By Jamison Maeda
Sunday 19 Feb marked 75 years since President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed an executive order forcibly removing over 120,000 Japanese-Americans from their homes, and sending them to concentration camps. They were sent to the camps, not because they had committed a crime, but because of their Japanese ancestry.
With one week’s notice, American citizens of Japanese decent, allowed to take only what they could carry, were loaded onto trains and buses by soldiers armed with bayonets, and sent to live in the camps for more than three years. These American citizens lost their homes, their possessions, and their livelihoods.
One of the most well-known of these Japanese-Americans is actor/activist George Takei. His grandparents were Japanese immigrants and though he and his parents were American, they were “rounded up” as Takei described it, when he was five years old and loaded onto a train car. After four days they arrived at a concentration camp in Arkansas, far from the California coast where Mr Takei was born.
Statement from TFMR
“We are the only advocacy group that consists solely of women and couples who had their tragedies compounded by being refused the medical care of their choice purely because of the 8th Amendment. How can the volunteer Citizens and the public at large get a clear understanding of the issues if the groups most directly affected are excluded from the process?” argued Gerry Edwards, Chairperson of TFMR Ireland.
“This Assembly was an idea that popped into Enda Kenny’s head when challenged by a journalist in the run up to the last election. That meant that when he became Taoiseach, the abdication of responsibility by the Oireachtas was unavoidable.”
TFMR Ireland recently wrote to the Secretariat of the Assembly expressing their concerns about their exclusion from the process.
The day you slithered from the womb
the Doctor held you aloft, confirmed what we’d feared:
“Madam, it’s a potential Minister for Health.” And newborn you
screamed what we later understood to mean:
“bring me your perforated eardrums, your infected
urinary tracts, and I will set up a committee to look in them.”
But this most recent birth wasn’t the beginning.
Since shortly before time officially began,
you’ve dragged yourself across the top soil.
You were present and correct to brush the dandruff
off the Lord Mayor’s hat each time he visited
the municipal Home for Unfortunate Women
whose babies had to be flogged
to couples named Barbara and Algernon,
so as to be prudent with the Parish’s pennies.
You were on hand to personally present
the late archbishop with his fifth chocolate biscuit,
last time he visited the much maligned
School for The Blind, which used to be
where the town abattoir now stands.
And it was written
in lines later deleted from the Book of Judges
that it would be you who’d flood
our hospitals with avant-garde urologists
who instead of the traditional
(and far more costly) balloon catheter,
and ultrasonic stone disintegration apparatus,
prefer more radical treatments involving
a fishing rod
and an electric hair straightener.
Your upcoming marriage the usual
confidence and supply arrangement
you’ve had every other century.
Your fingers are starving worms
patiently awaiting their moment.