So thrilled to be staying @TheEdgewaterSEA next month—it has always been my accommodation destiny! Pray I get a water view.
Acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal said Tuesday that the internment of Japanese-Americans was based on lies and deliberate deception by the wartime solicitor general.
Katyal said it was time to “set the record straight.”
He said Charles Fahy, solicitor general appointed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, purposely withheld an intelligence report that concluded Japanese-Americans living on the West Coast were not a military threat.
As the U.S. government’s top attorney, Fahy was duty-bound to be impartial and truthful, Katyal said. Instead, Fahy lied to the Supreme Court, saying the government and the military had concluded just the opposite – that Japanese-Americans were a threat and interning them was a “military necessity.”
Based on Fahy’s testimony, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Roosevelt’s Executive Order No. 9066 to exclude Japanese-Americans from “military areas” in the West. The internment lasted until the war ended in 1945.”
“Japanese Americans not surprised by internment lies”, FresnoBee.com
It’s not new information, but it’s certainly the most public acknowledgement by a top US official of the racist misinformation which the US government knowingly put before the Supreme Court to justify internment. And since the government knew, according to internal military reports, that Japanese Americans posed no threat, the question then becomes, So why did they do it? Why did they spend all that time, money, and energy, building concentration camps in the desert, rounding up US citizens and imprisoning them for years? And the simple disturbing answer is: Ethnic cleansing has been central to US history, as a way for white people to violently attack communities of color in order to steal land, businesses, homes, bank accounts, personal treasures. That’s how white people have always improved their quality of life: by attacking and stealing from communities of color, via colonialism, land grabs, genocide, slavery, exclusion, segregation, internment, redlining, zoning, financialization, gentrification, appropriation, and on and on.
so many japanese americans had everything they’d struggled for — their property, livelihoods, communities, and freedom — stolen from them by internment. some were killed, some committed suicide, and too many joined the military to prove their loyalty to a country that abused and humiliated them. many resisted, by defying the order but also by living their lives with as much dignity and compassion as they could under the circumstances.
how can we have respect for the institution of the united states government when we see its repeated, intentional assaults against the hearts, minds, and bodies of the people its supposed to serve?
the Undoing Institutional Racism training my Americorps team received did a little selective retelling of history when talking about WWII human rights violations (re veterans of color who didn’t receive their benefits) they chose to not mention internment. Asian American history y’all, it really did happen & it really is relevant when taking about racism.
I’ll never forget when we learned about internment in Mr. Cesarini’s social studies period. One girl in my class started crying and had to leave—her parents and grandparents had been interned. I began to understand that history was real, not just in textbooks. Even though we were taught about the racist history we were literally living on top of—the Spanish sailed into the bay and stole the hill from the indigenous people, the whites came from the East and stole it from the Spanish—it was so easy to kind of make that abstract and long ago and something Good People No Longer Did. I still have to fight that tendency to reduce things to facts and discount them as human experiences.