At the annual Heart Mountain Pilgrimage this weekend, former Secretary of Transportation and Commerce Norman Mineta appealed to young Japanese Americans to help ensure that the rights of minorities are not violated.
Heart Mountain was one of 10 relocation centers, or camps, where Japanese Americans were confined during World War II. Mineta and his family were among those incarcerated there. He said what happened at Heart Mountain should serve as a cautionary tale to future generations.
“If you think it can’t ever happen again, think about it, and always make sure that you are working to serve your fellow citizens in protecting our constitutional rights,” Mineta said.
Mineta pointed to anti-Muslim sentiment after 9-11 as evidence that racial and religious antagonisms still exist in the US and said it’s important that those antagonisms do not lead to a group of people being denied their rights as citizens.