I don’t know if there are an uglier couple of words in the English language when used together.
Let me jump right to the chase here and tell you why I’m writing this… I want everybody who reads it to know it CAN happen here, in the United States Of America, in modern times, and that we need to be prepared to not let it happen again.
How do I know it can happen here?
Because IT DID HAPPEN, RIGHT HERE.
This is an arial view of the Rohwer Internment Camp in Arkansas in the early 1940’s.
This is where entirely innocent American citizens were rounded up (unconstitutionally) and sent as inmates (the actual word used) to live by the US government on nothing more than an Executive Order by the President.
Think about that for a minute, people. Think about it long and hard.
Who were these “dangerous” people? American citizens who happened to have Japanese ancestry.
Want to see the faces of these dangerous people?
It happened HERE. The US government did it on a Presidential Executive Order.
Now, for the background to this American tragedy.
Pearl Harbor was bombed by the Empire of Japan in a shocking sneak attack, with great loss of life and damage to the US Navy on December 7, 1941, “A date which shall live in infamy,” said President Franklin Roosevelt.
Shortly thereafter, Germany’s Adolf Hitler declared war on the USA.
At this point in time, something interesting happend. We were now at war with two nations… one made up of people who “didn’t look like us” and one made up of people who did.
The Western US had a large population of people who’s ancestors were Japanese, whereas all of the country had an even larger population of people who’s ancestors were from Germany.
Nobody can deny that racism was at the heart of the arrest and deportation of the people who had Japanese ancestors.
Here’s what happened (borrowed from this Wikipedia article):
The internment of Japanese Americans in the United States during World War II was the forced relocation and incarceration in camps in the western interior of the country of between 110,000 and 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry, most of whom lived on the Pacific coast. 62 percent of the internees were United States citizens.
Japanese Americans were incarcerated based on local population concentrations and regional politics. More than 110,000 Japanese Americans in the mainland U.S., who mostly lived on the West Coast, were forced into interior camps. However, in Hawaii, where 150,000-plus Japanese Americans composed over one-third of the population, only 1,200 to 1,800 were also interned.The internment is considered to have resulted more from racism than from any security risk posed by Japanese Americans. Those who were as little as 1/16 Japanese and orphaned infants with “one drop of Japanese blood” were placed in internment camps.
Orphaned infants with “One drop of blood” were imprisoned, right here. In America. Those infants were given inmate numbers and raised behind barbed wire under the sights of armed guards.
It happened HERE.
The above scene is the entrance way to Rohwer camp in Arkansas. Spice and I visited it on Black Friday and we did a podcast about it. Here’s the link:
Here’s what Rohwer looks like today:
A cotton field on one side, and a corn field on the other.
There’s a graveyard and several memorials to the men from Rohwer who volunteered to serve in the US Armed Forces despite being imprisoned. Many of Rohwer’s young men died in the Anzio & Casino campaigns.
“Americans from Rohwer that gave their lives that others might enjoy the freedoms which they and their families were denied.”
It happened HERE. Be prepared.
A note from Salty: We don’t do politics on 3BY, ever. This is history, all of the major players in incarcerating these innocent people are long-since dead.
It is, however, a warning. It CAN happen here.