Saturday, November 14, 2015

Not everything in Santa Fe is beautiful.

Santa Fe has a past. It's a past of diversity and beauty and magic. But it's also a past of colonialism and racism. Of course, I knew that when I came here. I even knew that there was a Civil War battle nearby in Glorieta.

But here's something I didn't know: Santa Fe was the site of a Japanese internment camp from 1942 to 1946, where 4,555 men were imprisoned without due process.

Today -- two days after Veterans Day -- I visited the monument at the site, dedicated in 2002. If most of us have forgotten about this despicable piece of history, it was clear from the flowers and origami cranes left behind that the memory is still fresh for some.

I write this in the hours following the infuriating, devastating attacks in Paris. So far, it looks like it was the work of ISIS or Al Qaeda.

Fear, anger, and the desire for revenge are natural. I'm feeling all of those things right now. But I hope that, as a nation, we don't allow those feelings to translate to policy.

The plaque at the Santa Fe camp ends with the following sentence:


Here are some of the photos I took today.

Tonight, I pray for peace, wisdom, and restraint.

No comments:

Post a Comment