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Sun Feb 24, 2019, 04:30 PM

Japanese Internment Was Wrong. Why Do Some Of Our Leaders Still Try To Justify It?

By MITCHELL T. MAKI
FEB 20, 2019 | 3:05 AM


Today, the vast majority of thinking Americans believe the enslavement of millions of people of African descent in the U.S. was immoral. It’s not even a question. We acknowledge our country’s shameful treatment of Native Americans, who were stripped of their lands and forced onto desolate reservations. Similarly, we understand that the Nazis’ extermination of 6 million Jews during World War II was a sweeping offense against humanity that must never be repeated.

Why, then, does a vocal minority still argue that the incarceration of approximately 120,000 people of Japanese descent during World War II — two-thirds of whom were American citizens — remains open to debate? This week marks the 77th anniversary of the issuance of Executive Order 9066 by President Franklin Roosevelt, which set the stage for the incarceration. Despite the passage of time, there continues to exist a misinformed perspective on this order and its ramifications. Too often, including in the letters pages of the Los Angeles Times, some still contend that the imprisonment of Japanese American citizens and legal residents without due process has some legal, rational or moral standing. It does not.

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In December, for instance, a letter appeared in The Times saying that in incarcerating Japanese Americans, Roosevelt acted “not out of xenophobia,” but rather “to protect citizens.” Would The Times have published a similar defense of slave holding or Nazism? Of course not, because those subjects are considered closed, no longer open for dispute in polite society.

This is no armchair historical debate. Some community leaders and politicians still attempt to use the incarceration to justify discriminatory policies.

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https://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-maki-japanese-internment-20190220-story.html

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Reply Japanese Internment Was Wrong. Why Do Some Of Our Leaders Still Try To Justify It? (Original post)
RCW2014 Feb 2019 OP
imwithfred Feb 2019 #1
nolidad Feb 2019 #2
Steelydamned Feb 2019 #3
RCW2014 Feb 2019 #4
Steelydamned Feb 2019 #5
Banshee 3 Actual Feb 2019 #6
rahtruelies Feb 2019 #7
Prismmonkey Feb 2019 #8
TheyLostTheirForums Feb 2019 #9
Badsamm Feb 2019 #10

Response to RCW2014 (Original post)

Sun Feb 24, 2019, 04:41 PM

1. Oh geezuz.

This is a stale old issue, long ago slipped into triviality.

Nearly everybody thinks it was wrong, and I've never seen anyone "justify" discriminatory policies based upon it. The only people I can think of who would possibly seek to excuse it would be Demos and primitives concerned for the historical reputation of Franklin Roosevelt.

Unless it starts to happen again--a roundup of American citizens and sequestering them into camps--it's only a topic for history books.

I think the guy who wrote the article was just desperate to find an "issue" to gripe about.

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Response to RCW2014 (Original post)

Sun Feb 24, 2019, 04:45 PM

2. It was wrong!

So what is the agenda of those still crying foul?

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Response to RCW2014 (Original post)

Sun Feb 24, 2019, 04:49 PM

3. Jesus...

...dude. What this article tells me is, someone had a deadline and an angle assigned by the editor and they had to produce some low quality "journalism" toot sweet.

You should go outside for a while...

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Response to Steelydamned (Reply #3)

Sun Feb 24, 2019, 05:03 PM

4. Too damned cold and windy so thought I'd toss a few junebugs into this henhouse.



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Response to RCW2014 (Reply #4)

Sun Feb 24, 2019, 05:09 PM

5. Bummer...

...well it's a beautiful, sunny 69 down here. So I feel for ya....you toss as many June bugs as it takes

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Response to RCW2014 (Original post)

Sun Feb 24, 2019, 05:42 PM

6. EO9066 was an obscenity on American Civil rights, How about them Volga Germans tho?

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Response to RCW2014 (Original post)

Sun Feb 24, 2019, 05:58 PM

7. more from faux news

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Response to RCW2014 (Original post)

Sun Feb 24, 2019, 06:01 PM

8. In my experience

And this is only what I've read and been told over time as someone who studied history in college - I do not agree with these points of view.

It's many-pronged, but I always see three main ones crop up over time again and again.

1. The Greatest Generation. People are still very loathe to criticize them. They've been lionized over time - and mostly rightly so - but, there's a papering over of the warts you can still see when reading articles and listening to old interviews. This is diminishing over time, but it still creeps up now and then. Just look at the 1950s. Some people still think it was the most wonderful era in American history, mainly because of the Baby Boom and the rise of the middle class. Black people have a different view, very obviously. Women have a different view. LGBT individuals have a different view. But you still see politicians in places waxing nostalgic. They've burnished a version of history to a high sheen over time. It's hard to rub out.

2. Nationalism worked in a way back then it just doesn't nowadays. Not to say we've conquered xenophobia nowadays, but remember that even white ethnicities were at each other's throats. Racism against white ethnicities existed in a form that really only remains today as the odd stereotype or joke. (Italians as goombas or guidos, the Irish as drunks, the English as effete, etc). People think racists in the country today really, really loathe brown people, but we have nothing on how it was back then. It was virulent, very rigidly compartmentalized and enforced even via government, and had no patience for people who were fundamentally different in even the most surface way. So people honestly just didn't give much thought about internment. A highly trusted President who did a lot for the country says we need it, and those evil Japanese are kind of shifty anyway, so the logic tracks! And don't forget. Americans went after ethnic Germans during both world wars. Not as systemically as the Japanese, but it was not a good time for them.

3. World War II was existential in a way really none of us have experienced. All our wars are skirmishes at this point. We threw our entire society at the Axis powers. It's really hard to wrap your head around that if you didn't live through it. So, in the face of an actual existential threat, a lot of people felt, "Well, it's not great we're doing this or did it, but the times called for it." And there is a lot of that in residual justifications.

Without getting too deeply in it, we're not in an existential conflict - nowhere close - so modern xenophobia, while existent and highly deserving of condemnation, doesn't hold a candle to what came before. I can only speak for myself, but I absolutely want the government keeping an eye on people coming in from countries where radicalized Islam is not uncommon. I'm a gay man. I don't want that shit. Let people in, absolutely, but screen them. Know thoroughly who we're taking in from these regions where war and poverty has created significant pockets of radicalization and cultures inconsistent with Western values.

Europe hasn't been a jolly good time for sexual and gender minorities the past ten or fifteen years. The Western press likes to minimize it in the name of tolerance, but, uh, some really not so great shit has gone down in Europe since refugees have been streaming in, all too often unmonitored. I don't want that here, and I don't think I'm a bigot or xenophobia for saying so. Help where we can when we can, but screen like the wind.

JMHO.

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Response to RCW2014 (Original post)

Sun Feb 24, 2019, 06:13 PM

9. I dont care about that shit *

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Response to RCW2014 (Original post)

Sun Feb 24, 2019, 10:57 PM

10. I got over it, same with slavery, the holocaust, Rwanda, Pol Pot

The Vietnam war, the rape of Nanking, the fall of Rome, last night’s quesadilla and this morning’s turd. I have to work tomorrow and bills to pay.


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