Thread: Manzanar Board: Purgatory / Ship of Fools.


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Posted by Gramps49 (# 16378) on :
 
There is so much to say about these pictures.


First of all, there had been an internment camp near where I grew up. It was between Jerome, Idaho and Eden,Idaho called the Mindoka Camp. Nearly 9,000 people were interned there. Many of the people that were interned there were from the Seatle and Portland areas. Growing up the camp was a part of our local history. I have visited the site several times. It is always haunting.

Second, when we lived in California we were near the Manzanar site. We would drive by it every time we traveled between California and Idaho. The first time we went by it, my wife wondered what it was. When I told her it had been a Japanese American Internment Camp, she was scandalized! My wife had grown up on the East Coast so she had never heard of such a thing.

Now that Trump is elected, there are some who want him to set up such camps in particular for undocumented residents. He claims he wants to round up three million people who have committed crimes, but there are 13 million undocumented people in the US--and not all of them are Mexican or South American.

I hope it does not come to this. I wish I could say Never Again
 
Posted by Pangolin Guerre (# 18686) on :
 
That's a very moving collection. And chilling.

I share your sense of "Dear Lord, not again" foreboding, but I take consolation in my belief that Trump will not finish his four years, either for legal reasons, or he'll leave out of boredom. On the other hand, internment is one of those things that gathers a momentum of its own, so even if Trump is absent, the machinery would chug along. "Well, since we're already doing it...."
 
Posted by cliffdweller (# 13338) on :
 
My son went on a field trip to Manzanar where they spent the night. They tried to recreate as best as possible in a small way the experience, so they only told the kids they were going to spend the night at school before leaving on a field trip. They woke them up very early in the morning, took all of their most cherished possessions away (of course they got them back afterwards) and drove them into the desert w/o explanation. It was a very very powerful and moving experience for him.

A bit of context for non-Americans: The really scary thing is that one of Trump's staffers actually cited the internment camps positively as a rationale/precedent for "detaining" Muslim immigrants. The huge disconnect and lack of awareness is probably the scariest thing (among so many other scary things) about Trump's presidency. [Tear]
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
The little boy in the school bus is headed for Tanforan Internment Center, which had been racetrack stables, and which now is a trendy galleria type mall. It is about 15 minutes away from where I live.

Inside the mall is a photo mural splashed on one wall pretty much celebrating Gold Rush era white people history. Directly outside the Mall Entrance is a huge bronze statue to ( good grief) Seabiscuit. Yes, the damn horse.

No offense to the horse, but that damn chunk of metal has been part of the Mall since it was built in the 50's. Yep, you got it, they skipped right over Tanforan's internment history to celebrate the race track.

It wasn't till the 90's that the mall was remodeled, and former internees used that window of opportunity to demand an historical marker to designate Tanforan as a former internment site. It is a sizable rock garden, some what similar to a Zen garden, and the plaque describing the center is mounted on a large granite rock.

[ 09. December 2016, 21:17: Message edited by: Kelly Alves ]
 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
A bit of context for non-Americans: The really scary thing is that one of Trump's staffers actually cited the internment camps positively as a rationale/precedent for "detaining" Muslim immigrants. The huge disconnect and lack of awareness is probably the scariest thing (among so many other scary things) about Trump's presidency. [Tear]

Link added.

Why are you so sure that Carl Higbie suffers a "disconnect" or a "lack of awareness"? We should at least entertain the possibility that Trump's supporters actually mean what they say.
 
Posted by cliffdweller (# 13338) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Kelly Alves:
The little boy in the school bus is headed for Tanforan Internment Center, which had been racetrack stables, and which now is a trendy galleria type mall. It is about 15 minutes away from where I live.

Inside the mall is a photo mural splashed on one wall pretty much celebrating Gold Rush era white people history. Directly outside the Mall Entrance is a huge bronze statue to ( good grief) Seabiscuit. Yes, the damn horse.

No offense to the horse, but that damn chunk of metal has been part of the Mall since it was built in the 50's. Yep, you got it, they skipped right over Tanforan's internment history to celebrate the race track.

It wasn't till the 90's that the mall was remodeled, and former internees used that window of opportunity to demand an historical marker to designate Tanforan as a former internment site. It is a sizable rock garden, some what similar to a Zen garden, and the plaque describing the center is mounted on a large granite rock.

Santa Anita racetrack-- 15 min. from my house-- was also an internment site, and similarly has a fancy upscale mall attached. We don't have a Seabiscuit statue-- but we don't have a memorial either. I love this idea. Perhaps time for the San Gabriel valley to follow suit.
 
Posted by Pangolin Guerre (# 18686) on :
 
As to Kelly Alves's story about the mall, it reminds a bit of (on a very different scale, and intent), of an article that I read many years ago, something like Commerce at Auschwitz. Anything for a buck.

What I don't understand is that if the Republicans are serious about interning and then deporting (to where? the home countries might not take them back) all the undocumented labour, who will pick the strawberries for Trump's morning smoothie, or do the housekeeping in that vulgar palace? He will purchase smaller profit margins at the cost of grossly immoral behaviour. And he's a capitalist? I find the crosscurrents boggling. Not to mention the utterly disgusting behaviour of treating them as politically conveniently disposable.
 
Posted by Kaplan Corday (# 16119) on :
 
Is it possible to put aside for a moment questions of the likelihood, practicability and morality of internment camps under Trump, and think about definitions?

The OP seems to refer to two different categories.

Those interned during WWII by the US and other Western Allies had not committed any crime.

In practice, the conditions they suffered might have been unacceptable, and the criteria used to select them might have been questionable (in the UK, anti-fascist Jews were interned simply because they were German nationals).

However the principle - that of isolating potential collaborators in the special conditions of war - was unexceptionable, and is not condemned in cases such as that of Oswald Mosley.

Illegal residents are another matter, and whether they should be interned - and if not, what, if anything, should be done about them - is also a separate issue.
 
Posted by mdijon (# 8520) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
However the principle - that of isolating potential collaborators in the special conditions of war - was unexceptionable, and is not condemned in cases such as that of Oswald Mosley.

Just to clarify - you're not suggesting that interning someone on the basis that they support fascism is equivalent to interning someone on the basis that they were born in Germany (or Japan or wherever)?

[ 10. December 2016, 04:10: Message edited by: mdijon ]
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
Santa Anita racetrack-- 15 min. from my house-- was also an internment site, and similarly has a fancy upscale mall attached. We don't have a Seabiscuit statue-- but we don't have a memorial either. I love this idea. Perhaps time for the San Gabriel valley to follow suit.

I guess that makes sense-- if they built housing on former internment center land, you can bet Japanese ghosts would be lining up to haunt the $@& out of them. It would make Ju-on look like a Hallmark holiday special.

[ 10. December 2016, 04:11: Message edited by: Kelly Alves ]
 
Posted by Dave W. (# 8765) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
In practice, the conditions they suffered might have been unacceptable, and the criteria used to select them might have been questionable

"Might have been"? You're not sure?
quote:
However the principle - that of isolating potential collaborators in the special conditions of war - was unexceptionable, and is not condemned in cases such as that of Oswald Mosley.

The principle was that they were of Japanese ancestry. Was Mosley interned because of his race?
 
Posted by Gramps49 (# 16378) on :
 
The act of being present in the United States in violation of the immigration laws is not, standing alone, a crime. While federal immigration law does criminalize some actions that may be related to undocumented presence in the United States, undocumented presence alone is not a violation of federal criminal law.

It is the Trump people that are saying the United States should intern undocumented people "just like we did in World War II."

Curiously, as states are de-licensing privately run Correctional Institutions, those companies are now turning to the federal government, offering to "intern" undocumented residents--and they see this as a cash cow because our current immigration courts are so overwhelmed, it would take years to out-process them all.

And, like the interning of the Nisei in WWII, the interning of undocumented workers now will be largely on the basis of the color of their skin.
 
Posted by RuthW (# 13) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
However the principle - that of isolating potential collaborators in the special conditions of war - was unexceptionable, and is not condemned in cases such as that of Oswald Mosley.

Even if this is true - and I am very dubious - in a nation of immigrants you cannot identify "potential collaborators" based on ancestry.

It was racism, pure and simple. If it hadn't been, all my German-speaking pacifist relatives would have been locked up.
 
Posted by Kaplan Corday (# 16119) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Dave W.:
Was Mosley interned because of his race?

Mosley's case is interesting.

He was, of course, an anti-Semitic arsehole, and because of that very few have criticised his internment, but whether or not he was a traitor is another question.

In fact, during the early years of the war there was as much, and possibly more, justification for jailing Stalinists as for jailing Mosley.

I used to know a man, a skilled fitter and turner, who worked in a British aircraft factory during WWII.

He told me that until June 1941, because the shop stewards were communists and obeyed Moscow's orders to accept the 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, there was constant disruption of the production process, but that after June 1941 the place ran itself like clockwork.
 
Posted by Kaplan Corday (# 16119) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by RuthW:
It was racism, pure and simple.

