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Japanese Internment: This is the Enemy

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Uploaded on Mar 22, 2007

Download at: http://ehistory.osu.edu/osu/mmh/inter... for a larger version. A video about Japanese internment during World War II.

Our democracy was forged in a revolution, fought by revolutionaries who saw injustice & wanted to improve their society. I believe that if our democracy is to remain viable, social criticism must remain an essential part of our nation's education. I strongly criticize the way our nation treated its Japanese-American citizens during the Second World War, & the way I make my point is to use the most palpable evidence of the innocence of those citizens they interned. I show pictures of children in my video as a way to contrast the intent of the policy of internment versus the effect of the internment. Whatever any other governments or people did during that horrible war, what we did to our own citizens was wrong. As a citizen, educator, & most importantly, mother living within the United States, I see it as my duty to critique, criticize, & attempt to improve the direction of American society. This video is one way I attempt to reach that end.

In my classroom, my goal is to empower students by giving them the knowledge of how their society works, & through this, how to alter its course. I endeavor to teach students about the interconnectedness of the world, that they have a place in it, & that they have the power to direct it. Without knowledge of their position in our democratic society as citizens, students may never realize their ability to direct society. Without the realization that they can change society, students may never try. Such a situation is no better than that of a citizen who is powerless to instigate change. If we are to best educate democratic citizens in our society, social criticism must be taught to our children. Citizens who either believe that their world should remain unchanged, or who believe they have no place in changing our society unlikely to be active in our democracy. Without active citizenry, democracy dies.

One of the most important parts of social criticism is debate. The beauty of using imagery to teach history that it evokes discussion, as evidenced by many of your comments. I welcome any video responses showing opposing or alternate viewpoints or covering related subjects.

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