JANM Statement on Violence and Racism in Charlottesville

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The Los Angeles-based Japanese American National Museum on Monday denounced the violence that took place over the weekend in Charlottesville, Va., sparked by white supremacists protesting the removal of a Confederate statue.

“As an institution, we stand with those who fight against individuals and groups — be they white supremacists, neo-Nazis, or any others — who foment fear and hate based on race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or any other single factor,” said Ann Burroughs, president and CEO of JANM.

“We mourn the three people who lost their lives and send hopes for speedy recoveries to those injured as they stood up for the real values of the United States and its diversity,” the museum said in a statement.

“The Japanese American community knows first-hand how racism can engender tragic actions and long-lasting impacts. It was, in part, race prejudice that led to the unlawful incarceration of nearly 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry in the western United States during World War II — one of the most shameful chapters in this nation’s history.

“The Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians, in 1982, found that the broad historical causes for the mass incarceration were ‘race prejudice, war hysteria and a failure of political leadership.’ The commission’s findings ultimately contributed to the United States government issuing a formal apology and paying reparations to the Japanese Americans it had forcibly removed to concentration camps — the tangible results of the bipartisan passage of the Civil Liberties Act of 1988.”

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