What, are we taking everybody?
the reason that this line is significant is because jim morita was a japanese-american soldier. while it’s never explicitly stated, here’s what morita’s life would have been like before being captured by HYDRA:
- december 7, 1942: the empire of japan attacked pearl harbor. he was probably a soldier at this time since he was considered to be elite enough for steve’s squad; unknown where he served, although there were many japanese-american soldiers who died in and who were the first responders to the attack.
- december 8, 1942: the us declares a state of war with japan.
- all japanese-american men disqualified from the draft via the label “4-C,” or “enemy alien,” no matter their citizenry. all japanese-american men in the service are removed from duty.
- february 19, 1942: president roosevelt signed executive order 9066, authorizing the military to exclude certain groups from military zones.
- the fbi searched the homes of japanese-americans for “contraband,” including correspondence with anyone in japan such as personal letters. any such contraband is confiscated.
- (fun sidenote: how did they know where to find these people so that they could be harassed? well, gosh, the census bureau told them. illegally. no big deal.)
- community leaders, including priests, gathered up and sent to prison camps like tule lake. this is also where several families were sent to be deported to japan since they were not deemed loyal enough.
- 122,000 people of japanese-american descent are told to sell or store their property as they can only bring what they can carry out of the “exclusion zones,” which meant most of the west coast. (hawaii, whose population was about a quarter japanese, was for the most part not included in this.) given only a few weeks to organize their lives, they were then sent via cattle train to concentration camps set up throughout the us.
- since morita was from fresno, he would have ended up here:
- sunny poston, arizona. conveniently built on an indian reservation against the wishes of the tribal council, who wanted nothing to do with the government’s white supremacist bullshit. why only infringe on the rights and wishes of one minority group, right?
- choice quote: ”After fifteen months at Arizona’s vast Poston Relocation Center as a social analyst, Commander Leighton concluded that many an American simply fails to remember that U.S. Japanese are human beings.”
- shortly after arriving, all prisoners were asked to fill out a survey. most of the questions would be simple, like their name, city of birth, etc, but questions 27 and 28 were different.
- question 27: Are you willing to serve in the armed forces of the United States on combat duty, wherever ordered?
- question 28: Will you swear unqualified allegiance to the United States of America and faithfully defend the United States from any and all attacks by foreign and domestic forces, and forswear any form of allegiance or disobedience to the Japanese Emperor, or any other foreign government, power, or organization?
- did you answer yes to both? congratulations! you’re a soldier. did you answer no to both? perhaps you’re too old or sick to serve? perhaps the general fuckery of this entire situation got you down? perhaps you were born outside of the us, so you can’t disavow your country of origin since there is a very real chance you’ll be deported? haha well congratulations hope you like prison and/or deportation
- so all of this goes on
- and then morita goes on to serve
- and get captured
- and rescued
- and dumbass doogan says, “what, are we taking everybody?”
- fuck you
- i’m from fresno
But no, really, why are we not talking about Jim Morita all the time?
Hawaii, with a high percentage of Japanese-Americans, was a little more selective, since the community would LITERALLY have collapsed if they pulled a full EO 9066 here. Which is why my family has a picture of Great-great Uncle Jiro on the baseball team at Sand Island. (And also why I’m still pissed about that Hawaii Five-0 episode where McGarrett was all ‘Hey my ancestor died protecting the land too! from the japanese!’ Like, I will never not be pissed about it.). It wasn’t as shitty, but you know, it was still wrong.
(Still hands-down, my favorite scene from CA:TFA.)
Co-signed, and this scene barely lasts fifteen seconds. Jim Morita needs more love (and, by extension, more people need to be schooled about his situation).Source: harlequinnade