Remembering Pearl Harbor
By Diane K. Bert CORRESPONDENT Little did young David Zimmer know when he joined the Navy after graduating from Northwestern University in 1940 that he would be present at one of the most historic naval battles in history.
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#1 Nov 2, 2009
Yes, what happened at Pearl Harbor was wrong. But during that same generation's lifetime, the United States also committed all kinds of atrocities and injustices against large numbers of human beings just because their skin was not white.
Remember the Tuskeegee Project, when our government used black people in a syphillis experiment much as Nazi doctor Josef Mengele did medical experiments on Jews and other concentration camp prisoners? Remember 4,700 black men murdered by lynch mobs while KKK membership ran into the millions and Congress had trouble passing a simple anti-lynching bill?
Add to that the residential schools into which Native American kids, forcibly taken from their parents, were placed and sometimes sexually abused. Or Eskimoes and Aleut Indians in internment camps along with American-born Japanese.
Expecting racial minorities to care about Japan's cruelty toward white people of that generation is halfway as crazy as asking Jewish people to care about Germans who suffered during Hitler's time. However, if the enemy had dared to hurt a saint like Eleanor Roosevelt, I would have been angry enough to bomb Nagasaki myself.
Just as many folks today openly say that they are sick and tired of hearing blacks or Jews complain about slavery or the Holocaust, that is how Americans of non-European race should feel about Pearl Harbor.
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