WITH THE inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump coming this Friday (Jan. 20), the discussion surrounding his upcoming term only intensifies, along with the fear among many minority groups.
The xenophobic nature of Trump’s campaign and public behavior in general, along with the slew of hate crimes across the country, has fueled people to speak out in return. A public service announcement, executive produced by Katy Perry, was released recently, telling the true story of Haru Kuromiya, reports Rolling Stone.
The 89-year-old Japanese American woman tells her story of her registration and placement into an incarceration camp for four years. However, near the end of the video, the woman takes off her wig and peels off her face mask to reveal that she is actually Muslim American actress Hina Khan. Khan, looking intensely into the camera, says, “Don’t let history repeat itself.”
Words also appear across the screen: “A Muslim registry is the first step in repeating history.” The Muslim registry that Donald Trump hopes to implement will be a flashback to World War II, when Executive Order 9066 placed thousands of Japanese and Japanese Americans into incarceration camps, tearing them away from their homes, jobs, and livelihoods. These people were incarcerated simply due to their Japanese descent, when the U.S. was fighting Japan, with the excuse that this was an essential move for national security.
One of the darkest marks on U.S. history, one that the U.S. government has publicly apologized for and has made subpar reparations for, was supposed to serve as a memory to avoid making the same mistakes. With the Muslim registry, we may just be walking into a portal to the past, a time during which wartime hysteria overruled legitimate security concerns. The PSA ends with the hashtag #DontNormalizeHate.
The PSA’s director, Aya Tanimura, spoke on Perry’s involvement with the project: “I think like a lot of us who are terrified of Trump’s ideals and policies, she is too. And this is one instance where she’s able to help educate someone — even one person — on the horrors of the past and what could potentially be repeated.”
Perry will also be participating in the Women’s March on Washington, scheduled for this Saturday (Jan. 21), the day after Trump’s inauguration. The march has a mission: “The Women’s March on Washington will send a bold message to our new government on their first day in office, and to the world that women’s rights are human rights. We stand together, recognizing that defending the most marginalized among us is defending all of us.”