Photos: Japanese internment camps were a grave American mistake
Rian Dundon

One thing to remember about the Japanese internment is that it was not only racist and cruel — it was also self-evidently stupid, and carried out in the interests of business and industry and not national security. There is a case that could easily be made that, quite simply, white supremacists in California simply envied Japanese property and figured out the most convenient way to get their hands on it.

While the round-ups and movement into the interior happened en masse in California, the Japanese population of Hawaii — the territory that was bombed — had a very limited internment of religious and community leaders.

There were plenty of Japanese people who were left to themselves on Hawaii, not because of some last second prick of conscience, but because for the most part they were agricultural workers, and the Japanese were stereotyped as uniquely capable of “squat” labor.