While this is generally seen as a left wing position, racial hysteria and racism are very real in the west.
In light of the situation in Ukraine, anti-Russian bigotry and overt racism has become commonplace in Ukraine-aligned countries. I’ve seen piano performances being cancelled because the pianist was Russian, and it reminds me a lot of this kind of hysterical fear of the other that appears during wartime. Nationalism and the schisms between nations are very real, even if in the so-called “multi-cultural” societies we claim to be beyond that.
During the Second World War, German, Italian and Japanese descended peoples were taken from their homes and interned in western concentration camps, most notoriously in the United States. I first learned about this from the Karate Kid, proving that our media and education system is just as censorious and fake as that in the “non-democratic” world.
On February 19, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, authorizing the US Army to remove all persons of Japanese ancestry from the West Coast and imprison them without due process of law. Over 120,000 Japanese Americans were held in incarceration camps—two-thirds of whom were US-born citizens. Asian immigrants who were born outside of the United States were barred from citizenship under long-standing naturalization laws.
The process of removal began in late March 1942, as Japanese Americans throughout the West Coast were given a week’s notice to get their affairs in order and report to temporary detention centers built on local fairgrounds and racetracks. Allowed to bring with them only what they could carry, people were forced to abandon their homes and the lives they had built over generations.
By the end of the summer, the US Army transported everyone to one of ten incarceration camps, euphemistically called “War Relocation Centers.” These camps—Amache (also known as Granada) Gila River, Heart Mountain, Jerome, Manzanar, Minidoka, Poston, Rohwer, Topaz, and Tule Lake—were hastily built and located in some of the most desolate places in the country, exacerbating the conditions of forced incarceration with the extreme weather of deserts and swamps.https://www.nps.gov/articles/japanese-american-internment-archeology.htm
While this stuff is covered in western history classes, it is often glossed over or justified with “well compared with the Nazis and Imperial Japanese we really didn’t do anything wrong.”
Incarcerees slowly adjusted to the conditions of the camps, but the surrounding guard towers, barbed wire, and armed soldiers acted as constant reminders of their forced confinement. The last of the “War Relocation Center” camps closed in 1946, but the last camp that held Japanese Americans closed in 1948.
A 1982 congressional report called Personal Justice Denied stated that the incarceration was due to “race prejudice, war hysteria and a failure of political leadership.” This congressional study found that the exclusion and forced imprisonment of Japanese Americans by the US government was based on the false premise of military necessity. There was no documented evidence of Japanese American espionage or sabotage during the war.
Through efforts of many within and outside of the Japanese American community, the Civil Liberties Act of 1988 was formalized. President Reagan acknowledged the ethically unjust and unconstitutional nature of the Japanese American incarceration period during World War II through an official government apology and redress.
Thirty-four years after its closure, the site of the former Minidoka War Relocation Center was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. Nearly a decade later, in the wake of the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, Manzanar was designated a National Historic Site. Rohwer was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1992; followed by Amache (Granada) and Tule Lake in 2006, and Heart Mountain and Topaz in 2007. In 2001, Minidoka was designated as National Monument and in 2008, it was re-designated as the Minidoka National Historic Site. In 2008, Tule Lake was designated as a National Monument; in 2015, Honouliuli was designated a National Monumnet in 2019 and redesignated as a National Historic Site.
Overseen and operated by the National Park Service, the sites at Manzanar, Tule Lake, and Minidoka were examined by NPS archeologist Jeff Burton and his team between 1993 and 1999, along with the seven other historic prison camps, as well as isolation and detention centers associated with Japanese American incarceration. The product of their work, a comprehensive report entitled Confinement and Ethnicity: An Overview of World War II Japanese American Relocation Sites, examined the extant remains at these sites.https://www.nps.gov/articles/japanese-american-internment-archeology.htm
Keeping this in mind, I have a growing concern that we may do something similar to ethnic Russians, even those with citizenships in western countries simply because of a frankly racist hysteria that simply because they are Russian they are the enemy. The Japanese internment camps in the United States were purely based on ethnic hatred towards the Japanese and war hysteria, basically claiming that every Japanese person was a threat akin to Pearl Harbor and supported the Holocaust.
We are already seeing things like this towards Russians, including in Canada.
The Montreal Symphony Orchestra (OSM) has dropped a young Russian piano prodigy from its concert lineup after bowing to mob pressure created by anti-Russian sentiment.
