Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

WWII internment of Japanese Americans, racial profiling

Discussion in 'Legal' started by onerifle, Aug 6, 2004.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. onerifle

    onerifle Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2003
    Messages:
    176
    Location:
    Texas
    Haven't posted in awhile; thought this might make up for it. :banghead: :banghead: :banghead:

    http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/print...lepi.nwsource.com/books/185162_vcenter06.html


    '...In a time of war, the survival of the nation comes first," she wrote. "Civil liberties are not sacrosanct."'


    I'm usually a fan of hers, but...

    -Uhhh...Michelle? Yeah, they are!!!!


    Book defends WWII internment of Japanese Americans, racial profiling

    Friday, August 6, 2004

    By JOHN IWASAKI
    SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER REPORTER

    James Arima, a local officer of the Japanese American Citizens League, intended to be at Green Lake tonight for the annual peace ceremony honoring those killed by the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

    He changed his plans after hearing that author Michelle Malkin would be in town to discuss her new book, which defends another controversial episode of World War II: the relocation and detention of more than 110,000 people of Japanese ancestry on the West Coast.

    Malkin's book -- "In Defense of Internment: The Case for 'Racial Profiling' in World War II and the War on Terror" -- has created an uproar in the local Japanese American community.

    "She's looking forward to discussion and controversy," said Arima, president of the Lake Washington chapter of the citizens league. "We don't want to help her sell books."

    Malkin purports to debunk the common historical view that the internment was largely driven by wartime hysteria and racism. She maintains that historians and federal panels have played down information showing that Japan had established an extensive espionage network on the West Coast.

    Using the internment to criticize today's counterterrorism measures, including profiling, only jeopardizes homeland security, Malkin says.

    "I start from a politically incorrect premise: In a time of war, the survival of the nation comes first," she wrote. "Civil liberties are not sacrosanct."

    Malkin writes that the so-called MAGIC messages -- Japan's diplomatic communications that were intercepted and deciphered before and during the war -- revealed Japan's espionage intentions. Among the messages are brief reports from the Japanese Consulate in Seattle about warships anchored in Bremerton.

    The existence of the top-secret messages was known to only about a dozen people before and during the war, including President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The information was declassified in 1977 and written about by David Lowman, a former national security officer and Washington state native.

    "Virtually every popular account of the ethnic Japanese experience during World War II has ignored MAGIC and its vital importance in shaping FDR's national security policies abroad and at home," Malkin wrote.

    She cited Tetsuden Kashima, a University of Washington professor of American ethnic studies, several times in her book, noting that he gave scant mention to MAGIC in his own book on the internment.

    Kashima declined to comment until he had read Malkin's book, which is generating an online buzz.

    Lowman's work has been "refuted and discredited" and Malkin's book offers "nothing new" about MAGIC, wrote Greg Robinson, a history professor at the University of Quebec at Montreal, who has written a book about FDR and the internment.

    Robinson's comments appeared in a blog run by Eric Muller, a University of North Carolina law professor cited in Malkin's book. Muller said Malkin does nothing to counter criticisms that "the actions taken against Japanese Americans were absurdly disproportionate to the scope of any security risks of which the government was even arguably aware."

    While Robinson and Muller have read Malkin's book, which includes more than 100 pages of photocopied documents, local Japanese Americans are reacting to a recent column Malkin wrote outlining the book's premise.

    "Malkin claims to set the record straight when in reality she is distorting selected facts to fit her political position," said Tom Ikeda, executive director of Densho, a Seattle organization that preserves the histories of Japanese American internees.

    Steve Sumida, chairman of the Department of American Ethnic Studies at the UW, said Malkin's argument is "based on the assumption that Japanese Americans are the Japanese enemy. ... We are not the enemy."

    Malkin, 33, whose parents emigrated from the Philippines, is undaunted by her critics.

    "This is exactly what we I want. We haven't had a debate," she said in a phone interview yesterday from her home in Maryland. "We can't win the war on terror until we understand our past history."

    Malkin grew up in New Jersey and was an editorial writer and columnist for The Seattle Times in the late 1990s. Her syndicated column appears in nearly 200 newspapers.

    Her views on the internment represent a reversal from 2000, when she wrote that "what happened to Japanese American internees was abhorrent and wrong." She heard from veterans who urged her to take a closer look at the historical record.

