Monday, November 7, 2011
Thursday, November 3, 2011
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
This is my first journal entry. My name is Howard Jackson and today was my first day of high school. I was kind of nervous; the school is mostly white and well I am not. Being black is tough in mostly all white community but I manage. I had lots of classes today and I enjoyed seeing a lot of my classmates again but the one class I really enjoyed was Ms. Khoury’s class. She teaches world literature. She was a very interesting teacher because she was a minority like me. I think she was from somewhere in the Middle East but I am not sure. She told us today she was going to teach about a ton of different types of literature from all over the world. I am really excited to learn about other cultures and hopefully the white kids in my class may be less awkward around me because I am black. I also liked the class because she was so energetic and upbeat. She seemed like the type of person that would help you with anything and everything which is nice for me because she can relate to me being a minority and all. I guess deep down its just a good feeling to know for once I have a superior on my side. If I need help I can go to her, and I just know she would be more than happy to help. Another thing that is going to help me get through the hard times is wrestling. I love wrestling and now that I am an high school I have the opportunity to be on the team. Nothing can bother me when I am wrestling not racism, school, or anything else. With the combination of Ms. Khoury and wrestling this should be a great four years.
Today at the internment camp was one of the hardest days. I haven’t been keeping up with my journal lately because I have been so busy so its time to catch up. While being a guard at the internment camp has been a great time recently something has happened. Recently my old teacher from high school was taken and put into my camp. This was my world literature teacher who I loved so much and helped me a lot through high school. I am torn between what is right for my country and the teacher that was so good to me. How could Ms. Khoury be a threat to my country? She was a wonderful teacher not a terrorist. Although these thoughts are tearing me apart they are not the worst part. The other day Ms. Khoury asked me to find out some information for her because she could tell some planning had been going on. People were starting to disappear and she was getting worried. I honestly don’t know what to do. On the one hand I am serving my country but on the other does Ms. Khoury really deserve this? Do any of them really deserve this? Honestly I do not think she deserves this at all she has done nothing. All she has tried to do is help kids learn and get their education to the best of her ability. I joined to better our country but I don’t feel like I am doing that right now. If anything I feel like I am making this country worse. I am black and how would I feel during the slavery period? It was the law but does that make it right? No it doesn’t but I cant do anything about I am just a guard. I have power over them but I don’t have power over anyone else. After going through all of this I decided I would help Ms. Khoury. I found the reports on everyone in her cabin. Ms. Khoury was a threat but not anything to high but her friend Rheema was another story. Rheema was a high security threat. I am going to give this information to Ms. Khoury tomorrow. I don’t think she knows what this information really means but I do. They are going to kill Rheema and play it off as an accident or some disease. I wish I could do something but if they found out I did they would kill me. The most I can do is give Ms. Khoury the information and hope that she can use it to protect Rheema even though I highly doubt it. She is going to die and all I can do is sit back and watch. I hate myself right now and have to just sit back and watch as people lives pass through my hands. I’m serving my country but I feel like shit. I don’t know what I should do. Do I quit and do something else for a career? What else can I do? This is all I know and I am good at it. I take my orders do what I am told and get praised. I wish I could just not question right and wrong but just accept. Hopefully I will look back on this someday and say that I did the right thing by not doing anything and if I would of did something I would of regretted it.
I quit writing in this journal years ago but I felt the need to express some things so I decide to do one more entry. I am old man now probably lying on my deathbed right now as I am writing this. I have lead a great life but a boring life. The reason I decided I needed to do another blog post is because I have been thinking a lot about when I was a guard in the internment camps all those years ago. Specifically I have been thinking about my old teacher Ms. Khoury and her friend Rheema. Reflecting back on the situation now I feel horrible about sitting back and watching instead of taking action and helping. I guess this really shouldn’t surprise me, since I have been a follower my whole life but for some reason this really gets to me. My whole life I have taken orders from somebody but never from myself. I know some people are born to be leaders and some are born to be followers but I also believe in certain situations you have to stand up for what is right even if you are a follower. This all leads back to that one situation that I have regretted my entire life. Being a guard in those internment camps was probably the worst thing I have ever done. Looking back on it what our country did to those people was horrible. How could we deny them their freedom that they have earned? They were Americans just like we were; they just had a few bad eggs that wrecked it for the whole bunch. It was as if our country had regressed instead of progressed. When I reflect back on it I cant help but relate it to slavery. Slavery is a big part of my history and although they weren’t slaves we did take away their freedom. I know that freedom is what slaves wanted and that’s all that Middle Eastern Americans wanted. I struggle thinking and talking about this time in my life because it haunts me so deeply. I have never told my kids about this and I am not sure if I should. I don’t think I have enough courage to talk to them about this. How would they take it? Would they think I was a murderer? At the time I thought I was doing the right thing. I was serving my country the problem was that our country was doing something wrong. I think I am going to give this journal to them when I die so they can read for themselves what happened. Hopefully they will understand that I was just following the crowd and that I know now that I was wrong for doing so. The one thing I regret most of all is not going to see Ms. Khoury after the internment camps were done. I wanted to sit down and talk with her and get some closure. If I were only braver maybe then I would have. I hope somehow she has forgiven me for the things I did and the things I didn’t do. Now that I have written this down and received a little closure I am going to close my eyes to never open them again.
Friday, October 21, 2011
Monday, October 17, 2011
Friday, October 14, 2011
The way the Japanese heeled was very different from what I expected. The thing that stood out to me was how they did not talk about it. They had every right to talk about it and be mad about it but they didn't. They didn't want their kids growing up with a grudge against the U.S. I think because they did this it was easier for the whole community to get passed this horrible thing that happened. The other thing that I thought was huge in their healing process was the redress. This was a sort of closer for the Japanese. I am sure the money was nice but the thing that really mattered to them was the apology and finally feeling accepted. This made them finally feel part of America and was good closure.
Healing Process For The Arab-Americans.
I think Zafira's ways of recovery would differ greatly from the Japanese. She would tell everyone and hide nothing. Kids would learn about it as soon as possible. She would hold rallies and demand an apology instead of more or less requesting one like the Japanese did. I guess I don't know how exactly she would do it but I am sure it would be extreme. She is a woman of action and she would use her great power of empathy to make the U.S. feel ashamed and guilty. She would be loud not just in her voice but in her actions.