As Oscar Wilde said, the truth is rarely pure and never simple.

No doubt there was an element of racism as regards the Japanese in the US, but if Allied internment policy had been based consistently on racial considerations, the anti-fascist Jews I referred to above would have been welcomed into the war effort instead of locked up - and in some cases, shipped out to Australia!
 
Posted by mdijon (# 8520) on :
 
There's nothing pure and simple about your answer either.

Clarify: locking people up because they are fascists is the same as locking people up because of where they were born?
 
Posted by Lyda*Rose (# 4544) on :
 
And not just where they were born but where their ancestors were born in the case of the Japanese-American citizens.
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
The law is a mess in this area. The evolution of combat away from nation states and towards ideologies has left all the historical conventions and practices towards the justification for internment out of date. What is clear is that internment was applied to foreign nationals whose country was at war with the state practising internment. Race and/or religion were not in themselves justification to inter anyone.

What also remains as a bottom line is that a nation state has the right of self defence. The paradox is that it may see the need to reduce civil rights for safety reasons.

I'm not sure where any of this is going, but I'm concerned about the key Trump appointments.
 
Posted by cliffdweller (# 13338) on :
 
The Japanese internment was about three things: fear (immediately flowed Pearl Harbor), racism (pure and simple) and greed. There were huge agribusiness interests I the San Joaquin valley who quietly pushed for the internment, then profited hugely by buying up properties lost thru unpaid taxes

The scary thing is all 3 conditions are ripe now again
 
Posted by Dave W. (# 8765) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
What is clear is that internment was applied to foreign nationals whose country was at war with the state practising internment.

62% of the 110,000-120,000 people of Japanese ancestry interned by the US were US citizens
quote:
Race and/or religion were not in themselves justification to inter anyone.
And yet millions of German-Americans went happily about their business during the war. What do you suppose made the difference?
 
Posted by Prester John (# 5502) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Dave W.:
And yet millions of German-Americans went happily about their business during the war. What do you suppose made the difference?

Also per Wikipedia 36% of the interred were ethnically German and the War Department did consider the same treatment to German and Italian ethnics but realized it was impractical.

Reference here because for some reason I couldn't embed the link in the above paragraph.
 
Posted by Dave W. (# 8765) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Prester John:
quote:
Originally posted by Dave W.:
And yet millions of German-Americans went happily about their business during the war. What do you suppose made the difference?

Also per Wikipedia 36% of the interred were ethnically German and the War Department did consider the same treatment to German and Italian ethnics but realized it was impractical.

Reference here because for some reason I couldn't embed the link in the above paragraph.

Again - this is wrong. From your reference:
quote:
A total of 11,507 people of German ancestry were interned during the war. They comprised 36.1% of the total internments under the US Justice Department's Enemy Alien Control Program.
That's not the program used for 110,000-120,000 persons of Japanese ancestry; that was Executive Order 9066 :
quote:
Executive Order 9066, signed by Franklin D. Roosevelt on February 19, 1942, authorized military commanders to designate "military areas" at their discretion, "from which any or all persons may be excluded." These "exclusion zones," unlike the "alien enemy" roundups, were applicable to anyone that an authorized military commander might choose, whether citizen or non-citizen.
People with Japanese ancestry were treated very differently from those of German ancestry.
 
Posted by Prester John (# 5502) on :
 
quote:

And yet millions of German-Americans went happily about their business during the war. What do you suppose made the difference?

This is what you stated in response to Barnabas' quote that interring based upon race was not justification to inter anyone. I pointed out that there were plenty of Germans, including US citizens who were interred. Moreover, according to the link I provided they considered similar treatment to Germans and Italians but couldn't - not because they didn't want to lock up white people - but because it was impractical considering the numbers involved.
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Dave W.:
quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
What is clear is that internment was applied to foreign nationals whose country was at war with the state practising internment.

62% of the 110,000-120,000 people of Japanese ancestry interned by the US were US citizens
Which I did know. The "round up" of "foreign nationals" was more based on national origins than present nationalised status. "Foreign national" was loosely applied in practice, often unjustly. All of that has to be seen in the post-Pearl-Harbour context, the political and public reactions. Internment is not a purist process. It certainly wasn't in the UK. I grew up knowing close family friends of my parents who emigrated to the UK from Germany in between the wars. Heard some internment stories from them. Many were not edifying.

quote:
Originally posted by Dave W.:
quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
Race and/or religion were not in themselves justification to inter anyone.

And yet millions of German-Americans went happily about their business during the war. What do you suppose made the difference?
Pearl Harbour.

[ 10. December 2016, 16:17: Message edited by: Barnabas62 ]
 
Posted by Dave W. (# 8765) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Prester John:
quote:
And yet millions of German-Americans went happily about their business during the war. What do you suppose made the difference?

This is what you stated in response to Barnabas' quote that interring based upon race was not justification to inter anyone. I pointed out that there were plenty of Germans, including US citizens who were interred.
"Plenty"? 11,000, of whom the the overwhelming majority were German nationals, vs. >100,000 (out of a much smaller population), of whom 62% were American citizens.
quote:
Moreover, according to the link I provided they considered similar treatment to Germans and Italians but couldn't - not because they didn't want to lock up white people - but because it was impractical considering the numbers involved.
That's not what your link says - it says they considered it, and that it would have been impractical. I don't believe for an instant that anyone would have considered treating German-Americans in a similar fashion, regardless of practicality.
quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
quote:
Originally posted by Dave W.:
quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
What is clear is that internment was applied to foreign nationals whose country was at war with the state practising internment.

62% of the 110,000-120,000 people of Japanese ancestry interned by the US were US citizens
Which I did know. The "round up" of "foreign nationals" was more based on national origins than present nationalised status. "Foreign national" was loosely applied in practice, often unjustly.
If by "loosely" you mean "in an obviously racist fashion", I wish you'd say so. Otherwise, I have to reject this characterization of US policy. The US is a nation of immigrants; if "foreign nationals" doesn't mean "citizens of a foreign country" but rather "sometimes US citizens too, depending on what they look like" it really doesn't mean anything.

After Pearl Harbor, the US immediately turned towards the European theater; but despite heavy loses there and even actual German espionage attacks in New York and Florida, nothing even remotely close to this treatment was applied to German-Americans.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Prester John:
quote:

And yet millions of German-Americans went happily about their business during the war. What do you suppose made the difference?

This is what you stated in response to Barnabas' quote that interring based upon race was not justification to inter anyone. I pointed out that there were plenty of Germans, including US citizens who were interred. Moreover, according to the link I provided they considered similar treatment to Germans and Italians but couldn't - not because they didn't want to lock up white people - but because it was impractical considering the numbers involved.
There were some German nationals interred, but there was not nearly the kind of focused campaign to get an entire group of people removed from public life and encarcerated with them as there was with Japanese Americans.

"Practical" or no, xenophobia was at the root of the campaign against the Japanese in the US. Germans had simply been a part of the New England European starter set from the 1700's, and therefore internment of German nationals happened more selectively. (You can see a blond kid or two in Lange's photos, but
note you have to really look for them. )

Most Americans no doubt had a faulty image of Japanese people as recent arrivals in the 1930's.( I certainly did.) This false belief coupled with the alarming activity of the Japanese army meant the European majority in the US could be talked into this idea that Japanese people were strategically immigrating in the service of increasing the Emperor's dominion. I remember arguing down this exact theory with an older relative in my teens.

Like I said, I thought early 20th century immigration was the beginning of Japanese history in America. Then I went to a little town called Pescadero, CA, and found a tiny section in the historic cemetery comprised of Japanese names. I assumed they were late arrival "coolie" workers and let it go. When I actually researched the matter, I discovered that at the time of the internment Pescadero had an established "Japan Town" that had been there since the early 180O's. They had come over on Italian and Portuguese commercial ships as crew mates, had stayed and established farms and businesses right alongside their European counterparts, and by the time of the internment had huge farms established and thriving, along with a one block stretch of downtown that had stores, a cultural society, and even a karate dojo.

Further research reveals a lot of the West Coast was like Pescadero, in terms of having second and third generation Japanese Americans at the time of the internment.

So, "there were too many American nationals among them " and "They were assimilated into the general population" should apply here, too-- only it didn't. The fact that all of the land and businesses left behind by the internees wound up in the hands of people of European descent gives a big hint why that was.

(A couple asides-- one of my peers once tried to convince me that Japanese internees were luckier than people with German names in WW2, because the Germans were unprotected from harassment. Hogwash.Yes, people harassed German Americans in WW2-- heck, my great grandmother hid her origins after she acquired an English surname--but Entemann's bakery still exists today, and I only have to drive 10 minutes to find a German restaurant that has been here since the 1800's. Japanese people had their houses, their livelihoods, and all of their contributions to American culture destroyed. I think the last one is the most shameful.

