Monday, November 05, 2001

Norman Mineta on Internment

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." -- George Santayana

Do APAs have something to learn from the backlash on Arab Americans since 9/11? Do we need to think about our own future, should, God forbid, there be a war between America and one of the larger Asian nations?

With the above in mind, 80-20 directs your attention to a Newsweek Web Exclusive which interviews Norman Mineta regarding his internment experience. For the complete interview, visit 

To provide you with a sense of what the interview was about, we've condensed part of the article into a vignette. We also provide a direct quote:

a) A Vignette:

On 9/12, President Bush held a cabinet meeting. When asked about the backlash on Arab Ams., Bush pointed to Mineta and said "We don't want to have happen today (to minority Ams.) what happened to Norm Mineta's family."

Would President Roosevelt have signed the Executive Order to intern Japanese Am. during WWII, had there been a Japanese American cabinet member at the time? If your answer is, "Who knows. It might have stopped it," then we begin to see the significance of getting APAs appointed to cabinet positions! 

80-20 made a unique historic contribution to realize those appointments. Support 80-20 to act proactively for you & your children. Be a member today.

b) An Excerpt:

Newsweek: Could what happened to your family happen again?

Mineta: The possibility is always there, and that's why we have to be vigilant. We don't have to be vigilantes, but vigilant so that what happened to a group of Americans back in the 1940s does not happen again. There was a recent Gallup poll indicating that close to 50 percent of people felt that Arab-Americans should carry special ID."

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80-20 is a national nonpartisan Political Action Committee dedicated to winning equal opportunity and justice for all Asian Pacific Americans through a swing bloc-vote, ideally directing 80% of our community's votes and money to the presidential candidate endorsed by the 80-20, who better represents the interests of all APAs. Hence, the name "80-20" was created. For more details, visit