The irony was not lost on some, but kudos must go tonight to the JACL National Council meeting in Las Vegas, for providing the first national resolution in support of preserving the Tule Lake Segregation Center as a National Historic Site.
The emergency resolution sponsored by the Seattle Chapter JACL, pictured above, supports the enactment of Senate Bill 2412, sponsored by Sen. Barbara Boxer of California, which would re-designate the awkwardly classified Tule Lake Unit, WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument as simply the Tule Lake National Historic Site. More importantly, the resolution rejects the “poison pill” language inserted into a House bill put forward by Rep. Doug LaMalfa, on behalf of the airstrip operator who seeks a destructive expansion with an 8-foot high fence that would run right in the middle of the historic site.
The unanimous action at the 2016 JACL National Convention demonstrates the organization’s willingness to part with the legacy of the wartime JACL, which bought into the government’s false constructions of loyalty and disloyalty, and which encouraged the creation of a segregation center at Tule Lake in order to clear the so-called loyal for postwar rehabilitation back into the mainstream.
See the text of the JACL resolution below. Please encourage your federal lawmakers nationwide to support S. 2412 and reject the special interest provisions of H.R. 4387. Mediation, not legislation, is needed to create a win-win solution that can provide for the interests of local residents.
Other national recognition for the Stop the Fence movement came July 3 at the Tule Lake Pilgrimage, when Barbara Takei received the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Award from the National Parks Conservation Association, for her work to ensure the preservation of the entire Tule Lake historic site. The award was presented by Ron Sundergill of the NPCA. George Takei (no relation), himself a child of Tule Lake, presented Barbara with proclamations from Reps. Doris Matsui and Mike Honda adding their congratulations upon the NPCA award.
“Just like Marjory Stoneman Douglas, Barbara Takei is an articulate and effective advocate for the protection of an important national park site, the Tule Lake Segregation Center,” said Sundergill. “Thanks to Barbara’s work and that of the Tule Lake Committee, many of the historic resources that help tell the story of Japanese American incarceration at Tule Lake and the injustices that they endured are now protected.”