    After the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Malkin said, the internment has "become sort of a trump card to argue against any and all of President Bush's security measures, from the most innocuous -- inviting Muslims to come in for voluntary interviews with the FBI -- to the most extreme -- (holding suspects) at Guantanamo Bay. ...

    "If you have a serious debate on civil liberties versus national security, you have to get the history lessons right."

    Malkin said that debunking the "myth" about the internment doesn't mean she ignores the disruption in the lives of the internees.

    "Anyone who reads my book will see that I'm very sensitive to the sacrifices that were made by many ethnic Japanese, both issei (first generation) and nisei (second generation)," she said. "I am not arguing that they didn't suffer or weren't terribly inconvenienced."

    Today's security measures also pose burdens.

    "But any inconvenience, no matter how bothersome or offensive," Malkin wrote, "is preferable to being incinerated at your office desk by a flaming hijacked plane."
     
  2. CWatson

    CWatson Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2003
    Messages:
    190
    Racial profiling? More like common sense.

    Investigating Mosques and their clerics and what they preach also common sense.

    CW
     
  3. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2002
    Messages:
    23,648
    Location:
    Los Anchorage
    Did we have a right to imprison German, Italian and Japanese foreign nationals? You bet. That is standard operating procedure during ANY war. Typically each side will put all enemy nationals in prison, then perhaps work an exchange at a later date. But if you're a foreign national from a nation which declares war on the US and you are on US soil when it happens, prepare to be taken in.

    The internment of US citizens is another matter. That cannot be justified. It was a terrible violation of the right to due process. If a citizen is found to be spying, try them for treason. But otherwise leave them alone. Thems the rules, and any government that violates those rules is dangerously close to becoming a government that itself has no right to exist.
     
  4. onerifle

    onerifle Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2003
    Messages:
    176
    Location:
    Texas
    I am absolutely ok with "profiling"- what concerns me is if (when?) we have another terrorist attack at home- the same rationale could exist for internment of Arab citizens (because of the fear of "sleepers"), or people that attend a particluar house of worship- whatever that faith may be.

    My issue was primarily with Malkin's "civil liberties are not sacrosanct" comment.

    I assume by her comment the B.O.R. becomes the Bill of "usually, just not right this second, because...".... :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
     
  5. Leatherneck

    Leatherneck Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2002
    Messages:
    2,545
    Location:
    No. Virginia and Northern Neck
    So you all are OK with, essentially, imprisoning American citizens because of where their parents were born? Without any evidence of disloyal or treasonous actions on their part? Have I got that right? :scrutiny:

    TC
    TFL Survivor
     
  6. Chris Rhines

    Chris Rhines Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2002
    Messages:
    3,773
    Location:
    Potomac, Maryland - Behind enemy lines!!
    Start from an incorrect premise, and you get incorrect results. I can't believe that I used to respect Malkin as an original thinker - she's just another panicked neo-Trotskyite.

    - Chris
     
  7. Harve Curry

    Harve Curry Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2004
    Messages:
    1,756
    Location:
    Black Range of New Mexico
    FYI:

    Italians property during WWII.

    My grandfather came from Sicily in 1913, got sent back because he was only 15 years old, eleven months later when he was 18 years old he was accepted at Ellis Island. By 1917 he was "inducted into the National Army" and was back in Europe to fight the Germans in the trenches of WWI.

    By 1942 his cousins had their grape vineyard takenover to expand an airfield in El Cajon for a training pilots during WWII. They never got it back or paid. But I never heard any complaints from them,they loved this country and still prospered despite the setback. But today they would could have been rich.

    I think that so-called racial profiling is needed, but it has to be closley monitered or the authorities will abuse citizens and enjoy it. Just the same or worse as they do everyday citizens now.
     
  8. Leatherneck

    Leatherneck Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2002
    Messages:
    2,545
    Location:
    No. Virginia and Northern Neck
    I truly, truly hope you intended to put it that wryly. :D

    TC
    TFL Survivor
     
  9. CWatson

    CWatson Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2003
    Messages:
    190
    Leatherneck,

    Most of the citizens we are talking about now are "naturalized" adults with conflicting loyalties with being American and their homeland who are not raising their kids as Americans.

