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College here I come!!

December 18, 1942

I’m so sorry I have been gone for so long. I have been extremely busy with Jurou, and convincing my parents of our love. Anyway, that’s not what I wanted to talk about. There is an organization called the National Japanese American Student Relocation Council that is helping Jurou and me, as well as the other Nisei, leave the camp and go to college. Jurou and I plan to leave by the end of the month. We are kind of sad, as well as angry, that we had to leave our California homes and now our camp because of the war, but we are much better off than a lot of other people. Sara has been telling me all the things that have been happening back home to her and her family and it makes me feel lucky. Her younger brother, Eduardo, and his friends had gotten into this new clothing fashion called the zoot suit. Apparently, the Americans have been led to believe that anyone who wears that type of clothing is involved in violence. The other day, she told me that they arrested her brother simply for wearing the zoot suit and put him in jail. She told me that the officers brutally harass Eduardo and she has no idea when he will be released. She believes him to be innocent of whatever it is they are charging him with and I believe her. I think it is completely uncalled for to bother a kid who has done nothing wrong simply because he is part Mexican. He is also part American! Sara told me that it doesn’t even stop there. There is a community pool by her house and Mexican and African Americans are banned from there except for Tuesdays. 95% percent of the time they are allowed to go to the pool, it has been drained. Sara and her family, as well as the rest of the Mexican American community is extremely angry at all this discrimination and racism and so am I. After hearing the things going on with her, I feel lucky to be in this camp, but I also feel scared that I will be treated that way, or worse, when I go off to college. I am having second thoughts about leaving. I don’t know what I should do.

Information taken from: “Japanese American Women During World War II” by Valerie Matsumoto


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