December 17, 2015

And now every time the media decides to trot out the “€œlook how racist we were during WWII”€ meme, Jacobs, in his 80s and residing in Arizona, must again be reminded that his story doesn”€™t fit the narrative. After 9/11, when ace L.A. Times scribe Daren Briscoe penned an “€œauthoritative”€ look at how civil liberties suffer in the U.S. during wartime, he left out German-American internment and expatriation. In a March 2002 email to me, Briscoe explained why:

The internment of 110,000 Japanese is the biggest, best-known example of WWII infringements upon civil liberties. Congress issued a formal apology, reparations have been paid. Such an example is familiar to a greater number of readers, and conveys the same general points, than the lesser-known detention of far fewer Germans and Italians. There is great parallel between the detention of Japanese after the horrific bombing of Pearl Harbor and the detention of Middle Easterners after the horrific bombing [sic] of the World Trade Center.

Get the logic? If Congress doesn”€™t acknowledge it, it’s okay to act like it never happened. No wonder Briscoe eventually left journalism to join the Obama administration as spokesman for the Department of Education; he’s the perfect misinformation-spewing functionary. And as for his claim that German internment can be ignored because “€œfar fewer”€ people were imprisoned, guess how many “€œMiddle Easterners”€ were detained after 9/11? By the L.A. Times“€™ own count, 762. Yet the paper made a huge deal about that number. 762 Muslims vs. 14,000 Germans. “€œNever forget”€ vs. “€œnever remind.”€ But at least Briscoe was willing to (privately) admit that German internment happened. Renowned leftist lunatic Robert Scheer wrote in the Times that not only didn”€™t the feds “€œround up”€ anyone from the German-American community, but they should have, because German-Americans were “€œHitler’s extensive fifth column.”€

Just like in that American-administered dungeon in occupied Germany when he was twelve, Arthur Jacobs is once again called a Nazi simply for being of German descent. Nothing changes.

I spoke with a filmmaker named Britta Meleson-Bordeaux. She’s a postproduction phenom who’s worked on the restoration of such classic films as Orson Welles”€™ Touch of Evil, George Lucas”€™ American Graffiti, and the Universal Studios Alfred Hitchcock collection. Yet even with her pedigree, she’s been unable to raise much interest in bringing the story of Arthur Jacobs to the screen. “€œPeople are hesitant to invest in a documentary about a story they”€™ve never heard before. Or worse, one they”€™ve been told never happened. If you come at people with something that challenges their beliefs, they don”€™t know how to react.”€

She’s right. The crowdfunding page for her Arthur Jacobs film is only 3% funded, after almost two months. It would be nice to think that Arthur Jacobs will live to see his story acknowledged in some significant way. But as we saw in the aftermath of Trump’s comments, the media parrots have their own story, and they”€™re stickin”€™ to it, facts be damned.


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