The cancellation comes despite 20-year-old Alexander Malofeev’s own opposition to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which he openly called “a terrible and bloody decision.”
Spokesperson for the orchestra, Pascale Ouimet, said that it was “inappropriate” to have Malofeev perform in Canada.
“The OSM feels that it would be inappropriate to receive Mr. Malofeev this week,” said Ouimet. “We continue, however, to believe in the importance of maintaining relationships with artists of all nationalities who embrace messages of peace and hope. We look forward to welcoming this exceptional artist when the context allows it.”https://tnc.news/2022/03/09/montreal-orchestra-cancels-russian-piano-prodigy-due-to-mob-bigotry/
I don’t at all think it is unreasonable for me to assume that if this war in Ukraine escalates that westerners will develop a hysterical racial fear of ethnically Russian people and advocate for internment programs like we saw during World War 2.
While this is generally seen as a left wing position, racial hysteria and racism are very real in the west. I am not in favour of immigration, and I believe in the preservation of the racial demographics of this country. I also do not deny the reality of racial and religious contributions to behaviour including blacks being more likely to commit crimes and Muslims being extremely likely to commit acts of terrorism. However, racial groups are not monolithic. Not all Jews are Zionists or contribute to Jewry. Not all Muslims cut women’s hands off for showing their ankles in public, not all white people are racist and not all blacks commit crimes. Those are stereotypes, and while it is true that most stereotypes are based on very real trends, it is completely unreasonable to persecute people simply because of their ethnicity, religion or nationality.
In response to the increased national security threat caused by the attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 the United States implemented new anti-terrorism laws, such as those found in USA Patriot Act, which have made many Muslim individuals vulnerable to racial profiling and discrimination. Through a close examination of the Act, this analysis argues that the adoption of racial profiling policies and procedures which target Muslims that has been enabled by the USA Patriot Act, in addition to subsequent policies influenced by this Act, has perpetuated and normalized a problematic association of Islam with terrorism by placing it at the center of official, institutionalized security practices since 9/11.https://scholarworks.arcadia.edu/showcase/2020/is/11
After 9/11, the US implemented more totalitarian practices, most of which don’t even increase security, through the Patriot Act. War to the governments of the west, headed up by the United States is always simply an excuse to expand state power in the name of freedom. “We need to be authoritarian to protect freedom and democracy, because we are good guy and they are bad guy and any other interpretation is fascism or communism.”
The freedom/order dynamic in the west is nothing but a hypocritical mess. Although I am not the biggest fan of Ronald Reagan, this one quote from him rings true to me:
Huey Long, who I like much more than Reagan said something quite similar:
This last Friday, one of my music professors made a passing comment about how a Russian-sounding composer was “thankfully Ukrainian,” and that it makes sense to be “uncomfortable” playing music written by Russian composers considering the events in Ukraine.
A 29-year-old Brooklyn man said he was derided as a “f–king Russian” and slugged for unfurling a flag from a pro-Putin region of Ukraine — with his attacker now charged with a hate crime.
The victim, who is Russian, was opening a package containing the flag of the Donetsk People’s Republic, a pro-Russian breakaway section of eastern Ukraine shortly after 5 p.m. Tuesday when he said a neighbor took issue.
The incident comes as pro-Ukrainian sentiment in the Big Apple is at an all-time high in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
“I happen to have opened it in front of a balcony that had a Ukrainian flag and there was a person sitting there,” the victim, who asked not to be identified, told The Post Thursday.
“I turn around toward the balcony, I see him and I immediately walk away because I know what kind of tension and escalation this might lead to,” he said. “I know that the person might think I’m there to provoke him, which I wasn’t.”https://nypost.com/2022/03/17/brooklyn-resident-with-pro-russian-flag-punched-in-hate-crime-cops/
This last example is a lot more reasonable because this man, like myself supports Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine to preserve the independence of these two new republics. Even still, the media propaganda is causing unnecessary division between people who should not be enemies. Kiev and Moscow have been inseparable for hundreds of years.
I cannot imagine how terrible these people will feel when they realize the very real harm they are causing to innocent people who just happen to be Russian, regardless of their positions on this war (which I personally support but that’s not relevant to this discussion). This is purely speculative, but it looks to me as if the media is intentionally stirring up anti-Russian racism to get away with expanding power and creating new internment camps like in WW2.