    As far as putting in camps during wartime people who have more loyalties to their homeland,nothing wrong with it,you cant investigate them all immediatley.I do not believe their personal property should be siezed while interned.

    Find a cleric in a Mosque preaching the rightiousness of Osama,take his green card or revoke his naturalized citizenship and drop him of near Mecca and you will start seeing more cooperation from the Islamic community.


    CW
     
  10. wingman

    wingman Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    2,185
    Location:
    texas
    True, however I believe they know where there loyalties are.:mad:
     
  11. Atticus

    Atticus Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    2,794
    Location:
    Ohio
    I always thought it ironic that a General named Eisenhower was leading the US army, while those of Japanese ancestry were being put in camps. I understand the sentiment ...but it certainly does smack of racism. It was a different era though. Regardless, Malkin is an odd one.
     
  12. Hawkmoon

    Hawkmoon Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2004
    Messages:
    3,454
    Location:
    Terra
    I think they misquoted her. What she probably said is "Any inconvenience for you, no matter how drastically it destroys your life and family, is preferable to me being incinerated at my desk by people you never heard of and have no knowledge of."
     
  13. ThreadKiller

    ThreadKiller Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2004
    Messages:
    457
    Location:
    Nebraska
    Just had a conversation last night with my Dad about this very topic. His contention is that the internment of Japanese people in the US saved their lives. America was in a very ugly mood after Dec 7, 1941.

    Something to think about anyway.

    Tim
     
  14. CWatson

    CWatson Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2003
    Messages:
    190
    If they know were their loyalties are they should voice them and let people know what side of the fence they are on.You do not see many Muslims on the tube dumping on the actions of terrorist.


    I like Milken,she could be my wife's twin.

    CW
     
  15. JPL

    JPL Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Messages:
    1,479
    Not only Eisenhower, but Nimitz, too.

    He grew up in Fredericksburg, Texas, a town founded by German immigrants, and where German was still spoken routinely until World War I.

    Very curious that part of my family apparently perished in the camps in Germany because they were German Jews, and someone actually hatched a plan here to put American Germans (including Jews), into camps, as well.
     
  16. Harve Curry

    Harve Curry Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2004
    Messages:
    1,756
    Location:
    Black Range of New Mexico
    Leather Neck,
    "11 months later when he was 18", is my dry sence of humor. Good thing they didn't have computorized record keeping then or he'd a never got in.


    The Italian is on my Mom's side immigrating in the late 19th century. My Grandma was born in 1906, died in 2000 at 94. She was always proud to tell this story:

    Her parents couldn't speak english and they made their children speak english by not allowing them to speak Italian. They had to get by in America and that was english speaking. Greatgrandpa moved his family to a German neighborhood so the kids wouldn't be speaking Italian with other Italians. He purposley got out of the N.Y. Italian neighborhoods around 1900.
    In the german neighborhood was a street named after the Kaiser Wilhelm Blvd., because of WWI they dropoped his name to something else. Grandma was 14 years old at the end of WWI she had won a $25 US War Bond for good grades. $25 was a whole lot of money then.
    Well to celebrate the end of WWI the school said they were going to have a "bond-fire party". Yes she burned her bond to help Uncle Sam. During this same time her future husband was over fighting in France and getting shot up in the Argonne Offensive.

    Grandma never really learned Italian. In the late 1960's she had to study it so she could go visit relatives and converse. Her Mom went with her who hadn't been there since the 1890's. Grandpa could have gone back but declined, only thing he left there was poverty and hard work. He'd had a short visit there on leave at the end of WWI.

    The point is with these immigrants America came first.
    Now we have schools and gov't forms in spanish. We should go back to the days of the english language being the one and only langauge.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2004
  17. dave3006

    dave3006 member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2003
    Messages:
    898
    If it is okay to imprision U.S. citizens of Japanese decent for what they MIGHT do, then it must be okay to imprision gunowners for people they MIGHT shoot.

    Don't be a Nazi.
     
  18. JPL

    JPL Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Messages:
    1,479
    Good point, Dave.

    After all, given that we're now engaged in wars on Crime, Drugs, and various other things, perhaps everyone in the nation should be imprisoned.

    You MIGHT rob a store.

    Off to the pokey with you.

    I MIGHT attempt to purchase some illegal drugs.

    Off to the pokey with me.
     
