Friday, January 18, 2013

Fighting for Democracy: Domingo Los Banos and the Filipino Infantry Regiment

During the early 20th century, different groups of immigrants from places as varied as China, Japan, and Portugal worked on plantations in Hawaii. Although many of them performed similar roles in their jobs, their living spaces were segregated by their countries of origin. The schools, however, were integrated, unlike other parts of the country during this time. 

Why do you think policy allowed segregation on the job but not in schools?

Domingo Los Banos (pictured left) was born in 1925, and worked on a sugar plantation in Hawaii. As a Filipino American, he was forced to live in segregated camps and complete more difficult tasks as a part of his job. At his integrated school, he was able to interact with students from different backgrounds and come to appreciate the commonality of their struggle despite their ethnic differences.

The Filipino Infantry Regiment

At the age of 18, Domingo volunteered to fight in World War II, and once again met segregation and discrimination head on. After volunteering with the still-segregated military, he served in the 1st Filipino Infantry Regiment. As a first scout, his duties included sneaking behind enemy lines to learn valuable information. Despite many experiences on the front, Domingo's story exemplifies how the fight for democracy was bigger than battles in war.

To learn more about Domingo’s story and how he became a force of change, come view Fighting for Democracy at Levine Museum of the New South which opens  January 19th through July 14th, 2013.

How can you work to fight against discrimination today?
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