Copyright (c) 1998 Southern California Interdisciplinary Law Journal
Southern California Interdisciplinary Law Journal
ARTICLE: POLITICAL ACCOMMODATION AND THE IDEOLOGY OF THE "MODEL MINORITY": BUILDING A BRIDGE TO WHITE MINORITY RULE IN THE 21ST CENTURY
7 S. Cal. Interdis. L.J. 1
Chris K. Iijima *
Recently, I overheard my father suddenly ask my eight year old son, Alan, whether he wanted to see his grandpa's war medals. I was surprised to hear him ask Alan this question since I never remembered him asking me when I was a child whether I had wanted to see them.
My father had always seemed reluctant to talk about his war experiences. He was never anxious to go to his 442nd army unit reunions, remarking that he didn't "like all the patriotic crap that went along with them." He kept in sporadic touch with only one army buddy - the sole survivor, besides my father, of an ill-fated patrol in the forests of Italy. They exchanged Christmas cards for 50 years, and visited each other only occasionally. In fact, my sister and I never met him. But when his friend died only a few months ago, he and my mother immediately made travel plans to grieve with his widow.
Shortly after that was when my father took Alan into his bedroom and brought out the box of medals containing his Purple Heart and Bronze Star and all the other colorful bars and clusters he had won. Alan pinned some on, asked about others, and played with them in the same way he often played with shells, coins, or figurines by lining them up, comparing them, ranking them in order of which he liked best. When he asked about the significance of one or the other, my father would ...
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