Also, something occurred to me as I kept typing this or that -American. You hear just about every combination- African American, Chinese American, Scottish, Irish, etc. In my entire life, I have never heard someone describe themselves as English American. Yes, that might be a colonial residue, but that only explains so much. It's like the default setting for American is British. Even when we were actual colonies that wasn't the case. But I think that hierarchy of "real Americans " has impacted a lot more than you might think.)

[ 11. December 2016, 00:11: Message edited by: Kelly Alves ]
 
Posted by mdijon (# 8520) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Kelly Alves:
Also, something occurred to me as I kept typing this or that -American. You hear just about every combination- African American, Chinese American, Scottish, Irish, etc. In my entire life, I have never heard someone describe themselves as English American.

That reminds me of a quote from that CIA film with Matt Damon - the Good Shepherd.


quote:
Joseph Palmi: Let me ask you something... we Italians, we got our families, and we got the church; the Irish, they have the homeland, Jews their tradition; even the niggers, they got their music. What about you people, Mr. Wilson, what do you have?

Edward Wilson: The United States of America. The rest of you are just visiting.


 
Posted by churchgeek (# 5557) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Lyda*Rose:
And not just where they were born but where their ancestors were born in the case of the Japanese-American citizens.

This quote from the web page in the OP is telling:
quote:


“The Japanese race is an enemy race and while many second and third generation Japanese born on American soil, possessed of American citizenship, have be come ‘Americanized,’ the racial strains are undiluted.

"…It, therefore, follows that along the vital Pacific Coast over 112,000 potential enemies, of Japanese extraction, are at large today. There are indications that these are organized and ready for concerted action at a favorable opportunity.

"The very fact that no sabotage has taken place to date is a disturbing and confirming indication that such action will be taken.”

— General John L. DeWitt, head of the U.S. Army’s Western Defense Command

That last part is mind-boggling: The fact that they haven't done anything yet is proof that they will?
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
Of course racism has a component part to play in visceral fear of the "other". And of course racism and antipathy towards folks from other countries are connected.

But I think you are misreading the history. The trigger in the USA was Pearl Harbour. In the UK the intensification of internment occurred after the end of the phony war. There was a response to real objective dangers from foreign powers. Some of that response went down prejudiced roads. That wasn't right.

But we weren't there. There is anachronism in applying the best values which exist today to the behaviour which occurred then and labelling that behaviour as motivated primarily by racism. Fear and self-preservation were in play.
 
Posted by Prester John (# 5502) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Kelly Alves:
[QB] There were some German nationals interred, but there was not nearly the kind of focused campaign to get an entire group of people removed from public life and encarcerated with them as there was with Japanese Americans.

"Practical" or no, xenophobia was at the root of the campaign against the Japanese in the US. Germans had simply been a part of the New England European starter set from the 1700's, and therefore internment of German nationals happened more selectively. (You can see a blond kid or two in Lange's photos, but
note you have to really look for them. )
[QB]

Note: I'm not quoting most of your post because I don't disagree with it, except the last paragraph which covers a topic a bit more complex than what you presented. Not that I'm accusing you of over-simplifying it.

I can tell you from my family's experience they didn't need to as much because that was already accomplished in WWI. My family was among the first settlers in Pennsylvania and had even served in the Continental Army in the Revolution. No matter. They still received backlash as primarily German speakers even though Germany had not even existed as a country when they came over. The country went through a spasm of anti-German fervor with place names being changed and incarcerations solely because of ethnicity. My great grandmother's generation was the last to speak their mother tongue. The government's job was mostly finished by the time WWII came. BTW- German immigration was mostly to the Mid-Atlantic states and the Midwest, not New England.

Sorry- can't get the code just right on your quote.
 
Posted by Dave W. (# 8765) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
Of course racism has a component part to play in visceral fear of the "other". And of course racism and antipathy towards folks from other countries are connected.

Oh FFS. They weren't "folks from other countries" - 62% were American citizens.
quote:
But we weren't there. There is anachronism in applying the best values which exist today to the behaviour which occurred then and labelling that behaviour as motivated primarily by racism. Fear and self-preservation were in play.

"The best values which exist today"? This is wrong on two counts. First, the internment isn't something done in the misty past by strange people whose motives we can't really comprehend; there are people alive now who lived through it. And second, excusing such things because of "fear" simply greases the skids for currently existing racists and bigots who will be more than happy to whip up the same reactions today.
 
Posted by Dave W. (# 8765) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Prester John:
The country went through a spasm of anti-German fervor with place names being changed and incarcerations solely because of ethnicity.

Do you have a reference for incarcerations of German-Americans solely because of ethnicity?
 
Posted by mousethief (# 953) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
But we weren't there. There is anachronism in applying the best values which exist today to the behaviour which occurred then and labelling that behaviour as motivated primarily by racism. Fear and self-preservation were in play.

Those same values existed then, and some were brave enough to say so.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:
quote:
Originally posted by Kelly Alves:
Also, something occurred to me as I kept typing this or that -American. You hear just about every combination- African American, Chinese American, Scottish, Irish, etc. In my entire life, I have never heard someone describe themselves as English American.

That reminds me of a quote from that CIA film with Matt Damon - the Good Shepherd.


quote:
Joseph Palmi: Let me ask you something... we Italians, we got our families, and we got the church; the Irish, they have the homeland, Jews their tradition; even the niggers, they got their music. What about you people, Mr. Wilson, what do you have?

Edward Wilson: The United States of America. The rest of you are just visiting.


Holy shit. [Disappointed]
 
Posted by Gramps49 (# 16378) on :
 
Mu father in law was a coast watcher in New Jersey during WWII. I remember him saying they were quite concerned German nationalists would try to signal German U-boats off the coast.

It is my impression, there was more danger from German nationalists on the East Coast than there was from any Nisei on the West Coast. It is my understanding only about nine Japanese subs were ever stationed along the West Coast with only one land attack from one of the subs near Santa Barbara-
 
Posted by RuthW (# 13) on :
 
This is anecdotal, but it illustrates the difference in how Americans with Japanese ancestry and those with German ancestry were treated. My family is entirely Russian Mennonite of German-Dutch extraction. My paternal grandfather was born here but spoke German at home, and my grandmother, born in Russia, mainly spoke German. During World War II, in California's San Joaquin Valley, they basically babysat a farm for a Japanese-American family who was interred -- they worked the farm, paid the taxes -- and saved enough money so that when the Japanese-American family returned to their farm, my grandparents were able to make the down payment on a farm of their own.

There were lots of German-speaking Mennonites in the San Joaquin Valley, people with their own churches and even their own schools. (Public school was okay for my dad and his sister to a point, but my grandparents scraped together the money for private Mennonite high school.) These were people who not only spoke the language of the enemy as their first language, they were pacifists, so they didn't fight in the war.

I know of just one relative who fought in World War II -- my grandmother's brother, who went from the U.S. to Germany and joined the army of a country he'd never even lived in to fight against Stalin, because he hated Stalin for the suffering the family had undergone in Russia in the 1920s. And yet no one came around to interview my grandmother and find out if she shared his views, never mind to round her up and inter her in a camp for the duration of the war.
 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Kelly Alves:
There were some German nationals interred, but there was not nearly the kind of focused campaign to get an entire group of people removed from public life and encarcerated with them as there was with Japanese Americans.

And a few Americans of German ancestry as well. The distinction is that they were all known Nazi sympathizers, active in organizations like the German American Bund. None of them were imprisoned solely because they were a member of "an enemy race" in the words of General DeWitt. (BTW, I'd contend that the concept of "an enemy race" is inherently racist, though others seem to disagree.)

quote:
Originally posted by Kelly Alves:
Most Americans no doubt had a faulty image of Japanese people as recent arrivals in the 1930's.( I certainly did.) This false belief coupled with the alarming activity of the Japanese army meant the European majority in the US could be talked into this idea that Japanese people were strategically immigrating in the service of increasing the Emperor's dominion. I remember arguing down this exact theory with an older relative in my teens.

Like I said, I thought early 20th century immigration was the beginning of Japanese history in America. Then I went to a little town called Pescadero, CA, and found a tiny section in the historic cemetery comprised of Japanese names. I assumed they were late arrival "coolie" workers and let it go. When I actually researched the matter, I discovered that at the time of the internment Pescadero had an established "Japan Town" that had been there since the early 1800's.

The Johnson-Reed Act essentially barred immigration from Japan (or anywhere else in Asia) in 1924, so anyone interred had been in the U.S. for at least 17 years.

quote:
Originally posted by Prester John:
I pointed out that there were plenty of Germans, including US citizens who were interred. Moreover, according to the link I provided they considered similar treatment to Germans and Italians but couldn't - not because they didn't want to lock up white people - but because it was impractical considering the numbers involved.

