Rep. Mark Takano (D-CA) responded strongly to Sen. Ted Cruz’s plan to “patrol” Muslim neighborhoods following the ISIS attacks in Brussels.
Takano’s parents were held in Japanese internment camps during World War II, and Takano blasted the Texas senator for even speaking of targeted surveillance on specific neighborhoods.
During a speech on the House floor, Takano declared that, “Responding to Brussels by advocating for patrols of Muslim neighborhoods or suggesting that we torture our enemies is not only counterproductive, it violates the moral code that separates us from our enemies.”
During Japanese internment, over 120,000 Japanese people were relocated and incarcerated—over 62 percent were American citizens. It is one of the worst stains on American history.
“Seventy years ago, my parents and grandparents were held prisoner during World War II without trial and without a reason other than their Japanese heritage,” Takano said. “In that moment, no one was willing to speak up for them. We cannot ignore the lessons of history.”
This is an extremely significant point. We have witnessed the ramifications of xenophobia and fear-mongering multiple times throughout history, from WWII’s Japanese internment to the Jewish concentration camps during Hitler’s Nazi regime.
Cruz said on Tuesday that, “We need to empower law enforcement to patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods before they become radicalized.” When later asked to clarify these comments, Cruz stated that it “does not mean targeting Muslims. It means targeting radical Islamic terrorism.”
His response is ridiculous—it is just a roundabout way of affirming that he does indeed intend to target Muslims.
It’s incredibly important for our congressional leaders to speak up and denounce the vile ideas that spew from individuals such as Cruz and Donald Trump—without strong voices of dissent, the American people may be swayed from the right into an atmosphere of fear and hatred.