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Elaine Yamaguchi

I agree, Jeff...just look at the 442nd RCT and the Nisei of the Military Intelligence Service (back when that wasn't just an oxymoron), the all Japanese American unit, men who came out of prison camps to fight for their country. They were the most decorated unit in military history, and fought not just for the USA but for their families and community's right to seen as Americans. A sub unit of the RCT, the 522nd was part of the force that liberated Dachau.


I sometimes wonder if our parents were TOO successful. In their sincere desire to provide for their children, and to build a prosperous Middle Class, maybe they pampered and shielded the next generation a bit too much. As a result, a kid who grew up getting virtually anything he wanted...much as George W. did...is perhaps more likely as an adult to petulently expect to always get his way, and to dismiss the constructive elements of any criticism aimed his way.

And all I can ask is, just what will it take to get most Americans out of their easy chairs and out to demand justice? Not a stolen election, that's for sure...nor a pointless, bloody war, or even a social restructuring that blatantly favors the wealthy few. We're content to let it all come down on our heads so long as we still have our bread and circuses, our cheap fast food and television. But I'll tell you, the day the government preempts "American Idol," you'll see rioting in the streets.


Or celebrating, in my case...

But yes, you're both right. The Japanese American and African American units distinguished themselves in that war, even though it was still considered necessary to keep them separate from "white" units. I do think that was a formative moment in the civil rights struggle, though--people knew that every race had fought in that war, and it became harder for them to justify, in their own minds, the prejudice those races felt here at home.

And yes, it's also most likely true that our privileged upbringing contributed in many ways to the self-centered attitudes that hamper us today. Most of us have never been asked to sacrifice much of anything for some cause greater than ourselves. If the "war on terror" were a real war--against an enemy more pernicious than the Nazis and the Commies combined, if one believes the administration--we would be asked to do so now.

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