Doesn't this buy into the inherent racism of the argument? In practical terms the presence of several million ethnically German and Italian potential saboteurs and spies would seem like a much more serious problem than a hundred thousand or so ethnic Japanese, many of whom were children. The practical implications of letting these potential spies and saboteurs run loose would seem to dwarf any practical problems involved in imprisoning them all. The only reasonable explanation for the difference would be if Japanese-Americans were considered inherently more traitorous than German-Americans or Italian-Americans, which would seem to be a racist position.
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
Dave W

You misunderstand me. I am no apologist for internment, either historically or as a present possibility. Nor do I have any time for cynical playing on visceral fears as a means of driving through repressive policies. Racism and xenophobia do not produce these visceral fears, they are a consequence of them.

And the primary motivation for promoting internment was and is fear of the enemy within. That fear is always given wings by unexpected attacks. To clarify such fears as primarily racist or xenophobic seems to me to misunderstand them. Of course YMMV but I think that is the only real difference between us.
 
Posted by Dave W. (# 8765) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
Dave W

You misunderstand me. I am no apologist for internment, either historically or as a present possibility. Nor do I have any time for cynical playing on visceral fears as a means of driving through repressive policies. Racism and xenophobia do not produce these visceral fears, they are a consequence of them.

And the primary motivation for promoting internment was and is fear of the enemy within. That fear is always given wings by unexpected attacks. To clarify such fears as primarily racist or xenophobic seems to me to misunderstand them. Of course YMMV but I think that is the only real difference between us.

I disagree strongly with this. Anti-asian racism and xenophobia were not caused by the attack on Pearl Harbor; the US had a long history of these attitudes, and I think the differential treatment of German-Americans and Japanese-Americans is a clear illustration of that.

Recall the quote from General DeWitt:
quote:
The Japanese race is an enemy race and while many second and third generation Japanese born on American soil, possessed of American citizenship, have be come ‘Americanized,’ the racial strains are undiluted.
I do not believe for a moment that DeWitt suddenly came to this view when he heard about Pearl Harbor.

I appreciate that you condone neither racism nor internment, but I think statements like these:
quote:
What is clear is that internment was applied to foreign nationals[sic] whose country was at war with the state practising internment. Race and/or religion were not in themselves justification to inter anyone.

What also remains as a bottom line is that a nation state has the right of self defence. The paradox is that it may see the need to reduce civil rights for safety reasons.[sic]

quote:
There is anachronism in applying the best values which exist today to the behaviour which occurred then and labelling that behaviour as motivated primarily by racism.
surrender far too much ground to the bigots who somehow never feel existentially threatened except by ethnic minorities, and drastically underestimate the effects of bigotry and racism; this is particularly dangerous at a time when the president-elect is about to name a national security adviser who has claimed that Arabic signs were present along the United States border with Mexico to guide potential state-sponsored terrorists and "radicalized Muslims" into the United States.

It's morally dangerous to say it's anachronistic to decry mid-20th century racism during wartime because people were afraid back then. People are afraid now, and will be afraid in the coming months and years when the next San Bernardino or Orlando happens, as it inevitably will; in such circumstances, why would we hold ourselves to any higher standard than that which we would apply to our parents' generation?
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
I never said Pearl Harbour was the only trigger. Fear of those who are different and are perceived as threatening is instinctive, atavistic, reaching back into genetic survival selection. It manifests itself as prejudice, basically a pre-judging of a threat, based on surface characteristics. Some of that is appearance based, some relates to perception of aggression. We are born from an ancestry which survived such threats from other species, other tribes. It's part of the human condition.

We are right to say such fears can be met by reason, and therefore the essential irrationality of prejudices can be countered by appeals to reason. We can learn to be fairer in our assessment of threats, better at controlling instinctive fears.

But that becomes harder after traumatic events - Pearl Harbour, 9/11 for example - because the news feeds the fear, gives credence to pre-judging prejudices.

I'm not saying this is the only way to look at prejudices such as racism or xenophobia, nor does it represent a complete analysis of their pathology. Some folks seem to need a superior position in a pecking order in order to feel secure. There is probably instinctive behaviour in play there as well.

But I think it is more constructive to look at the underlying pathology rather than just use the labels. The question 'what are you afraid of' opens up doors for dialogue in a way that assertions of prejudice do not.

That can help a lot in any discussions about either the morality or the pragmatic value of internment. To turn Trump on his head, why don't we figure out what the Hell is going on before we give any serious consideration to restricting or violating the civil rights of those who are perceived as different?
 
Posted by Dave W. (# 8765) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
I never said Pearl Harbour was the only trigger.

This is just too cute. I asked why there was a difference between the treatment of German-Americans and Japanese-Americans; your two word answer was "Pearl Harbor".
quote:
But I think it is more constructive to look at the underlying pathology rather than just use the labels. The question 'what are you afraid of' opens up doors for dialogue in a way that assertions of prejudice do not.
To the extent that this thread is about Manzanar, I don't think you're going to be having many constructive dialogues with General DeWitt.
quote:
That can help a lot in any discussions about either the morality or the pragmatic value of internment. To turn Trump on his head, why don't we figure out what the Hell is going on before we give any serious consideration to restricting or violating the civil rights of those who are perceived as different?
I don't believe that discussions of the morality or pragmatic value of internment are well served by inaccurate representations of what actually happened. They weren't "foreign nationals"; there weren't "safety reasons" for imprisoning 100,000 people; criticism of mid 20th century racism isn't an "anachronism".

You speak of wanting to look at the "underlying pathology", but it seems to me that by de-emphasizing the underlying racism you're looking away from it. It's not pathological to be afraid of real threats; it's pathological to be afraid and then say
quote:
The Japanese race is an enemy race and while many second and third generation Japanese born on American soil, possessed of American citizenship, have be come ‘Americanized,’ the racial strains are undiluted.
This wasn't just the immediate reaction of some frightened powerless citizen; this was, essentially, a statement of US government policy from the general in charge of imprisoning a hundred thousand people. There are people today who look at that action and see behavior to be emulated; I think it's important to be clear and accurate in condemning it.
 
Posted by Albertus (# 13356) on :
 
I don't know the details of all this, but given that the Japanese had attacked US territory, which the Germans and Italians hadn't, a certain amount of panic by the US authorities- they got half way across the Pacific, maybe California's next- might have been understandable. And if I had been in charge of the US's West Coast defences in 1941-2, I wouldn't have taken any chances about possible collaborators in the possible event of a Japanese landing, any more than I would have taken chances with German and Italian Britons if I had been in charge of UK defences in 1940. The practice of how possible enemy aliens were interned is one thing: the principle of it, in wartime, is I think unexceptionable.

[ 11. December 2016, 16:04: Message edited by: Albertus ]
 
Posted by RuthW (# 13) on :
 
The notion that the attack on Pearl Harbor meant that Japanese-Americans presented a greater danger than German-Americans ignores threats such as the Duquesne Nazi spy ring, Operation Pastorius, and the U-boats that ranged up and down the east coast -- here is a map of where U-boats were sunk along the east coast.

Moreover, talking about what Americans did to Japanese-Americans and didn't do to German-Americans without any reference to cultural context guarantees a wrong-headed conclusion.
 
Posted by Kaplan Corday (# 16119) on :
 
Pedantry alert.

There is a difference between inter/interment and intern/internment, unless the former is being used metaphorically.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
Wow, I had to scroll and scroll to find the one typo you were talking about.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Albertus:
I don't know the details of all this, but given that the Japanese had attacked US territory, which the Germans and Italians hadn't, a certain amount of panic by the US authorities- they got half way across the Pacific, maybe California's next- might have been understandable. And if I had been in charge of the US's West Coast defences in 1941-2, I wouldn't have taken any chances about possible collaborators in the possible event of a Japanese landing, any more than I would have taken chances with German and Italian Britons if I had been in charge of UK defences in 1940. The practice of how possible enemy aliens were interned is one thing: the principle of it, in wartime, is I think unexceptionable.

Speaking in the most cold blooded terms, the most practical reason for targeting Japanese Americans over German Americans was not that one group was more of a threat than the other, but one group was more easily identified in a crowd.
 
Posted by Albertus (# 13356) on :
 
Could be, could well be. After all, who's to say just how German someone called Schmidt was?
Occurs to me there's another practical reason for internment: in the event of an invasion, you, as the defenders, can really do without having to be constantly trying to work out whether people who look and maybe sound like the enemy are on your side or not. Better to have them out of the way. So, not a pleasant thing, but then war's not a pleasant thing.
 
Posted by Albertus (# 13356) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by RuthW:
The notion that the attack on Pearl Harbor meant that Japanese-Americans presented a greater danger than German-Americans ignores threats such as the Duquesne Nazi spy ring, Operation Pastorius, and the U-boats that ranged up and down the east coast -- here is a map of where U-boats were sunk along the east coast.

Moreover, talking about what Americans did to Japanese-Americans and didn't do to German-Americans without any reference to cultural context guarantees a wrong-headed conclusion.

Yes, OK. So consider the cultural context, but also consider what was believed at the time, don't fall into the trap of thinking that a spy ring and enemy submarines operating off your coast is quite the same kind of threat as the perceived threat of an invasion, and don't go back-plotting early C21 attitudes on the mid-C20.
 
