During discussions on May 5 over the validity of Wisconsin’s ‘safer at home’ plan, Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Rebecca Bradley referred to the order as “tyranny” and compared it to the incarceration of Japanese Americans in camps during World War II.
Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) called the comparison “an insult to Japanese Americans who suffered the unconstitutional injustices of incarceration.”
JACL Wisconsin Chapter President Ron Kuramoto —whose parents were forced out of their home and imprisoned—said Bradley’s hyperbole denigrates his parent’s suffering and endurance.
JACL has previously called for caution in the invocation of historical comparisons to COVID-19 response.
Kuramoto said, “To ask all Wisconsin residents to shelter in their homes for a short, defined period of weeks, as a response to a public health crisis like a pandemic, bears no relation to the intentional, legally unjustifiable thinking that imprisoned my family indefinitely, and forced them to sell—not suspend—their businesses.”
Seriously, being asked to stay at home for the greater good is not the same as being ripped from your home and taken to a concentration camp and imprisoned i.e. you’re not allowed to leave.
As Wisconsin activist Callen Harty wrote in an open letter to Bradley, “Being furloughed due to the tough economy brought about by COVID-19 is not the same as losing your house and all your possessions. Not being allowed to shop or dine out for a while is not the same as being incarcerated because you are perceived to be an enemy combatant because of your heritage. Having to hear a court case over video while protecting yourself at home is not the same as losing your freedom and rights as a citizen because people are scared of your last name. Your ignorance of history and your privilege are showing and it is not pretty.”
We can’t believe this actually needs to be said. But Justice Bradley: a quarantine is not the same thing as incarceration and stripped of your basic civil rights.
Your comments have exposed the fact that you don’t have a clue what people of color have experienced— especially immigrants, workers, or other groups who are truly vulnerable during these difficult times.