Educators update anti-bullying messages to protect Muslims

1457198072865MERIDEN, Conn. (AP) — In response to a surge in reports of anti-Muslim bullying — students being called terrorists, having their head scarves ripped off and facing bias even from teachers — schools are expanding on efforts deployed in the past to help protect gays, racial minorities and other marginalized groups.

Civil rights organizations and other advocates have been working more closely with schools since the attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, California, stirred a new backlash that led the U.S. Justice Department and U.S. Education Department to urge vigilance on the bullying of Muslims.

While stressing that students have rights under the law, and that offenses should be reported, speakers at schools and mosques have also discussed how to create an inclusive culture, how Muslims are scapegoated for attacks and how non-Muslims can be allies to their peers.

“Muslim kids get bulled, gay kids get bullied because other kids are uncomfortable with them, and they show it,” said Bill Howe, a multicultural education specialist who spoke at an anti-bullying forum in December for children at Meriden’s Baitul Aman mosque. “That causes Muslim students to retreat, to be more isolated. They need to develop critical social skills so they can build relationships.”

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George Takei describes his experience in a Japanese internment camp

Actor and activist George Takei recently made an appearance on Democracy Now! where, in addition to discussing Arizona’s recent anti-LGBTQ bill and his role as Mr. Sulu, he talked about his family’s experience inside a Japanese internment camp during the Second World War.

The clip above is about seven minutes long, but here’s the transcript:  read more …….

Anniversary of Executive Order 9066 and the Internment of Japanese Americans

12729034_10153888271264754_7164541217962714524_n (1) 12705655_563860047124003_7437459706599098592_nFebruary 19 is the anniversary of the notorious imprisonment of 110,000 loyal Japanese Americans. Here are some stories.

Thoughts on the Anniversary of Executive Order 9066 and the Internment of Japanese Americans.    by David Mura 

On this anniversary of Roosevelt signing Executive Order 9066 which ordered the internment of 120,000 Japanese Americans:  Thinking of Giuliani’s remarks on how Obama “does not love America” because “He wasn’t brought up the way you and I were brought up through love of this country”, thinking of the anti-Muslim and anti-Arab prejudice that has arisen in this country, thinking of the anti-immigrant prejudice, I think of this editorial from the Los Angeles Times in 1942:   read more ….


Photos: 3 Very Different Views Of Japanese Internment  … After the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, the U.S. War Relocation Authority made a decision it would soon regret. It hired famed photographer Dorothea Lange to take pictures as 110,000 Japanese and Japanese-Americans were removed from their homes on the West Coast and interned at remote military-style camps throughout the interior.   read more ….


46 photos of life at a Japanese internment camp, taken by Ansel Adams  

While the US celebrates Victory Over Japan Day September 2, let’s not forget the suffering of about 110,000 Japanese Americans who were forced to live in internment camps.

Even at the time, this policy was opposed by many Americans, including renowned photographer Ansel Adams, who in the summer of 1943 made his first visit to Manzanar War Relocation Camp in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

Invited by the warden, Adams sought to document the living conditions of the camp’s inhabitants.

His photos were published in a book titled “Born Free and Equal: The Story of Loyal Japanese-Americans” in 1944, with an accompanying exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art.  ... read more ….


While My Grandfather Fought in WWII, My Grandmother Was Locked in a U.S. Concentration Camp ….Today is the Day of Remembrance: seventy-one years ago, President Franklin Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066, which authorized military officials to “evacuate” from their homes some 120,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry (nearly two-thirds of whom were U.S. citizens) and “relocate” these men, women, and children to desolate prison camps scattered all the way from Arkansas to California.   read more …..

When my Japanese-American family was treated as less than human  …  

In the aftermath of the Paris and San Bernardino, California, terrorist attacks, the dangerous and destructive discourse about Muslims and Muslim Americans has reached a tipping point. Some Republican presidential candidates are calling for a ban of Muslims entering the country, and a Democratic mayor in Virginia is demanding the internment of Syrian refugees.

I can’t help but fear that history could be on the verge of repeating itself.  read more ...


Mike Honda: What My Time in a Japanese Internment Camp Taught Me About Hate …In 1988, President Ronald Reagan—the president whom Donald Trump and most of the Republican presidential candidates have said they admire the most—signed the Civil Liberties Act into law. This law recognized that the internment of Japanese Americans in the aftermath of Pearl Harbor was “without adequate security reasons” and was instead “motivated largely by racial prejudice, wartime hysteria, and a failure of political leadership.”  read more ….


The ugly history of Japanese internment at Tule Lake … The story of the incarceration of some 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry living on the West Coast of the U.S. — nearly two-thirds of whom were American citizens — is familiar, if not as broadly known as it should be. Most were imprisoned after the onset of World War II in 10 remote camps, the best-known of which today is Manzanar, which was designated a national historic site in 1992. In 2004, a visitor center was built at the site to memorialize people who lost their freedom simply because of their ethnicity.