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In Defense of Internment: The Case for "Racial Profiling" in World War II and the War on Terror (Anglais) Relié – octobre 2004

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387 internautes sur 447 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Do we really need to relearn the lessons of Japanese America 27 septembre 2004
Par FDb77 - Publié sur
Format: Relié
Do we really need to relearn the lessons of Japanese American internment?

Fred Korematsu

In 1942, I was arrested and convicted for being a Japanese American trying to live here in the Bay Area. The day after my arrest a newspaper headline declared, "Jap Spy Arrested in San Leandro."

Of course, I was no spy. The government never charged me with being a spy. I was a U.S. citizen born and raised in Oakland. I even tried to enlist in the Coast Guard (they didn't take me because of my race). But my citizenship and my loyalty did not matter to the federal government. On Feb. 19, 1942, anyone of Japanese heritage was ordered excluded from the West Coast. I was charged and convicted of being a Japanese American living in an area in which all people of my ancestry had been ordered to be interned.

I fought my conviction at that time. My case went to the U.S. Supreme Court, but in 1944 my efforts to seek protection under the Constitution were rejected.

After I was released in 1945, my criminal record continued to affect my life. It was hard to find work. I was considered to be a criminal. It took almost 40 years and the efforts of many people to reopen my case. In 1983, a federal court judge found that the government had hidden evidence and lied to the Supreme Court during my appeal. The judge found that Japanese Americans were not the threat that the government publicly claimed. My criminal record was removed.

As my case was being reconsidered by the courts, again as a result of the efforts of many people across the country, Congress created a commission to study the exclusion and incarceration of Japanese Americans. The commission found that no Japanese American had been involved in espionage or sabotage and that no military necessity existed to imprison us. Based on the commission's findings and of military historians who reconsidered the original records from the war, Congress passed the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, declaring that the internment of Japanese Americans was unjustified. Finally, it seemed that the burden of being accused of being an "enemy race" had been lifted from our shoulders.

But now the old accusations are back. Fox News media personality Michelle Malkin claims that some Japanese Americans were spies during World War II. Based upon her suspicions, Malkin claims the internment of all Japanese Americans was not such a bad idea after all. She goes on to claim that racial profiling of Arab Americans today is justified by the need to fight terrorism. According to Malkin, it is OK to take away an entire ethnic group's civil rights because some individuals are suspect. Malkin argues for reviving the old notion of guilt by association.

It is painful to see reopened for serious debate the question of whether the government was justified in imprisoning Japanese Americans during World War II. It was my hope that my case and the cases of other Japanese American internees would be remembered for the dangers of racial and ethnic scapegoating.

Fears and prejudices directed against minority communities are too easy to evoke and exaggerate, often to serve the political agendas of those who promote those fears. I know what it is like to be at the other end of such scapegoating and how difficult it is to clear one's name after unjustified suspicions are endorsed as fact by the government. If someone is a spy or terrorist they should be prosecuted for their actions. But no one should ever be locked away simply because they share the same race, ethnicity, or religion as a spy or terrorist. If that principle was not learned from the internment of Japanese Americans, then these are very dangerous times for our democracy.

Fred Korematsu was awarded the nation's highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medial of Freedom, in 1998. He and his wife, Kathryn, continue to live in their longtime hometown of San Leandro.
201 internautes sur 236 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Bigotry Sells 6 octobre 2007
Par Emil Sinclair - Publié sur
Format: Relié
Michelle Malkin conducted absolutely no scholarly research in the writing of this ridiculous book. She argued that Japan controlled the entire Pacific Ocean, maintained a vast network of spies in the US, and planned to invade the West Coast. Through subterfuge and falsification of information, she thus concluded that internment camps were not morally reprehensible because they were of military necessity and because, in her mind, racism did not exist during the 1940s.

Fortunately, Eric Muller, a law professor at UNC -- Chapel Hill, revealed that Malkin's arguments were entirely unsubstantiated and willfully falsified. As historian Greg Robinson observed, "there were no reports of sabotage or espionage" following Pearl Harbor or before Japanese-Americans were unlawfully imprisoned. Allied forces maintained a Germany-first strategy because they considered Japan to be a lesser threat, in part because it did not have absolute control of the Pacific Ocean. Moreover, internment camps were established in June 1942, after the Battle of Midway, in which Japan's defeat greatly diminished its threat to the US mainland.

Despite the great deal of criticism she received, Malkin refused to budge from her position that MAGIC cables established the military necessity of internment camps. She underscored how important MAGIC was to her argument by dedicating her book to David Lowman, whose "research" on MAGIC she borrowed extensively from. However, James C. McNaughton, Command Historian of the US Army, Pacific, declared that Lowman's work on MAGIC to be of no merit and dismissed Lowman's "polemics ... as symptomatic of the lingering bitterness stemming from Pearl Harbor and the emotions raised by apologies and compensation."

