An American Contradiction is screening at the Multigenerational Arts Event at the Heart Mountain Interpretive Center on Saturday, August 11th. I’m very excited to present at this venue, considering Heart Mountain is right outside the doorstep.
Saturday, August 11th | 11:10am, 1:15pm, 2:30pm
This year’s pilgrimage will be particularly interesting due to the controversy surrounding the new exhibit at the Interpretive Center titled “Perceptions of Muslims in America.” The Powell Tribune conducted an open poll on July 19th asking “Do you agree with the Heart Mountain Interpretive Center’s decision to host an exhibit featuring Muslim portraits?” Currently, 55.9% agree and 44.1% disagree. These percentages are surprisingly close.
It’s also interesting that the disagreement comes from the general public as well as within the Japanese American community. George Yoshinaga from the Rafu Shimpo bluntly wrote in his column on July 31st: “As a former resident at Heart Mountain, I am pissed off with an exhibit that has nothing to do with the evacuation of 120,000 Japanese Americans. Just who made such a stupid decision?”
Even I draw parallels between the Muslim American and Japanese American experiences in An American Contradiction. Prejudice in the time of war exists and needs to be carefully watched. Yoshinaga’s words clearly show that more work has to be done to make the incarceration relevant to current events.