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This Mexican American Teenager Spent Years in a Japanese Internment Camp—On Purpose

October 1, 2019 in History

By Erin Blakemore

Ralph Lazo wasn’t of Japanese descent, but he spent spent two years at Manzanar in solidarity with his friends.

The station was filled with worried faces and hushed voices. Soon, those who gathered there would leave their lives and livelihoods behind as prisoners of the internment camps where over 110,000 people of Japanese descent—most American citizens—would be incarcerated for the duration of World War II. They didn’t want to leave, but they had been ordered to go.

Except for Ralph Lazo, that is. The Mexican American teen wasn’t supposed to be at the station at all, but had volunteered to go. The person who took down his information in early 1942 had seen his brown skin and assumed he was Japanese, too. “They didn’t ask,” he told the Los Angeles Times later. “Being brown has its advantages.”

Lazo was about to become the only known person of non-Japanese ancestry who volunteered to live in an internment camp. What some saw as a years-long ruse or proof he sympathized with the enemy in World War II, he saw as an act of solidarity.

Ralph Lazo (far right) pictured in a yearbook photo alongside friends at the Manzanar Japanese internment camp.

By 1942, the teenager had experienced discrimination himself—and those experiences often overlapped with those of people of varying racial and ethnic identities. He was born to Mexican American parents in a black hospital in Los Angeles in 1924, a time when segregation based on skin color also extended to Latinos. He saw other discrimination on a Native American reservation in Arizona, where he lived and went to school briefly during his childhood.

The neighborhood in Los Angeles where Lazo spent most of his childhood was home to people of all sorts of nationalities and ethnic identities. And as a teenager, Lazo watched in horror as his friends, the Japanese American children of Japanese immigrants, were discriminated against. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the United States’ entry into World War II in 1941, that discrimination snowballed. Lazo’s friends were told that their parents were enemy aliens and that they were the enemy.

Those suspicions were soon reflected in national policy toward people of Japanese ancestry: The United States began rounding up Japanese American leaders, then announced plans to “evacuate” people of Japanese ancestry who lived within a wide swath of land near both …read more

Source: HISTORY

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The Election of One of the First Latino Congressmen Was Contested—Twice

October 1, 2019 in History

By Erin Blakemore

Romualdo Pacheco was adroit at bear-wrangling and politics alike, but in 1877 he faced a rocky road to the House of Representatives.

When Romualdo Pacheco walked up to the

Though Pacheco’s case was cast as that of a no-name frontier politician engaged in a squabble over petty politics, he had already made his name on the national scene—just not for his political career.

Three years earlier, while serving as governor, readers of the New York Times had been treated to an article about another one of his skills: lassoing a bear. “He can lasso, and get away with, a wild grizzly bear,” wrote a California correspondent, “and we saw him do it.”

Pacheco had been dumped by the House of Representatives, but in 1875 Wigginton decided not to run for re-election. Pacheco did, and finally headed to Washington in 1879.

Though other Hispanic men had served as Congressional delegates before him, Pacheco was the first full Representative to claim Latino heritage. He remains the only Latino to have served as governor of the state of California—and lasso a grizzly.

…read more

Source: HISTORY

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Study: Top Motivation for Hating Capitalism Isn’t Compassion, It’s Resentment

October 1, 2019 in Economics

By Emily Ekins

Emily Ekins

With the 2020 presidential election around the corner, Democratic presidential hopefuls and lawmakers have put forth bold proposals such as returning the top marginal income tax rate to 70 percent, levying wealth taxes as Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have proposed, or “taxing the hell out of the wealthy” as New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio put it.

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Others such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez claim that capitalism is “irredeemable” and a system that “allows billionaires to exist” is “immoral.” Sanders recently declared he does not think “billionaires should exist.”

Warren went further when she told voters they could attribute frustrations in their lives to the rich and powerful: “You’ve got things that are broken in your life; I’ll tell you exactly why. It’s because giant corporations, billionaires have seized our government.” Watch here:’

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Many have also noticed the uptick in support for socialism among Democrats as well as the increasing popularity of candidates affiliating with the “democratic socialist” moniker.

What Matters More: Compassion or Envy?

Supporters often contend their motivation is compassion for the dispossessed, and they reason their tax proposals would protect democracy and raise revenue for social programs. With such a rhetorical focus on the rich and powerful, however, critics ask if the motivations are simply about compassion or whether envy and resentment also play a role?

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For instance, in a famous exchange, former U.K. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher responded to a member of Parliament who lamented that income inequality had increased under …read more

Source: OP-EDS