Posted by RuthW (# 13) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Albertus:
So consider the cultural context, but also consider what was believed at the time,

What was believed at the time was that the Japanese were an entirely different race from us white Americans, and the Germans weren't.

quote:
don't fall into the trap of thinking that a spy ring and enemy submarines operating off your coast is quite the same kind of threat as the perceived threat of an invasion,
A real spy ring and real enemy submarines are less serious than a perceived threat of invasion?

quote:
and don't go back-plotting early C21 attitudes on the mid-C20.
What contemporary attitudes am I projecting back onto the mid-20th century?
 
Posted by Dave W. (# 8765) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Albertus:
The practice of how possible enemy aliens were interned is one thing: the principle of it, in wartime, is I think unexceptionable.

Oh for fucks sake, how many times does it have to be said? Most of them were US citizens.
 
Posted by Albertus (# 13356) on :
 
Back-plotting early C21 sensitivities about race and culture, and also (tho' I didn't say this) hindsight about the reality of the threat of invasion. Military history is full of decisions which with hindsight one might not have taken. Perfectly understandable for the US authorities, especially on the west coast, to intern Japanese Americans, as it was for any belligerent nation to intern people who were or might be associated with one of its enemies.

[ 11. December 2016, 21:38: Message edited by: Albertus ]
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Dave W.:
quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
I never said Pearl Harbour was the only trigger.

This is just too cute. I asked why there was a difference between the treatment of German-Americans and Japanese-Americans; your two word answer was "Pearl Harbor".
There isn't a contradiction between pointing to a primary trigger and also observing that it wan't the only trigger in play.

Do you really believe there was no direct connection between Pearl Harbour and the introduction of Japanese internment? Of course you are right about pre-existing racist attitudes towards Japanese, but that surely wasn't the proximate cause of the internment moves.

I don't think I'm being cute in observing that the Pearl Harbour event was a key differential.

quote:
To the extent that this thread is about Manzanar, I don't think you're going to be having many constructive dialogues with General DeWitt.
.

Obviously not, but the OP wasn't just about the history, it was about the present dangerous attraction of some kind of neo-internment, and the hope that "Never Again". Any dialogue has to be with today's fearful and the dangerous connection between between fear and prejudice.

Let me repeat. Whatever justification may have been found for internment when a state of war existed between two nations, and however that may have been influenced by pre-existing racism or xenophobia, none of that justifies taking repressive action against people on the grounds of religion or race.

I'm not ducking anything. I'm not denying pre-existing racism. I'm simply disagreeing that pre-existing racism was the sole reason for the introduction of the policies and practices of Japanese internment.

And I can't for the life of me see how saying something which most WW2 historians would find unexceptional provides any kind of aid, comfort, or fig-leaf for those who would like to introduce some kind of neo-internment policy against Muslims.
 
Posted by RuthW (# 13) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Albertus:
Back-plotting early C21 sensitivities about race and culture,

I'm pointing that they obviously didn't share early c21 sensitivities about race and culture, at least with regard to Japanese-Americans -- that was the problem!

quote:
and also (tho' I didn't say this) hindsight about the reality of the threat of invasion. Military history is full of decisions which with hindsight one might not have taken. Perfectly understandable for the US authorities, especially on the west coast, to intern Japanese Americans, as it was for any belligerent nation to intern people who were or might be associated with one of its enemies.
This was not a local decision. This was an executive order by President Roosevelt. The commission created in the 1980s -- only 40 years after the internments -- to investigate whether the internment was justified concluded that it was not justified and that it was motivated by racism, and the US government apologized and paid reparations. Scholars think that the internment was motivated by racism; you can read this to see how it worked.

I am shocked by the casual dismissal of the right of citizens in their own country to be safe and free and the apparent disregard of the importance of due process of law. Manzanar and the other internment sites were designated as historical landmarks so that we would remember how badly the nation failed.
 
Posted by Albertus (# 13356) on :
 
I don't know whether or not due legislative process was followed, so I'll take your word that it wasn't: and of course it should have been. But that doesn't make internment, per se, exceptionable. And I'd have thought that the right of - most- citizens to be free and safe in their own country was exactly what internment might be trying to protect. I say again: wars are horrible, unpleasant things get done, people in charge in scary times do things that hindsight might deem unnecessary and that their nice sensitive liberal diversity-loving great-grandchildren living in peacetime might not like.
 
Posted by mousethief (# 953) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Albertus:
I don't know whether or not due legislative process was followed, so I'll take your word that it wasn't:

Legislative ain't the issue. Was due JUDICIAL process followed? In this country we're not supposed to lock people up without trial. Ex Post Facto and all that.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Albertus:
I don't know whether or not due legislative process was followed, so I'll take your word that it wasn't: and of course it should have been. But that doesn't make internment, per se, exceptionable. And I'd have thought that the right of - most- citizens to be free and safe in their own country was exactly what internment might be trying to protect. I say again: wars are horrible, unpleasant things get done, people in charge in scary times do things that hindsight might deem unnecessary and that their nice sensitive liberal diversity-loving great-grandchildren living in peacetime might not like.

First of all, at one point segregation wasn't "exceptional" in the US, so I don't see how the rare or commonplace nature of an injustice makes a bit of difference.

Second of all, if I am living in a country where people can be deprived of their property, livelihood, and freedom for something as arbitrary as the content of their DNA, then I am not free and safe in my own country.

[ 11. December 2016, 22:41: Message edited by: Kelly Alves ]
 
Posted by mousethief (# 953) on :
 
Sorry, not Ex Post Facto but Habeas Corpus. Ooops.
 
Posted by Gramps49 (# 16378) on :
 
The Supreme Court did review the internment issue in at least two cases. The majority decided to defer to Congress in that it was considered a military action.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korematsu_v._United_States
 
Posted by mousethief (# 953) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Gramps49:
The Supreme Court did review the internment issue in at least two cases. The majority decided to defer to Congress in that it was considered a military action.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korematsu_v._United_States

That's a chilling precedent given what's happening in our country right now. If the military is able to abrogate our freedoms because it's the military, we could be very seriously screwed.
 
Posted by Dave W. (# 8765) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
quote:
Originally posted by Dave W.:
quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
I never said Pearl Harbour was the only trigger.

This is just too cute. I asked why there was a difference between the treatment of German-Americans and Japanese-Americans; your two word answer was "Pearl Harbor".
There isn't a contradiction between pointing to a primary trigger and also observing that it wan't the only trigger in play.

Do you really believe there was no direct connection between Pearl Harbour and the introduction of Japanese internment?

You weren't "observing" anything of the sort. That was your answer for why Japanese-Americans were treated differently. I think there's a good chance the internment would have been carried out no matter how the war started. It wasn't Pearl Harbor that convinced General DeWitt that the entire Japanese race was an enemy race.
quote:
And I can't for the life of me see how saying something which most WW2 historians would find unexceptional provides any kind of aid, comfort, or fig-leaf for those who would like to introduce some kind of neo-internment policy against Muslims.

I believe I've already explained my objections to your statements as clearly as I can in a previous post when I said
quote:
I don't believe that discussions of the morality or pragmatic value of internment are well served by inaccurate representations of what actually happened. They weren't "foreign nationals"; there weren't "safety reasons" for imprisoning 100,000 people; criticism of mid 20th century racism isn't an "anachronism".
All three of these points seriously mischaracterize the internment. To the extent that you believe sober reflection on past actions can be a helpful guide to improved future conduct, these kinds of errors are hardly helpful.

As for Albertus:
quote:
people in charge in scary times do things that hindsight might deem unnecessary and that their nice sensitive liberal diversity-loving great-grandchildren living in peacetime might not like.
Your deep respect for human rights is noted. Perhaps the authorities in your country will someday have need for someone with such a ... pragmatic view of them.
 
Posted by Kaplan Corday (# 16119) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Gramps49:
The act of being present in the United States in violation of the immigration laws is not, standing alone, a crime. While federal immigration law does criminalize some actions that may be related to undocumented presence in the United States, undocumented presence alone is not a violation of federal criminal law.

The term "illegal" appears to be a contested one in this context, but AIUI, "improper entry" (eg entry via an undesignated point, or by fake documentation) can be a prosecutable civil violation, or convictable crime punishable with fine or imprisonment, and it is difficult to imagine how "undocumented presence" could come about in any other way (except perhaps for those who have managed to enter without documentation in the process of claiming refugee status, and have taken their claim to the relevant authorities).

Whether or not the rounding up and internment of such people is moral, proportionate or practicable is, of course, another question, but they are clearly in a different category from those who were incarcerated (justifiably or not) during wartime simply on the basis of their national or ethnic identification with an enemy country.
 
Posted by mdijon (# 8520) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
Pedantry alert.

There is a difference between inter/interment and intern/internment, unless the former is being used metaphorically.

A less pedantic difference is the difference between locking up someone because they promote violent fascism and locking them up because their parents were born in Japan.
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Dave W.:

I think there's a good chance the internment would have been carried out no matter how the war started.

