I speak good English? Your brother married Japanese? I live in Miami. I grew up in Milwaukee. Where am I FROM from? I was born in Harrisburg. I look Vietnamese? My parents were Philippine immigrants. Now they’re U.S. citizens. My brothers are naturalized citizens. Their children are all that makes the U.S. good. This blog is dedicated to their Filpino/German/Irish/English/Peruvian/Chinese American Selves. And to my good English as I explore the world around me. Enjoy and thanks for stopping in.
Me, Mike and Manny circa 1966
Friday, July 5, 2013
Show me the Way to Go Home
for the No-No Boy at Tulelake Camp
are notes like this written on the walls of Tulelake Segregation Camp
where 29,000 Japanese immigrants and Japanese Americans were held captive during WWI
me the way to go home." What is home, where is home, why can't I feel
like I'm at home? I am thinking about the man who etched this on the
wall of the prison camp at Tulelake, of the man who thought that he WAS
home and was suddenly yanked right out of it and forced to choose, to
pledge allegiance without freedom, to disregard his ancestry, to
question everything he's ever known.
All during our drive
through the mountains on yesterday's fourth of July, I thought of this
man. Home of the brave. Ironic, I think. And so recent in time. When the "relocation center" turned into a "segregation camp." Evacuees were made to build the jail. A
prison they created for their own selves. A prison of finest materials.
A prison to call home.
Some of the Filipina "Comfort Women" told me that during
the war the Japanese would make the Filipino prisoners dig ditches. All
lined up in a row they'd dig deep into the Philippine earth and when
the ditch was wide enough, dark enough, long enough, the soldiers would
raise their guns and shoot. And the ditch diggers would fall into the
graves they had made.