Fear is a funny thing. In our personal life, it often holds us back from things we know we should do. In our nation's collective life, fear often makes us do crazy things...to have a kind of national emotional and moral breakdown that feeds on the sum total and power of individual fears.
Such has been the case lately in our election and in our discussions of immigrants and our fear of the other, amidst a rapidly changing world. To better understand where we are, we need only look back to the spring of 1942. A time under FDR, when we rounded up over one-hundred thousand residents of Japanese ancestry, living along the West Coast and sent them to detention centers for the duration of the war. Each lost part of their lives and some would argue that our nation lost a part of its soul.
Richard Cahan captures the sadness of that moment in Un-American: The Incarceration of Japanese Americans During World War II: Images by Dorothea Lange, Ansel Adams, and Other Government Photographers.
My conversation with Richard Cahan: