Silence (Tarpaper Totem)
My father identifies the American concentration camps as the single most defining event of his life.
The silence that follows shapes mine: an overarching theme in the decades-long fallout of the incarceration.
In many families, the Japanese language is shamed out of us so fast that in a single generation children can no longer communicate with their own parents. Silence is assimilation. Silence is the model minority shuffle. This is a history of untold stories, unuttered sentiments.
Silence is also protest.
Most significant, silence allows the American concentration camps to happen in the first place when the majority of Americans fall mute as their democracy fails.