Agreed. But what happened was that Pearl Harbour did trigger the declaration of war and the declaration of war triggered internment. That is an historically accepted sequence. Pearl Harbour was a proximate cause. The primary trigger.

The underlying racism had a lot to say about the way internment was pursued. Including the internment of US citizens of Japanese ancestry.
quote:
It wasn't Pearl Harbor that convinced General DeWitt that the entire Japanese race was an enemy race.

Agreed.General DeWitt was a racist.

Key quote.
quote:
A report by General DeWitt and Colonel Bendetsen depicting racist bias against Japanese Americans was circulated and then hastily redacted in 1943 and 1944. The report stated flatly that, because of their race, it was impossible to determine the loyalty of Japanese Americans, thus necessitating internment.
I had a look at the Supreme Court rulings


(link repeated).


I think Justice Roberts' dissent is right on the money. It does not of itself invalidate a process of internment judged necessary for genuine military or security reasons. But it refuses to justify a violation of constitutional rights in the pursuit of that process.
 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Albertus:
And if I had been in charge of the US's West Coast defences in 1941-2, I wouldn't have taken any chances about possible collaborators in the possible event of a Japanese landing, any more than I would have taken chances with German and Italian Britons if I had been in charge of UK defences in 1940.

Yes, it might well have been disastrous to have an ethnic German making high-level military decisions in the European theatre. Good thing that was avoided! [Roll Eyes]

quote:
Originally posted by Albertus:
The practice of how possible enemy [citizens] were interned is one thing: the principle of it, in wartime, is I think unexceptionable.

Fixed that for you. There must be some auto-correct bug going around that changes "citizens" to "aliens". Seems quite pervasive for some reason.

quote:
Originally posted by Albertus:
Back-plotting early C21 sensitivities about race and culture, . . .

The interesting thing about this argument is how often it's made by those who decry "moral relativism" in any other context. It's also very selective. No one gives the Nazis (to cite a contemporary example) a pass because they shouldn't be expected to hold "early C21 sensitivities about race and culture".
 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
The term "illegal" appears to be a contested one in this context, but AIUI, "improper entry" (eg entry via an undesignated point, or by fake documentation) can be a prosecutable civil violation, or convictable crime punishable with fine or imprisonment, and it is difficult to imagine how "undocumented presence" could come about in any other way (except perhaps for those who have managed to enter without documentation in the process of claiming refugee status, and have taken their claim to the relevant authorities).

You lack imagination. One of the most common forms of undocumented presence is to enter the U.S. legally (on a tourist visa or similar) and simply overstay the time allotted to your visa.
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
The distinction between citizens and non-citizens doesn't validate, or invalidate, all the rights under the constitution of persons living in the US.

Loads of links of various age can be found on line about this issue.

Here is one.

In the context of internment, the key right is probably "due process".
 
Posted by Albertus (# 13356) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Kelly Alves:
quote:
Originally posted by Albertus:
I don't know whether or not due legislative process was followed, so I'll take your word that it wasn't: and of course it should have been. But that doesn't make internment, per se, exceptionable. And I'd have thought that the right of - most- citizens to be free and safe in their own country was exactly what internment might be trying to protect. I say again: wars are horrible, unpleasant things get done, people in charge in scary times do things that hindsight might deem unnecessary and that their nice sensitive liberal diversity-loving great-grandchildren living in peacetime might not like.

First of all, at one point segregation wasn't "exceptional" in the US, so I don't see how the rare or commonplace nature of an injustice makes a bit of difference.
...

Exceptionable, not exceptional. Different word.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
Perhaps I was subconsciously trying to give you the benefit of the doubt.
 
Posted by Albertus (# 13356) on :
 
Easily misread when reading quickly.
 
Posted by Albertus (# 13356) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
..

quote:
Originally posted by Albertus:
The practice of how possible enemy [citizens] were interned is one thing: the principle of it, in wartime, is I think unexceptionable.

Fixed that for you. There must be some auto-correct bug going around that changes "citizens" to "aliens". Seems quite pervasive for some reason.


Of course. these were not enemy citizens, or enemy aliens, were they- they were US citizens of Japanese extraction. I think most of those interned in Britain were actually German or Italian citizens, though perhaps some of them may not have been. Still, in the circumstances, it must have been difficult to know who to trust. If there had been- which AFAIK there wasn't- a community of Japanese citizens of non-Japanese US origin living in Japan, I wonder where the US Government wwould havee expected their loyalties to lie, and whether it wwould have sought to recruit a fifth column from among them? (I think if I'd been in the OSS or whatever it was called at the time and I knew of such a community, I'd have seen it as my duty to try to get them working for me.)
 
Posted by mousethief (# 953) on :
 
Which nations in the 20th century had sizeable (not onesy-twosy) internments of their own citizens (while not in a state of civil war)? I'm thinking of three. The USSR, Nazi Germany, and the USA. Who'd I leave out?

[ 12. December 2016, 21:23: Message edited by: mousethief ]
 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
Which nations in the 20th century had sizeable (not onesy-twosy) internments of their own citizens (while not in a state of civil war)? I'm thinking of three. The USSR, Nazi Germany, and the USA. Who'd I leave out?

Does action in colonial possessions count? Because if it does you can add the British Empire to the list. [Dis]Honorable mention at least is due for inventing both the term and idea for concentration camps.
 
Posted by mousethief (# 953) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
Which nations in the 20th century had sizeable (not onesy-twosy) internments of their own citizens (while not in a state of civil war)? I'm thinking of three. The USSR, Nazi Germany, and the USA. Who'd I leave out?

Does action in colonial possessions count? Because if it does you can add the British Empire to the list. [Dis]Honorable mention at least is due for inventing both the term and idea for concentration camps.
I don't think the Brits ever thought of the Indians as Brits. Let alone the Boers.

[ 12. December 2016, 21:34: Message edited by: mousethief ]
 
Posted by Albertus (# 13356) on :
 
Actually, didn't the Spanish invent concentration camps, in Cuba? And then of course this particular thign is muddied by the confusion (fostered by the Nazis? don't know) between the British/ Spanish concentration camps (undoubtedly nasty places in which a lot of people were herded together and allowed, quite possibly entirely foreseeably, to die) and the Nazi extermination camps (even nastier places to which people were herded explicitly in order to be killed). Indians- well, they were British subjects, certainly, in some senses at elast- e.g. the two or three who became British MPs in the late C19/ eraly C20. I imagine class trumped ethnicity to some extent in those cases. The Boers in the concentration camps were AIUI citizens of the Transvaal or the Orange Free State republics, and so enemy aliens or inhabitants of conquered territory.
Mind you, one can see why the Americans are making such a fuss about the Japanese internment. Gives you something to focus on, because if you had to be open to the whole gamut of (much less understandable) hardship/injustice to other ethnicities upon which the USA was grounded, you'd just give up, I suppose.

[ 12. December 2016, 21:47: Message edited by: Albertus ]
 
Posted by RuthW (# 13) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Albertus:
Mind you, one can see why the Americans are making such a fuss about the Japanese internment. Gives you something to focus on, because if you had to be open to the whole gamut of (much less understandable) hardship/injustice to other ethnicities upon which the USA was grounded, you'd just give up, I suppose.

This American is making a fuss about the internment of Japanese Americans on this particular thread because its title is "Manzanar" and because this particular injustice is being cited as precedent for a national registry of all Muslims: Washington Post article.

If you want to discuss slavery in the US and the slaughter of Native Americans, the theft of their land, and the attempts to wipe out their languages and culture, feel free to start threads on those subjects.
 
Posted by Dave W. (# 8765) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
quote:
Originally posted by Dave W.:

I think there's a good chance the internment would have been carried out no matter how the war started.

Agreed.
If the internment would likely have happened regardless of how the war started, then Pearl Harbor can't have been the reason why Japanese-Americans were treated differently from German-Americans. The US was at war with both Japan and Germany, and yet nobody dispossessed my family and hauled them off to a prison camp in the desert, despite my grandparents' thick German accents and my grandmother's brother leaving the US to join the Wehrmacht and closing his letters home with "Heil Hitler".
 
Posted by Kaplan Corday (# 16119) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
Which nations in the 20th century had sizeable (not onesy-twosy) internments of their own citizens (while not in a state of civil war)? I'm thinking of three. The USSR, Nazi Germany, and the USA. Who'd I leave out?

Ottoman Empire, China, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, just off the top of my head.

Aggression launched against a minority by a government-led majority is not necessarily the same as civil war.
 
Posted by Kaplan Corday (# 16119) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
The term "illegal" appears to be a contested one in this context, but AIUI, "improper entry" (eg entry via an undesignated point, or by fake documentation) can be a prosecutable civil violation, or convictable crime punishable with fine or imprisonment, and it is difficult to imagine how "undocumented presence" could come about in any other way (except perhaps for those who have managed to enter without documentation in the process of claiming refugee status, and have taken their claim to the relevant authorities).

