"If we were incarcerated for our safety, why were we inside the barbed wire fences, and why were the gun towers facing us?" San Jose Congressman Mike Honda, ex-camp resident
This is despite the incredible losses of homes, property, businesses, freedom, and liberty these people suffered ("Most had lost everything they had owned before the war through theft, destruction, or inability to pay taxes" - www.densho.com). Stripping over 100,000 innocent people (many US citizens) of their rights, confining them for years, and causing them to lose their homes and property and businesses and jobs - this was supposedly for their benefit?? Don't make me laugh. (German-Americans and Italian-Americans apparently faced violations of their rights and internment as well, though not to as large an extent.) In 1988, the US gov't finalized its acknowledgement that the internment was wrong by paying reparations to living survivors.
As of March 2003, Rep. Moran was removed from his position of leadership for blaming Jews for war with Iraq. Why is the government still silent about Rep. Coble? Gee... I wonder.
I was shocked to read an AP article on N.C. congressman Rep. Howard Coble, R-N.C., justifying the internment of Japanese-Americans during WWII.
Among other things, he JUSTIFIES the internment as being for the sake of the Japanese-Americans, completely ignoring the tremendous price these citizens of the United States paid in terms of lost property, lost businesses, lost dignity, and lost freedom, as well as completely glossing over the racial issues that were undoubtedly part of the decision (given that German-Americans and Italian-Americans were not treated similarly).
According to the article, this man is a head of a homeland security subcommittee. As such, I am deeply concerned about the future of American freedoms in this country.
I hope that those who are aware of the history and civil rights violations of the internment will speak up and help stop this attempt to justify a national embarrassment.
Ironically, the Day of Remembrance for the internment is coming up on Feb. 19th. This kind of willful ignorance is not excusable in a representative of the people of this country.