 - 08:32 PM.

  • 0

#16 TAHAWK

TAHAWK

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 2883 posts

Posted 14 August 2017 - 08:49 PM

Yup.  I didn't talk to them about it in 1942.   Tosh. Jr and I weren't alive then. Only met the family in 1953.  

 

Nothing to argue about.

 

Europeans often slaughtered indigenous peoples who got "in the way" (Google Jeffrey Amhurst blankets small pox),  but disease spread by mere contact probably killed more.  The Han peoples who immigrated to what we call Japan tried to kill off the Anu, and and the Russians mowed down those who resist when their empire moved south in past centuries and more recently.

 

Then there was Dresden and Bomber Harris generally.

 

Home sap has a lot to answer for.  We seem hard-wired to fear the "other," and fear shortly leads to hate and violence.  Civilization seems to be a thin layer over the beast.  :(


  • 0

#17 NJCubScouter

NJCubScouter

    Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 6154 posts

Posted 15 August 2017 - 08:42 AM

I think it is regrettable that this thread, which started off as a nice story about acts of friendship and kindness that occurred in the midst of terrible and tragic circumstances, in the Scouting History section of the forum, got turned into a comparison between the Japanese internment and the Holocaust (and some other things, but mainly between those two things.)

 

We all know the internment of Americans of Japanese descent during WW2 was a terrible thing and a shameful episode in the history of our country.  Do we really have to get into debates over whether it is "as bad as" or "not as bad as" another historical event that stands on its own?  And yes, I suppose my feelings about this are probably influenced by the devastating toll that the Holocaust took on my family:  Great-grandparents, great-aunts and uncles, cousins, etc. killed, and cousins never born.  I grew up around two grandmothers who had to live with the fact that their parents (not all but a majority), siblings, etc. had been slaughtered, for nothing.  So when someone says that some other event was "as bad as" the Holocaust... I am not even sure how to complete that sentence.


Edited by NJCubScouter, 15 August 2017 - 08:49 AM.

  • 2

#18 TAHAWK

TAHAWK

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 2883 posts

Posted 15 August 2017 - 09:52 AM

Sorry.  

 

The pain does reverberate down through generations.

 

We should celebrate random acts of kindness and friendship.


  • 3

#19 RememberSchiff

RememberSchiff

    Your Friendly Neighborhood ModeratorMan

  • Moderators
  • 2892 posts

Posted 18 August 2017 - 12:00 PM

More about the Scouting connection along with photos in this link.

http://gazette.com/b...article/1609398

 

Some excerpts:. I definitely recommend reading above link.

 

When they are together, it's not hard to see the Boy Scouts they were when they met seven decades ago, in the barbed-wire Japanese internment camp that sprawled over desolate fields. One was imprisoned here; one belonged to the only troop that agreed to a jamboree on the inside.

....

Two months after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt signed an order ordering all Japanese Americans away from the Pacific Coast.

 

Mineta and his family were among 120,000 who were "relocated" inland to one of 10 internment camps that opened amid the wartime hysteria. The majority were citizens, forced to leave behind their homes, jobs, belongings and crops. Families lost everything. Mineta remembers tears streaming down his father's face as they left San Jose and headed first for a way station at the Santa Anita Racetrack, then to the Heart Mountain camp, 15 miles outside of Simpson's home town of Cody.

 

Simpson remembered how the rows of tar-paper barracks appeared almost overnight on a sagebrush flat. There was nothing near the camp but the railroad tracks that transported the internees. With more than 10,000 usually there, the camp dwarfed the population of Cody, then at just more than 2,500.

 

"The townspeople in Cody were not thrilled," Simpson said. "We didn't know who was in there except it must have been a pretty bad group with all that activity."

 

"I remember the day we got there in November [1942]," Mineta said. "The wind was blowing, all this silt was hitting our faces, cold as blazes. . . . The restrooms were quite a ways away, so when it would get cold and either raining or the snow, you had to go to the bathroom at 11 or 12 at night and trudge through all that mud and muck and mire.

 

"And then each of the units had one single globe in the middle of the room and a potbelly stove in the middle. My job was to get the coal from the bin and then bring it - and that's what kept us warm."

 

He was 11.

 

No schools had been built for the thousands of children who were among the internees, so to keep the children occupied, camp elders decided to form Boy Scout troops.

 

Long before internment, scouting had deep roots in the Japanese community. Immigrant parents viewed it as a very American tradition and admired the organization's values of good citizenship, loyalty and service. When Mineta's family left their house for the train ride to the assembly center in Southern California, young Norman wore his Cub Scout uniform.

 

So Heart Mountain troop leaders wrote to troops in nearby towns, inviting them to participate in Boy Scout jamborees. All refused. They were afraid of the armed guards and uneasy about the unfamiliar faces inside.

 

"It was a confusing time," Simpson said. As a young boy, "You were sorting out your world when nobody was there to teach you what the hell was going on, but you knew it was mess."

 

But his troop's leader, Glenn Livingston, was "a scoutmaster ahead of his time," Simpson said. He told his young scouts that the boys behind the barbed-wire fence were just like them, and he was right: The Heart Mountain scouts, Simpson said, read the same comics and earned the same merit badges.

 

Even as a young kid, Simpson said: "You knew these were Americans, especially when you met the Scouts. They didn't even know where Japan was."

 

By chance, he was matched up with Mineta, who remembers Simpson as a "roly-poly kid with lots of hair."

 

Among their tasks that day was pitching a tent.

 

There is some dispute between the two, as usual, as they recount what happened next. Mineta claimed that when it came time to build a small moat around the tent, Simpson suggested routing it so that it would flow toward the tent of another Scout - one known as a bully.

 

"It was no skin off my nose, so I said 'Sure,' " Mineta recalled. By chance it rained, and the moat worked perfectly to flood the kid's tent.

 

"Oh, he laughed, 'hee hee hee, haw haw haw, hee hee hee,' " Mineta said. "I had to say, 'Alan, stop laughing so we can get some rest.' "

 

Said Simpson: "He said I laughed hideously at the event. I don't recall any cackling, but it was fun."

 

They spent a day together. Then Simpson went back to a comfortable life as the son of a prominent family in Cody. Mineta stayed behind the barbed wire for a year.

 

...

Much more in source link above.


  • 1




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users


IPB Skin By Virteq