This is an excerpt of a Medium post by Dianne Fukami. CAPA21 is unaffiliated with the Mineta Legacy Project, which is a 501(c)(3) effort and our publication of this excerpt does not indicate endorsement of CAPA21 by the Project.
In the free online curriculum What Does It Mean To Be An American? we look at the incarceration of Japanese Americans in-depth to provide lessons on how mistakes of the past don’t necessarily have to be repeated and how the Japanese American experience can serve as an example for addressing past wrongs, making reparations, and moving toward forgiveness.
You may ask why this curriculum focuses heavily on the Japanese American experience. The answer is quite simple really. It was inspired by the life of Norman Y. Mineta, who is a former U.S. Secretary of Commerce and Secretary of Transportation, having served under Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, the first Asian American to serve in a presidential cabinet.
Prior to that, he was a 10-term member of Congress and mayor of San Jose, CA. And as a 10-year old boy, he and his family were forcibly removed from their home in San Jose and like other Japanese Americans, imprisoned behind barbed wire during World War II, in his case, at Heart Mountain, Wyoming.