You lack imagination. One of the most common forms of undocumented presence is to enter the U.S. legally (on a tourist visa or similar) and simply overstay the time allotted to your visa.
Enough imagination to suspect that the occasional overstayer on a lapsed tourist visa is far from the central issue in this area.

Concern over a substantial minority of unregisterd or misregistered inhabitants is a legitimate worry for any nation state, and is scarcely peculiar to the US.

Back in the eighties I was working in India when Indira Gandhi was assassinated, and the government reversed its policy that members of Commonwealth countries did not need visas to live and work in India.

There was some inconvenience as hordes of us emerged from the woodwork to register at Collectors' offices across the country, but it never occurred to me to think that India did not have the right to demand it.

[ 13. December 2016, 04:08: Message edited by: Kaplan Corday ]
 
Posted by Kaplan Corday (# 16119) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:
quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
Pedantry alert.

There is a difference between inter/interment and intern/internment, unless the former is being used metaphorically.

A less pedantic difference is the difference between locking up someone because they promote violent fascism and locking them up because their parents were born in Japan.
If by "violent fascism" you are referring to Mosley. then yes, he was a thoroughly unpleasant person, but there is no evidence AFAIK that he was a traitor.

He was anti-Semitic, he admired what Hitler had accomplished, and he believed in a accommodation with Germany, but there were many on the Allied side who shared these attitudes but were not interned.

He was swept up on the same basis as were the Japanese Americans - just in case.

In retrospect, such panicky overreactions were unnecessary and wrong, and it is tempting for us to sanctimoniously judge them, but then we are in the comfortable situation of knowing how the war was going to turn out, and those at the time did not.
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
Dave W


Which doesn't change the fact that Pearl Harbour was the proximate cause. There was no Pearl Harbour equivalent so far as US/Germany was concerned.

I've looked at Roosevelt's Executive Order and Public Law 503 (which raced through Congress). Those documents formed the basis of the Japanese internment policy and practice. I don't like them any more than you do. But to argue that Pearl Harbour was the proximate cause of those documents is hardly a piece of historical speculation. It's obviously the case.

It was a traumatic event leading to a draconian internment policy. The event generated outrage and hatred. Which opened the door to the subsequent racism, based no doubt on prior prejudices.

I'm sure we must be at cross purposes. This is just WW2 history as I learned it. Including the iniquities of Japanese internment, which were not news to me. Clearly my brief 'Pearl Harbour' response was too brief and misled you about my more detailed understanding of the sequences of events. I apologise for that. I thought I was making an obvious point, not a contentious one.

[ 13. December 2016, 04:46: Message edited by: Barnabas62 ]
 
Posted by mdijon (# 8520) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
He was swept up on the same basis as were the Japanese Americans - just in case.

The phrase "just in case" really doesn't cover enough detail to justify "the same basis".

quote:
In your own words:
He was anti-Semitic, he admired what Hitler had accomplished, and he believed in a accommodation with Germany, but there were many on the Allied side who shared these attitudes but were not interned.

That really isn't the same basis as having a Japanese father.

This can only be "the same basis" if you think that the danger posed by one's ethnic heritage is morally equivalent to that posed by whole hearted public advocacy and mobilization in favour of fascism.

[ 13. December 2016, 04:59: Message edited by: mdijon ]
 
Posted by Dave W. (# 8765) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
In retrospect, such panicky overreactions were unnecessary and wrong, and it is tempting for us to sanctimoniously judge them, but then we are in the comfortable situation of knowing how the war was going to turn out, and those at the time did not.

You think only in retrospect could someone see this:
quote:
The Japanese race is an enemy race and while many second and third generation Japanese born on American soil, possessed of American citizenship, have be come ‘Americanized,’ the racial strains are undiluted.
as a questionable basis for imprisoning 100,000 people?

Barnabas -

Thanks for the helpful information - news to me, of course! - that US entry into the war was precipitated by the raid on Pearl Harbor, and that this actually occurred before, not after, the internment order. And yet ... you already agreed the internment would probably have happened however the war started, so I still don't think your invocation of Pearl Harbor is particularly compelling as an explanation of the drastic difference in how German-Americans and Japanese-Americans were treated.

You entered the thread by saying "internment was applied to foreign nationals" "for safety reasons", then attempted to defend that mis-characterization by saying ""Foreign national" was loosely applied in practice", and followed up by warning against the "anachronism" of criticizing mid-20C racism. I really don't think I would describe these statements as reflecting a detailed understanding of the issues we're discussing.
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
Fair enough. My initial entry to the thread was unfortunate. Foreign nationals was a term more in use in the German internments in the UK. It was also loosely applied in the UK. Churchill's phrase was 'collar the lot'. The justification for 'collaring the lot' was not racist, but a kind of safety first approach to spying and subversion risks.

I didn't take sufficient account of the much sharper race issue in the US. At the time I was focusing more on the present issue. Is internment ever justified and if so under what circumstances and with what controls? This discussion persuades me that even if there is a formal declaration of war, the racist and xenophobic excesses of previous internments should never be repeated.

Croesos and you are both right. Some of us from across the pond haven't helped by being unclear about citizenship, particularly in the US constitutional context. But I think I want to go further and say that denial of due process to foreign nationals without evidence of security or military risk is also wrong in principle. You can't just intern people, any people, on the grounds that they 'might do something wrong'.

Nor does such suspicion justify the creation of some kind of selective register of people. That Trumpism basically stinks of discrimination on grounds of prejudice.

[ 13. December 2016, 12:59: Message edited by: Barnabas62 ]
 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
The term "illegal" appears to be a contested one in this context, but AIUI, "improper entry" (eg entry via an undesignated point, or by fake documentation) can be a prosecutable civil violation, or convictable crime punishable with fine or imprisonment, and it is difficult to imagine how "undocumented presence" could come about in any other way (except perhaps for those who have managed to enter without documentation in the process of claiming refugee status, and have taken their claim to the relevant authorities).

You lack imagination. One of the most common forms of undocumented presence is to enter the U.S. legally (on a tourist visa or similar) and simply overstay the time allotted to your visa.
Enough imagination to suspect that the occasional overstayer on a lapsed tourist visa is far from the central issue in this area.
How far? Since legal-entry-but-illegal-presence applies to (as best as anyone can tell) somewhere between a third and half of undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. I'd say it's pretty close to the central issue in this area. YMMV, but something more than a general handwave and vague suspicions would seem in order for such a sizable contributing factor.

[ 13. December 2016, 16:17: Message edited by: Crœsos ]
 
Posted by Lyda*Rose (# 4544) on :
 
And in the present situation, what about minors brought to the US by their parents and relatives? Do they deserve to be imprisoned?
 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Lyda*Rose:
And in the present situation, what about minors brought to the US by their parents and relatives? Do they deserve to be imprisoned?

According to the logic of internment, yes. George Takei, probably the most famous internee, was only five years old when he was sent to the camps. (No doubt the result of an unexceptionable and perfectly reasonable wartime concern about kindergarten saboteurs.)
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Albertus:
Easily misread when reading quickly.

How magnanimous of you.

Couple questions, though, if discoursing with a mere Bachelor of Arts is not too tiresome for you- one, what do you make of the bit you trimmed off of the post you corrected--the idea that I am not free or safe under a government that locks people up for being a certain race?

Two, how does the idea of "being judgmental" to past generations come into play when we're being called in the actual present to use our judgment about the impact of the internment when in the actual present a political official floats the idea of doing it again?
 
Posted by mousethief (# 953) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
It was a traumatic event leading to a draconian internment policy. The event generated outrage and hatred. Which opened the door to the subsequent racism, based no doubt on prior prejudices.

The hatred and racism were already there. Perhaps nobody has said that so far in this thread, or perhaps you missed it.
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
That's what I meant by 'based no doubt on prior prejudices'. Pearl Harbour lit the blue touch paper, provided an arguable basis for internment, and let the 'racist and xenophobic genies' out of the bottle.
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
That's what I meant by 'based no doubt on prior prejudices'. Pearl Harbour lit the blue touch paper, provided an arguable basis for internment, and let the 'racist and xenophobic genies' out of the bottle.

I agree that Pearl Harbor provided the excuse. It is interesting that German sabotage on US soils did not result in as severe treatment. Whilst German Nationals and some German Americans were indeed imprisoned, it was at a far lesser rate and with more due process.
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
I guess it shows the power of the stereotype, lilBuddha. "Enemies" and "different tribes" need to be readily identifiable. By skin colour, dress code, distinctive culture.

When does an understandable desire for safety and security become racist or xenophobic? The obvious answer is when we refuse to grant those perceived as dangerous or threatening the same respect under the law as we would expect for ourselves if we were perceived as risky. And there are risks for us all if we don't recognise that.

First they came for ...
 
Posted by Kaplan Corday (# 16119) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:
quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
He was swept up on the same basis as were the Japanese Americans - just in case.

The phrase "just in case" really doesn't cover enough detail to justify "the same basis".

There was no more evidence that Mosley intended to betray his country (sabotage, espionage, fifth column, whatever) than there was that Japanese American citizens intended to betray theirs.

