On June 13, the Muskego-Norway School District School Board rejected the book” When the Emperor Was Divine,” recommended for use in a high school English class partly due to concerns that it lacked “balance” regarding the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. The board found the award-winning novel based on the author, Julie Otsuka, family’s experience in the internment camps to be too ‘diverse’ and too ‘sad.’
Other Wisconsin School Boards will look to this decision as a model; Wisconsin residents and the AAPI community must not stay silent when attempts are made to erase our history. We must stand in solidarity with our black and brown communities to prevent our histories from being denied. Education is one of our best tools to fight racism and achieve collective liberation. Our history is American history.