Reparations? Or a ticket to Africa or Japan?

A tendency in modern  America that current generations (and particularly politicians) have  is to criticize actions of the past using terms and standards that are current today. And it doesn’t work. Basically it is simply that those who seem determined  to correct perceived wrongs of the past, use modern mores and current beliefs that don’t fit with the time and place the older event occurred. Why not ? Because they were NOT THERE..

Here’s an  example: There’s always talk of “reparations.” I think the idea is to give yourr taxpayer money  to great, great, great, great grandchildren of American slaves.. On the face of it that sounds like a good idea. But those who propose that notion were not living in the days of slavery in this country,. Let me use a cliché’ here. Don’t judge the actions of past generations unless you “Walk a mile in their shoes.” And if it hadn’t been for slaves those so-called “Afirican-Americasns” now enjoying life in the USA would still be living in mud huts and starving in Africa. Slavery is wrong and the Constitution recognized that. And made provisions to abolish it (All men are created equal) but the time wasn’t right in the 1700s.

Recently there was a a lot of liberal blah,  blah about Roosevelt “rounding up Japanese in 1941 in the west coast states and putting them in “concentration camps.” Okay. Let’s look at conditions in 1941. I was there. I was 10 years old. At that time a Japanese submarine had surfaced off the California coast and lobbed shells into Oakland destroying property and injuring Americans.. Japanese spies in Hawaii took pictures and kept schedules of US ships in and out of the harbor which they radioed to Japan’s War Lords. America was leery of anyone Japanese, and California was full of them. The “concentration camps” they were sent to in many cases were better conditions than they left. Today that sounds terrible: At the time it seemed logical.

You don’t know the shock and awe we felt when the Japanese pulled their sneak attacked on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941  and killed thousands of American servicemen. Some of them are till entombed in the sunken battleship “Oklahoma.” At the time, Japan had their envoys in DC making “peace talks” while their planes were already headed for Pearl Harbor. Roosevelt was a liberal, so it might sound strange that he ordered internment of Japanese in western states. But remember, at the time we were at war. The Japanese had landed troops on the Aleutian Islands, American territory. There were plenty of reasons for him and  all Americans to be suspicious of  anyone who was  Japanese. Who was a spy and who wasn’t? Nobody knew. You can’t fault1941 people for not being mind-readers.

Japan had invaded China and was taking over the Pacific Islands .Almost 30,000 young American boys died in fighting Japanese just on  the island of Iwo Jima. 386,00 American servicemen were killed or wonned in fighting the Japanese in the Pacific. And you wonder why America was wary of Japanese? You  should have been here—and you’d know why.

About johnbeckmanbooks

John Beckman, a retired meteorologist, was known as “Johnny the Weatherman” in a career that spanned forty years. He forecasted the weather on WSJS-TV in Winston-Salem, NC, at WFGA-TV in Jacksonville, FL, and for thirty-three years in Atlanta at WSB-TV and WXIA-TV. Also a well published author Beckman now devotes full time to writing fiction. He currently has several eBooks on, "Tropical Knights," first in a series of adventure/mysteries about a sailor and his lovely CIA cohort on a mission to save America. Now available the sequel, and second in the series: "Tropical Daze." The third Jack & Amy adventure is "Tropical Rage" which became available on 30 April 2014. All of his books are highlighted on and available from . .
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