[ 14. December 2016, 10:07: Message edited by: Kaplan Corday ]
 
Posted by Kaplan Corday (# 16119) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
legal-entry-but-illegal-presence applies to (as best as anyone can tell) somewhere between a third and half of undocumented immigrants living in the U.S.

Even if overstayers constitute 40% of the total, the fact remains that there are 11 million unauthorised migrants in the country, which is a perfectly legitimate concern.

What is not legitimate is to claim that they are all involved in terrorism or crime, or to profile them ethnically or religiously, or to intern them.
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
@ KC re Mosley

Possibly, possibly not. His political activities did provide reasonable grounds for both suspicion and some security investigation. I'm not sure if all the information related to that is yet in the public domain. He was well connected.

(edited for cross post)

[ 14. December 2016, 10:23: Message edited by: Barnabas62 ]
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:

What is not legitimate is to claim that they are all involved in terrorism or crime, or to profile them ethnically or religiously, or to intern them.

So far as that point is concerned, there appears to be general agreement on the thread.

quote:
And from Gramps' OP
I hope it does not come to this. I wish I could say Never Again

Wishing wont necessarily cut it. Given the aggressive appointments and noises coming out of the fast-forming (not to say fascist-leaning) Trump regime, there is a a case for responding to the Niemoller warning about the dangers of inactivity.

Speaking of fascist-leaning ...

(Which I think deserves an airing in the Election aftermath thread).

[ 14. December 2016, 10:36: Message edited by: Barnabas62 ]
 
Posted by mdijon (# 8520) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
He was swept up on the same basis as were the Japanese Americans - just in case.

quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:
The phrase "just in case" really doesn't cover enough detail to justify "the same basis".

quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
There was no more evidence that Mosley intended to betray his country (sabotage, espionage, fifth column, whatever) than there was that Japanese American citizens intended to betray theirs.

Publicly expressed admiration for Hitler, describing Italian fascism as "the way forward" for Britain, leading marches that result in violence in Jewish areas as very substantially more evidence than an ethnic identity.

I find it disturbing that you could claim that ethnic identity places one under equivalent suspicion as that record. That can't be what you mean.

You might mean there was inadequate justification in both instances, but surely the injustice done to a law abiding Japanese American is much greater than the injustice done to Oswald Mosley?
 
Posted by mousethief (# 953) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
Which nations in the 20th century had sizeable (not onesy-twosy) internments of their own citizens (while not in a state of civil war)? I'm thinking of three. The USSR, Nazi Germany, and the USA. Who'd I leave out?

Ottoman Empire, China, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, just off the top of my head.

Aggression launched against a minority by a government-led majority is not necessarily the same as civil war.

What great company for the USA to be in. Any American not ashamed of the Japanese internment to the core of their being doesn't deserve to be called such. Good thing for them it's not earned. Unless of course you're an immigrant.
 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:
quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
He was swept up on the same basis as were the Japanese Americans - just in case.

quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:
The phrase "just in case" really doesn't cover enough detail to justify "the same basis".

quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
There was no more evidence that Mosley intended to betray his country (sabotage, espionage, fifth column, whatever) than there was that Japanese American citizens intended to betray theirs.

Publicly expressed admiration for Hitler, describing Italian fascism as "the way forward" for Britain, leading marches that result in violence in Jewish areas as very substantially more evidence than an ethnic identity.

I find it disturbing that you could claim that ethnic identity places one under equivalent suspicion as that record. That can't be what you mean.

Why not? When someone says that known sympathy for and known contact with a belligerent foreign government is equally suspicious as being a member of the "wrong" race, why not take them at their word?
 
Posted by Callan (# 525) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:
quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
He was swept up on the same basis as were the Japanese Americans - just in case.

quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:
The phrase "just in case" really doesn't cover enough detail to justify "the same basis".

quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
There was no more evidence that Mosley intended to betray his country (sabotage, espionage, fifth column, whatever) than there was that Japanese American citizens intended to betray theirs.

Publicly expressed admiration for Hitler, describing Italian fascism as "the way forward" for Britain, leading marches that result in violence in Jewish areas as very substantially more evidence than an ethnic identity.

I find it disturbing that you could claim that ethnic identity places one under equivalent suspicion as that record. That can't be what you mean.

You might mean there was inadequate justification in both instances, but surely the injustice done to a law abiding Japanese American is much greater than the injustice done to Oswald Mosley?

If we are looking for a contemporary analogy, it would be akin to the US government locking up all the Muslims after 9/11 and some mouthy anti-Semitic Imam from a radical mosque. The first would be an abomination the second would come under the heading of "Probably wrong, but someone else can write the letter of protest to the lead singer of 'Echo and the Bunnymen'.
 
Posted by mdijon (# 8520) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Callan:
but someone else can write the letter of protest to the lead singer of 'Echo and the Bunnymen.

They just really went downhill after McCulloch left in the late 80s.
 
Posted by Kaplan Corday (# 16119) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
Which nations in the 20th century had sizeable (not onesy-twosy) internments of their own citizens (while not in a state of civil war)? I'm thinking of three. The USSR, Nazi Germany, and the USA. Who'd I leave out?

Ottoman Empire, China, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, just off the top of my head.

Aggression launched against a minority by a government-led majority is not necessarily the same as civil war.

What great company for the USA to be in. Any American not ashamed of the Japanese internment to the core of their being doesn't deserve to be called such. Good thing for them it's not earned. Unless of course you're an immigrant.
Vietnam's another one.
 
Posted by Russ (# 120) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
The only reasonable explanation for the difference would be if Japanese-Americans were considered inherently more traitorous than German-Americans or Italian-Americans, which would seem to be a racist position.

I'm struck by the similarities and differences between Pearl Harbour and 9/11.

Both were attacks on the US at a time when Americans thought wars were things that happened overseas, with a disproportionate psychological impact as a result.

But if 9/11 was asymmetric warfare, Pearl Harbour was all-too-symmetric. Without looking up the figures, Japan would have been considered at the time to have military forces comparable in scale and technology with the US. Carrier-borne air strikes were pretty much the pinnacle of military tech.

So whilst the war in Europe was proceeding along lines for which WW1 had to some extent prepared the American psyche, the war in the Pacific was something new and more threatening and not played by the old rules.

The US had a good reason for considering Japan more treacherous than Germany.

Imprisoning the innocent alongside the guilty is something totalitarian states do. At least some totalitarian states seem to be in a constant state of undeclared war - siege mentality - in order to justify their mistreatment of their own citizens. Something to do with the first casualty of war being innocence ?

Of course the US in the 1930s was racist. What country wasn't?

What seems peculiar to me is that some seem to think the plight of the innocent imprisoned was worse because the people of other enemy nations weren't treated the same.

Never mind imprisonment without trial, never mind confiscation of property, never mind inhumane conditions, let's all get outraged about the Japanese and the Germans not being treated equally ???
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
People are not getting upset because they think the German's were treated better, they are getting upset because the Japanese should not have so poorly. The contrast is to show how racism was the cause.
 
Posted by cliffdweller (# 13338) on :
 
and fwiw, it was the 1940s, not the 1930s
 
Posted by Kaplan Corday (# 16119) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Callan:
it would be akin to the US government locking up all the Muslims after 9/11 and some mouthy anti-Semitic Imam from a radical mosque.

Unless there was some evidence, other than his unpleasantness, to link the imam to 9/11, in terms of injustice and disproportionateness it would be just as wrong to lock him up as to lock up all Muslims - it would just affect a greater number.
 
Posted by Dave W. (# 8765) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
What seems peculiar to me is that some seem to think the plight of the innocent imprisoned was worse because the people of other enemy nations weren't treated the same.

Never mind imprisonment without trial, never mind confiscation of property, never mind inhumane conditions, let's all get outraged about the Japanese and the Germans not being treated equally ???

What seems peculiar to me is that some still can't seem to get it straight that we're not talking about "people of other enemy nations", we're talking about why Japanese-Americans were treated differently from other Americans.

We all agree the treatment of the internees was atrocious (except, perhaps for those who characterize it as one of those things that "nice sensitive liberal diversity-loving great-grandchildren living in peacetime might not like"); the different treatment of German-Americans is noted to show that simply having ancestral ties to an enemy nation can hardly explain (let alone excuse) the severity of the policy.
 
Posted by mdijon (# 8520) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Callan:
it would be akin to the US government locking up all the Muslims after 9/11 and some mouthy anti-Semitic Imam from a radical mosque.

quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
Unless there was some evidence, other than his unpleasantness, to link the imam to 9/11, in terms of injustice and disproportionateness it would be just as wrong to lock him up as to lock up all Muslims - it would just affect a greater number.

How do you determine "just as wrong"? It seems to me that there are shades of miscarriage of justice.

For instance if someone has sufficient evidence to convict them of hate speech that would warrant being locked up for a few weeks and they are instead interned for a prolonged period, that can't be "just as wrong" as locking someone up without any evidence at all?
 


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