Don't let people distort this history or it could be repeated again. Guest Post by Joseph Shoji Lachman.
This is a response to "Were the stories about Japanese internment during World War II unbalanced? Two letter writers think so" in the LA Times. Here is a reminder of something else they published many years ago:
A viper is nonetheless a viper wherever the egg is hatched—so a Japanese-American, born of Japanese parents—grows up to be a Japanese, not an American. — Los Angeles Times, February 2, 1942 (Source)
I had hoped we had learned a lesson and moved past this kind of hateful rhetoric, but it seems history is trying to repeat itself.
On December 7th, the U.S. commemorated the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor, a truly horrific tragedy that will live on in American memory forever. In our household, we also remember December 6th. Two years ago on that day my grandmother, Margaret Shoji, passed away. My only regret was that I never talked to her about her experiences during the Internment, when our family and 120,000 other people of Japanese descent were denied basic rights, and forced into the internment camps. This was a civil rights travesty and one of the most shameful episodes of American history. But we all know that, don't we?
Apparently, we are supposed to have an "open debate" about the Internment, including justifications and rationalizations of what happened. I was surprised to see a "rational" defense of the Internment appearing in the LA Times in 2016, but I decided to respond as best I could below.