Opinion: These Japanese American seniors may be displaced in L.A. during the pandemic. It’s unconscionable.


An opinion piece by actors Tamlyn Tomita and Lane Nishikawa and activist Carlos Montes in the San Diego Union.

At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Pacifica Senior Living’s plans to turn Sakura Gardens ICF into a 45-unit luxury apartment building put the lives of 200 of its most vulnerable and cherished Japanese-American community members at risk. Many of the residents are women in their eighties, nineties and hundreds who, as children, grew up in the concentration camps in some of the harshest terrains in America — all behind barbed wire and with armed soldiers watching them from military towers, weapons ready and pointed at those inside the camps…

…Japanese Americans and other Asian Americans and Latinos have a great deal in common. In America, besides our Native American communities, we are absolutely and undeniably, a nation of immigrants, no matter how many generations have been here. In fact, the first “Dreamer” was a Korean American student. Our respective languages, foods, traditions and cultures are vital to our self-preservation, our enrichment and the bonds to where our ancestors came from. We can, and some do, serve as bridges to countries around the world, and are, at the same time, all-American. Think of the potential opportunities we can have by working and organizing together — across cultures, across generations, across political party affiliations, across class lines! We are one nation, made by and built by those from many nations! There is the power of allyship in action! There is strength in numbers and unity!

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