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I picked up this book at a store because it caught my eye. You see, unlike the author, or any of the reviewers heartily recommending the book, I have some relatives who were actually in the camps.
One of my aunts was interned as a child, as was her entire family. I have talked with her and her surviving family many times about this subject. The family of girlfriend of mine had been in the camps, and she interviewed many former internees for a documentary film as a senior project. I worry that, as the surviviors die off, there will be no one left to refute revisionists such as Michelle Malkin.
Needless to say, I was disgusted by reading the book, and returned it for a refund. The author does do a good job of creating the impression of a well-researched book, so I did some research of my own on the internet. What I found made me realize that the author probably did as much research as I did.
Like any other revisionist book, this has sparked a sharp response from actual scholars in the field. Realize that Malkin is a hard-right COMMENTATOR. She is not a journalist, much less a scholar. She apparently spent about a year writing this book (on a part-time basis), and her research was largely based on files gathered by other revisionists. She has made a career out being controversial and propagating a right-wing agenda. She is the perfect shill for this, since she is an articulate, attractive, Asian woman. Can you imagine if someone like Pat Buchanan had written this book? I look forward to her next book on how the Holocaust never happened.
However, the relevant point of this book is not scholarly research. The author seeks to convince us that racial profiling is required today if we are to survive the terrorist menace. This is where Malkin's "ethnicity", at least in appearance if not in character, pays off in spades in being to get away with being controversial.
What does racial profiling really mean? Does it mean we should treat people differently based on their appearance, their religion, their accent, their manner of dress? For one, the assumption that all potential terrorists are young Arabs is flat wrong. Think of McVeigh, John Walker Lind, or Padilla, as well as Phillipine extremists (hello, Michelle?), Indonesian muslims, and on and on. Even if true, how do we identify these Arabs? They can change their clothes, accents, even falsify papers. What's left is outward appearance. Well, there are millions of Americans with ethnicities that are Latin-American, Jewish, Spanish, Indian, Greek, Italian, and on and on, who could pass for "Arab or "Muslim". And what about the women and kids? Couldn't they be terrorists too?
Basically, what happens today is that any American or visitor who looks obviously Muslim (or wears a turban, like Sikhs do), gets treated with suspicion in many public places. Obviously, any real terrorists would not attract attention to themselves, so usually innocent people get treated badly.
The unavoidable inference from the premise of this book is that it is OK to discriminate based on race, and that we should consider locking up the Arabs. This is never stated by Malkin, of course, but the cover of the book alone speaks volumes. Is this what we have come to, again? This is a sad day indeed for Americans who care for the values that make this country great, and who despise ignorance, paranoia, and intolerance.
Here is law professor Eric Mueller's comments on this book:
The following is an excellent overview on Michelle Malkin: who she is, who is backing her, and what her agenda is.