  19. Harve Curry

    Harve Curry Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2004
    Messages:
    1,756
    Location:
    Black Range of New Mexico
    Dave and JPL ,
    Italians, Germans, and Japs were interned, but I never agreed with any of that. But I'll bet they did catch alot of enemies within in the USA that way. Just to big of a net that hurt alot of people.
     
  20. JPL

    JPL Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Messages:
    1,479
    Virtually ever individual of Japanese descent was interned during WW II.

    Roughly 11,000 Germans/German-Americans were interned. As a percentage, it was, I believe, well under 1% of those with German heritage.

    Roughly 1,000 Italians were interned, although others had property confiscated (especially fishing vessles) and were forced to move from the coasts.

    As far as I can tell, 1,000 internees was also well under 1% of the population with Italian heritage.

    The Japanese population, though?

    A lot closer to 100% (in the 90s, IIRC), for a total of over 120,000.

    Upwards 90,000 of those individuals were citizens, either naturalized or born here.

    The operative difference?

    You could tell that someone was a "devious slant" just by looking at him.

    Rounding up all the Germans and Italians would have been a lot harder, and as it was it drew a LOT more criticism.

    Why?

    Obviously because they were white.

    Organized discrimination against orientals (particularly the Chinese) was pretty much government policy in the early part of the century and there's good indication that some of the supporters of internment were less interested in stopping Japanese agents and a lot more interested in getting the asians out of their areas.
     
  21. R.H. Lee

    R.H. Lee Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2004
    Messages:
    7,377
    Location:
    CA
    What *may* have been acceptable within the context of the times 60+ years ago would not fly today. And remember the Japanese sneak attack on Pearl Harbor caused a lot of resentment toward Japan and its people. Who knows what retaliation would have occured against the Japanese, even if they were citizens?

    Today, the pendulum has swung the other way. Even no-citizens are protected from "racial profiling", a pc term that otherwise would just be a part of good investigative policing.
     
  22. JPL

    JPL Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Messages:
    1,479
    "Who knows what retaliation would have occured against the Japanese, even if they were citizens?"

    So, the best way to protect them is to strip their Constitutional rights as citizens, deprive them of their property, imprison them without charge, and then, at the end of the war, give them a bus ticket back to their old community (and $50, let's not forget the magnamimity of the victorious nation), and let them try to figure out where they're going to live, how they're going to feed themselves and their families, etc.

    It should be noted that some of the people who most vigorously pushed for removal of the Japanese from their homes and communities make killings in the post war years in the California real estate boom.

    A number of them bought up many of properties that Japanese owners had to abandon...

    As for potential violence, you only need to look to actual events to figure out exactly what happened.

    Roosevelt signed the internment order in February, actual internments didn't start until April, and took many months to complete.

    During that time, there were scattered acts of violence against Japanese Americans, but no large uprising.

    It largely mirrored what was seen in the days following September 11.

    Resentment against orientals was running high long before Pearl Harbor; it had been running high for literally years.
     
  23. Lone_Gunman

    Lone_Gunman Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    8,056
    Location:
    United Socialist States of Obama
    Its not just because they were white.

    The Japanese attacked us, the Germans didn't. Additionally, Pearl Harbor was a sneak attack, which served to infuriate Americans even more.

    We also had a greater understanding of German and Italian culture, and less of Japanese culture. There is a natural tendency to fear the unknown.



    I am sure that prejudice played a roll, but also, if someone thought the Japanese were devious before Pearl Harbor, certainly a sneak attack a Pearl Harbor did nothing but reinforce that.
     
  24. c_yeager

    c_yeager Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2003
    Messages:
    5,479
    Location:
    Seattle
    No has pointed out yet that the driving force behind the internment of Japanese Americans were several California polititions who's constituency had cast a greedy eye upon the farmlands belonging to the aforementioned Japanese. The internment of these people had a LOT more to do with an underhanded land grab than it did with the safety of America.

    Case in point BOTH my grandfathers were of German descent and no one ever even suggested that they or their families be interred. Why is this, you ask, because my granfathers didnt have anything worth stealing...
     
  25. R.H. Lee

    R.H. Lee Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2004
    Messages:
    7,377
    Location:
    CA
    No, I'm not supporting the internment of the Japanese during WWII, only pointing out that you need to view it within the context of the times.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page