MK Gandhi, still true to this venerable day.
Occupation and redemption do not go hand in hand. The internment of Japanese Americans in the United States was the forced relocation and incarceration during World War II of between 110,000 and 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry who lived on the Pacific coast in camps in the interior of the country. Sixty-two percent of the internees were United States citizens. The U.S. government ordered the removal of Japanese Americans in 1942, shortly after Imperial Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor. Such incarceration was applied unequally due to differing population concentrations and, more importantly, state and regional politics: more than 110,000 Japanese Americans, nearly all who lived on the West Coast, were forced into interior camps, but in Hawaii, where the 150,000-plus Japanese Americans comprised over one-third of the population, only 1,200 to 1,800 were interned. The forced relocation and incarceration has been determined to have resulted more from racism and discrimination among whites on the West Coast, rather than any military danger posed by the Japanese Americans. President Franklin D. Roosevelt authorized the deportation and incarceration with Executive Order 9066, issued February 19, 1942, which allowed regional military commanders to designate “military areas” from which “any or all persons may be excluded.” This power was used to declare that all people of Japanese ancestry were excluded from the entire West Coast, including all of California and much of Oregon, Washington and Arizona, except for those in government camps. Approximately 5,000 Japanese Americans “voluntarily” relocated outside the exclusion zone, and some 5,500 community leaders arrested after Pearl Harbor were already in custody, but the majority of mainland Japanese Americans were “evacuated” (forcibly relocated) from their West Coast homes during the spring of 1942. The United States Census Bureau assisted the internment efforts by providing confidential neighborhood information on Japanese Americans. The Bureau denied its role for decades, but this was finally proven in 2007. In 1944, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the removal by ruling against Fred Korematsu’s appeal for violating an exclusion order. The Court limited its decision to the validity of the exclusion orders, avoiding the issue of the incarceration of U.S. citizens with no due process.
Internment camps in the USA in World War II.