Sunday, May 7, 2017
Japanese Internment Camps in the United States
My friend Stan invited me to a talk at the Holocaust Memorial & Tolerance Center in Glen Cove this afternoon. The talk was by two women who as children, with their families, lived on the west coast, and were taken from their homes and moved hundreds of miles inland to hastily constructed barracks covered with tar paper. The government was afraid that these American citizens might be spying for the Japanese! 120,000 people were ultimately imprisoned in these centers. There were about 10 such centers, with up to 15,000 people in each facility. Most people were held from 1942 to 1946. Here's the thing - the majority of these people were American citizens! The whole program was a travesty of justice, and as someone said today, "It was one of the darker chapters in American history," and "It was a failure of political leadership." The stories these two women told were very moving. And their hope is that if our government even STARTS thinking about some illegal program involving people of other religious faiths being singled out because of their religion, then people will be reminded of this terrible program which began 74 years ago. (REVISED) Stan wrote me after I posted this, with this comment, correcting what I had originally posted: "My father was 24 and you can say both sides of my family were incarcerated (parents, their brothers/sisters and their parents.)" Such a shameful act by the United States government.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 8:11 PM