I was born behind barbed wire 70 years ago in a maximum-security prison camp for Japanese-Americans in Northern California. My visit with mothers and children at the euphemistically named Karnes County "Residential Center" a few weeks ago triggered distressing associations of my own experience as a child. We too lived in a constant state of fear and anxiety, never knowing what our fate would be.
I enjoyed watching Ken Burns' The Roosevelts: An Intimate History last week, keeping in mind that these PBS documentary series are usually a heavy bit of American myth-making. Still, there are a few things just too glaring to hide or treat with discretion in 2014, though Burns arrogantly thinks he can.
On January 6, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt addressed a struggling nation. He described his vision for a country built on four essential freedoms. They are as true and essential today in this time of shaky economic recovery and shifting global political dynamics as they were more than 70 years ago.