The Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles issued the following statement on Nov. 10.
The Japanese American National Museum respects the democratic process and its results in selecting the next president of the United States. As an institution whose mission is to promote understanding and appreciation of America’s ethnic and cultural diversity, we hope that the 45th president of the United States will remember the unlawful violation of Japanese Americans’ civil rights during World War II that led to their incarceration in concentration camps, and aggressively act to prevent that kind of history from repeating itself.
“During his campaign, Donald Trump made alarming statements threatening the civil rights of specific ethnic groups. I hope that as he selects his cabinet members and fully prepares to assume the role of president, Mr. Trump has the opportunity to reconsider what he has said and be a leader who supports equality and liberty for all in this nation,” said Norman Y. Mineta, former U.S. secretary of transportation, former U.S. secretary of commerce, and chair of JANM’s Board of Trustees. Mineta was incarcerated with his family at the Heart Mountain, Wyo., camp during the war.
“I know Mr. Trump from when I appeared on the ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ television show in 2012,” said George Takei, who currently sits on the museum’s Board of Trustees and who was incarcerated with his family at the camps in Rohwer, Ark., and Tule Lake, Calif. “Then and now, we disagree on many things. I did not vote for Mr. Trump, but while we all must abide by the results of a fairly executed democratic election, I remind him that now, as the president of all Americans, he must acknowledge the diversity of our history, experiences and contributions. This is our common mission.”