Even the Historians' Committee for Fairness proved that Malkin's book represented "a blatant violation of professional standards of objectivity" -- "decades of scholarly research, including works by the official historian of the US Army" have contradicted every one of her intellectually dishonest claims. Following a report by the US government Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians, President Reagan authorized that compensation be paid because the denial of civil rights to Japanese-Americans had been "motivated by racism" instead of veritable military concerns. As the noted biographer Jean Edward Smith pointed out, during their internment, Japanese-Americans lost more than $400 million from 1942 to 1945, a sum when adjusted for inflation equated to almost $5 billion. These financial losses were never fully or adequately recouped.

Lastly, it should be noted that the segregated Japanese-American 100th Battalion/442nd Regimental Combat Team became the most highly decorated unit for its size and length of service in the history of the US Army. When the European Theatre finally ended, the 100th/442nd had received 7 Presidential Unit Citations, and its members were awarded numerous decorations for valor and competence, including 21 Medals of Honor, 52 Distinguished Service Crosses, 560 Silver Stars, 4,000 Bronze Stars, and 9,486 Purple Hearts. Their sacrifice was astounding because they suffered a casualty rate of 314 percent, which meant, on average, every man was injured more than three times.
248 internautes sur 302 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Loyalty of Japanese Americans during WWII going unheeded 7 septembre 2004
Par Brian Tada - Publié sur
Format: Relié
As a conservative, pro-life, "traditional family values" Republican third generation American of Japanese ancestry, I was shocked and saddened by the gross inaccuracies in Malkin's book.

For example, the book purports one of the basic, underlying reasons for internment was the Japanese espionage "threat" on the West Coast. However, Japanese Americans during WWII were among the most loyal to America, and many served valiantly for the U.S. during the war.

According to the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians in a report entitled, "Personal Justice Denied", it stated that "not a single documented act of espionage, sabatoge or fifth column activity on the mainland was committed by an American citizen of Japanese ancestry or by a resident Japanese alien on the West Coast." This view has been substantiated consistently by independent scholars and researchers for almost 50 years since WWII.

Two of my uncles, although interned, volunteered to enlist in the U.S. Army in the 442nd Regimental Combat Unit. One of my uncles in the unit earned a REAL Purple Heart after he sustained extensive damage to his ear when an enemy grenade exploded near his head while fighting for the U.S. in Europe during the war.

The 442nd suffered huge numbers of casualties and is the most decorated combat unit in American history. They were credited for saving a Texas unit trapped behind Nazi lines, although a significantly larger number of Japanese American U.S. soldiers lost their lives rescuing them than the total number of soldiers that were in the Texas unit.

My mom, a U.S.-born American citizen, was also interned during the war. She felt as if she were without a country. Yet she never, ever considered turning her back on this nation she calls "home". She, along with my family, proudly display American flag decals on our clothes and our cars.

Yes, I strongly believe America needs to continue to vigorously fight for freedom here in our homeland and abroad, and defend itself against terrorism. I also have confidence that America, through prayer, wise decision-making and courageous, measured action will pro-actively prevent the mistakes of the past and implement much more innovative and effective means of fighting 21st century terrorism rather than even considering reverting to the extreme, heinous act of wholesale incarceration of innocent people without due process.
104 internautes sur 132 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Let's imprison Michelle at Manzanar and see how she likes it 26 août 2004
Par M. Francis - Publié sur
Format: Relié
Apparently Michelle Malkin believes in the selective, subjective, and arbitrary application of constitutional rights for US citizens. There is a vast difference between using "racial profiling" as a tool to assist in the investigation of an actual crime- for instance, looking for evidence of spying among Japanese aliens that worked for the Port Authority in the aftermath of Pearl Harbor- and "racial profiling" as an unconstitutional presumption of guilt that results in the wholesale imprisonment of citizens and legal aliens without any tangible evidence of wrongdoing. Michelle Malkin doesn't seem to recognize the moral spread between the two.

I see from other reviewers' comments that Michelle Malkin is Filipina. I wonder if Michelle Malkin would be willing to have her property stripped from her and live behind barbed wire in a tent in the desert, watched by armed guards, should the U.S. government determine that persons of Filipine descent constituted a terrorist threat to the general populace. It wouldn't be all bad: She could organize schools for the imprisoned children, eat free Army issue food, take some time off from her career, socialize in the communal latrines while she cleaned them, and publish her own newspaper. Maybe Michelle Malkin could even get the chance to swear an oath of fealty in exchange for a trip out of camp as a migrant farm worker, picking potatoes for less than minimum wage. Michelle Malkin: Will you show us your patrotism by giving up your rights? I'd be happy to provide the barbed wire and MREs.
170 internautes sur 220 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
So sad... 14 août 2004
Par QV210 - Publié sur
Format: Relié
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.

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