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Lawson Inada Talks Internment For 'The Democracy Project'

This 1945 photo provided by the family shows Shizuko Ina, with her son Kiyoshi (left) and daughter Satsuki in an internment camp in Tule Lake, Calif. This photograph was taken by a family friend who was a soldier at the time, since cameras were considered contraband at the camp. Satsuki was born at the camp.
This 1945 photo provided by the family shows Shizuko Ina, with her son Kiyoshi (left) and daughter Satsuki in an internment camp in Tule Lake, Calif. This photograph was taken by a family friend who was a soldier at the time, since cameras were considered contraband at the camp. Satsuki was born at the camp.

Democracy has always been a goal, but not consistently a reality, for all of the American people. One case in point: the U.S. citizens of Japanese descent who were kicked out of their homes on the West Coast and forced to live in internment camps.

Lawson Inada, former Poet Laureate of Oregon, was one of them, when he was just four years old. He speaks to the JX audience on internment as part of Southern Oregon University's Democracy Project 2021.

The project turned its usual international focus inward this year, and enlisted JPR as a partner. We welcome Lawson Inada back to the JX.

Note: there is a separate Democracy Project event with Mary Kathryn Nagle speaking about sovereign immunity for Native American tribes. That event is online, February 18th, 1:30 to 3:30 PM on Zoom.

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The Jefferson Exchange is Jefferson Public Radio's daily talk show focused on news and interests across our region of Southern Oregon and Northern California. John Baxter is the senior producer, Angela Decker is the producer and Geoffrey Riley hosts the show.