In times of sweeping changes facing our nation, Americans of all backgrounds must come together to move this nation forward — not backwards. NAPABA condemns the comments about the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II made by Carl Higbie, a spokesman for the pro-Trump Great America PAC.
During an interview with Megyn Kelly on the Nov. 16, 2016, taping of Fox News’ “The Kelly File” regarding President-elect Donald Trump’s plan for a Muslim registry system, Higbie argued in favor of a plan modeled after the highly controversial National Security Entry-Exit Registration System implemented after 9/11. In so doing, Higbie stated, “We’ve done it based on race, we’ve done it based on religion, we’ve done it based on region. We’ve done it with Iran back — back a while ago. We did it during World War II with [the] Japanese.”
These offensive and incendiary remarks invoked the distrust and xenophobia that led to the unjustifiable imprisonment of thousands of Japanese Americans during World War II, a time that is considered to be one of the darkest moments in American history, in order to justify current policy proposals. This is unacceptable and such intolerance has no place in our country. After a divisive election, we must move forward as one and not instill fear into our nation’s citizens.
The lesson of incarceration is that we cannot engage in discriminatory conduct and must oppose policies that profile and target the Muslim American community with hate and bigotry at its core.
We must work together to unite our membership and our nation and to find common ground for a better path forward. We must refuse to act based on fear and intolerance. As history has shown, such actions do not make our country safer and reject the basic tenets of what it means to be Americans.
For more information, the media may contact Brett Schuster, NAPABA communications manager, at 202-775-9555 or [email protected].