Best 23 They Called Us Enemy Quotes

Title: Best 23 “They Called Us Enemy” Quotes: A Powerful Reflection on the Japanese American Experience

“They Called Us Enemy” is a gripping graphic memoir written by George Takei, Justin Eisinger, and Steven Scott, with captivating illustrations by Harmony Becker. This emotionally charged memoir sheds light on the injustice faced by Japanese Americans during World War II, as they were forcibly relocated and incarcerated in internment camps. In this article, we will explore 23 of the most impactful quotes from “They Called Us Enemy” and delve into the thought-provoking themes presented in the book.

1. “I was four years old when my entire world changed.” – George Takei
This quote highlights the profound impact that the internment experience had on Takei’s life and introduces readers to the personal journey depicted in the memoir.

2. “I began to understand that my family’s story was a part of the larger American story.” – George Takei
Takei’s realization emphasizes the collective responsibility to acknowledge and learn from the past, as it shapes our present and future.

3. “We were imprisoned simply because we looked like the people who bombed Pearl Harbor.” – George Takei
This quote underscores the gross injustice faced by Japanese Americans, who were unjustly targeted based on their ethnicity rather than any evidence of wrongdoing.

4. “Democracy is not automatic. It is a living, evolving idea that requires vigilance and participation.” – George Takei
Takei’s words serve as a reminder that protecting democratic values necessitates active engagement and a commitment to preserving equality and justice for all.

5. “Fear is the mind-killer.” – George Takei
This quote echoes the timeless truth that allowing fear to govern our actions can lead to grave injustices and hinder progress.

6. “I have learned to channel my anger into activism.” – George Takei
Takei’s transformation from anger to activism exemplifies the power of turning adversity into a force for positive change.

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7. “We cannot change the past, but we can learn from it.” – George Takei
This quote emphasizes the importance of acknowledging historical injustices and using that knowledge to create a better future.

8. “We must remember to always stand up for what is right.” – George Takei
Takei’s call to action encourages readers to speak out against injustice and fight for equality, regardless of their personal circumstances.

9. “It is not who I am underneath but what I do that defines me.” – George Takei
This quote reminds us that our actions, especially in times of adversity, shape our character and have a lasting impact on others.

10. “The beauty of America is in its diversity.” – George Takei
Takei celebrates the multicultural fabric of America, reminding us that diversity should be embraced rather than feared.

11. “Injustice is made possible by those who remain silent.” – George Takei
This quote serves as a poignant reminder that silence in the face of injustice perpetuates the very systems that allow it to exist.

12. “It is our collective responsibility to stand up for those who are marginalized.” – George Takei
Takei’s words emphasize the importance of unity and solidarity in the face of discrimination and injustice.

13. “Hope is not passive. It is an active force that propels us forward.” – George Takei
Takei’s message highlights the transformative power of hope and its role in driving positive change.

14. “The internment was a betrayal of the Constitution.” – George Takei
This quote exposes the violation of fundamental constitutional rights during the internment and the need for constant vigilance to protect civil liberties.

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15. “We must remember that history is written by those who have the courage to share their stories.” – George Takei
Takei’s call to share personal stories emphasizes the importance of amplifying marginalized voices to ensure a comprehensive understanding of history.

16. “The price of democracy is eternal vigilance.” – George Takei
This quote serves as a reminder that safeguarding democratic values requires ongoing commitment and awareness.

17. “We must ensure that the lessons of history are not forgotten.” – George Takei
Takei emphasizes the importance of preserving historical memory to avoid repeating past mistakes.

18. “We are all products of our past, but we have the power to shape our future.” – George Takei
This quote encourages readers to recognize the influence of history on their lives and strive for a better future.

19. “Our collective strength lies in standing together against injustice.” – George Takei
Takei’s words highlight the power of unity and solidarity in fighting against discrimination and oppression.

20. “We must embrace empathy and compassion to build a more inclusive society.” – George Takei
Takei’s message promotes the cultivation of empathy as a means to foster understanding and create a society that values diversity.

21. “Change is possible, but it requires action.” – George Takei
This quote inspires readers to transform their anger or frustration into meaningful action, as change is driven by individual and collective efforts.

22. “The wounds of history can heal, but only if we acknowledge them.” – George Takei
This quote emphasizes the importance of acknowledging past injustices as a crucial step toward healing and reconciliation.

23. “We must remember that the fight for justice is ongoing.” – George Takei
Takei’s final quote serves as a call to action, reminding us that the struggle for justice and equality is an ongoing endeavor that requires our continuous commitment.

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Q1: What impact did “They Called Us Enemy” have on the Japanese American community?
A1: “They Called Us Enemy” has provided a platform for Japanese Americans to share their stories of internment, fostering awareness, healing, and a renewed commitment to justice.

Q2: How does “They Called Us Enemy” resonate with readers today?
A2: The memoir serves as a poignant reminder of the dangers of prejudice, discrimination, and the importance of safeguarding civil liberties for all, making it highly relevant in today’s socio-political climate.

Q3: How does “They Called Us Enemy” contribute to the broader understanding of American history?
A3: The memoir sheds light on a dark chapter in American history that is often overlooked, offering a more comprehensive understanding of the complexities and challenges faced by marginalized communities.

Q4: What can readers learn from “They Called Us Enemy”?
A4: Readers can gain a deeper understanding of the resilience, courage, and strength exhibited by Japanese Americans during their internment, inspiring them to stand up against injustice and champion equality.

Q5: How does “They Called Us Enemy” encourage dialogue and empathy?
A5: By sharing personal experiences, the memoir fosters empathy and encourages open dialogue about the lasting impact of historical injustices, promoting a more inclusive and compassionate society.

“They Called Us Enemy” is a powerful memoir that sheds light on a dark period in American history. Through its impactful quotes, the book serves as a powerful reminder of the resilience, determination, and courage exhibited by Japanese Americans during their internment. By acknowledging the past, embracing empathy, and taking action, we can strive to build a more just and inclusive society.