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JACL condemns comparison of mask mandate to incarceration camps

Screen shot from QCTV

The Japanese American Citizens League is condemning a city councilmember who cited the incarceration of Japanese Americans in WWII as a reason to oppose Minnesota’s statewide mandate to wear masks.

“In this time of heightened anti-Asian sentiment and radicalized violence, your careless and misinformed comments undermine public health efforts at the disproportionate expense of Communities of Color,” JACL wrote on its Facebook page.

According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Councilmember Chelsee Howell of Ramsey, near Minneapolis, successfully pushed for a resolution preventing the use of any city resources to enforce the mask mandate.

Just because something has been made a law or a mandate does not make it moral or just,” she said referring to Executive Order 9066 which ordered the incarceration of 110,000 Japanese Americans. “While it was considered legal at the time, there are moments in the history of our country where the government has acted unlawfully and reprehensibly from a moral and constitutional perspective.

The Ramsey City Council passed the resolution 4-3 at its March 9th meeting.

JACL called Howell’s statement “troubling” and a “disregard for the safety of others.” The group called facemasks the “most safe, effective, and accessible method for curbing the spread of the COVID-19 virus.”

Howell has so far not responding to the JACL.

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