Captain’s Log 4,481
Every now and then the world hands you an enormous surprise of goodness. Such was the case last night. One of the museum volunteers has season tickets to the Old Globe Theatre, and two of his seatmates could not attend. He offered the tickets to me. I had a very short time to find someone to go with me, and I scored on my first call. So off I went with BB to see the show.
The show is Allegiance, a new musical about the internment camps here in the United States during WWII. Japanese Americans were imprisoned because they looked like the “enemy.” Countless innocent people were taken from their homes and put into these camps for the duration of the war. When they returned, most of them had nothing. There was a lot of political tension that arose when young Japanese men from the camps were allowed to enlist in the army – to prove their loyalty to the United States. Many resisted. Others jumped at the chance to try to make the situation better.
This show is a world premiere. We had no idea what to expect. There was an exhibit of life for Japanese Americans before the war and during their imprisonment. We wandered into the exhibit hall and were immediately silenced by the power of the artifacts and photographs. Up until yesterday, I had no idea the camps stretched as far east as Arkansas. Shocking. Shameful. Another truly black mark in our history.
BB is of Japanese descent. The images and stories hit her quite hard. She is very in touch with her roots. The show was deeply moving – especially for BB.
Yes, George Takei from Star Trek is in the cast. He plays two characters – a grandfather (pictured above) and an old soldier who comes to realize what a mistake it had been to try to prove anything to this country during those times. And yes, George spent time in two of those camps. He has first-hand experience with the issue.
Note the tags they are wearing on their coats in the photo above. Every one of the 120,000 detainees was forced to wear that tag with their information. Sound familiar? When we exited the theatre last night, I noticed some long, flowing sculptures hanging from the ceiling. I did a little research and found out they are part of the Tag Project. A local San Diego artist has made 120,000 tags (with names and information) into hanging sculptures. The effect is…astonishing.
Several of these were suspended in the theatre lobby.
I did even more research and discovered that Canada also did this horrendous thing to their own citizens living on the western edge of the country. Racism knows no borders.
Feel it. Know it. Change it. One step at a time.
Bless you all.