Opinion | Tom Brokaw: Friends Across Barbed Wire and Politics
On August 11, the day after AABANY’s reenactment of the Heart Mountain draft resisters trial at Fordham Law School as part of the ABA’s CLE in the City Series, the New York Times published an Op-Ed by Tom Brokaw about the friendship struck between Alan Simpson and Norman Mineta. Simpson was a U.S. Senator representing Wyoming and Mineta served as U.S. Secretary of Transportation under President George W. Bush. They first met when Mineta and his family were interned at Heart Mountain.
Marking the 75th anniversary of Executive Order 9066 which led to the mass internment of Japanese American citizens without due process, Brokaw reminds us:
The senator likes to recall the words of Justice Frank Murphy, one of only three dissenting votes when President Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066 was upheld by the United States Supreme Court in 1944. Justice Murphy wrote that “the broad provisions of the Bill of Rights” are not “suspended by the mere existence of a state of war. Distinctions based on color and ancestry are utterly inconsistent with our traditions and ideals.”
Let us continue to learn the lessons of the Japanese American internment experience during this 75th year anniversary of Executive Order 9066 so that we as a society can prevent future violations of constitutional and civil rights.