Posted in Miscellany

Dignity and Solidarity

“If I were to register and cooperate… I would be giving helpless consent to the denial of practically all of the things which give me incentive to live,” he said then. “I must maintain the democratic standards for which this nation lives. I am objecting to the principle of this order which denies the right of human beings, including citizens.”

via Remembering Gordon Hirabayashi » Blog of Rights: Official Blog of the American Civil Liberties Union.

Those are the words of Gordon Hirabayashi, a Japanese American who at the age of 19 refused to obey the internment order. As a result, he spent several years in prison. When released he completed his education and ultimately became a professor of sociology at the University of Alberta. I’m gratified that my country was host to a man of such principles and spirit, but this is a cautionary reminder of how prejudice can un-citizen citizens.

For example, in Lowell, Massachusetts an Iraqi woman’s restaurant was vandalized. Demoralized, she was thinking of shutting it down when a veteran’s group rallied around her, vowing to fill every seat in the restaurant. This is the kind of solidarity that lifts the heart and inspires.

h/t Bouphonia




Lilian is the author of Web of Angels, a novel about a mom with DID (multiple personalities). She's also the author of the historical novels, The River Midnight and The Singing Fire, about secrets, friendship and motherhood in 19th century Poland and London.

2 thoughts on “Dignity and Solidarity

  1. I agree that these are wonderful stories, and I wish we heard more of them. We don’t celebrate integrity anywhere near enough (not least because capitalism prefers us all to have a price).

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