Must-Read Round up: From Japanese Internment to Immigration Detention
Activists compare family detention practices to the incarceration of Japanese Americans in internment camps
With George Takei’s response last week to Justice Clarence Thomas’s argument that slavery and internment did not strip anyone of their dignity, we thought it would be a good time to brush off the best reads in recent history illuminating the internment of Japanese Americans:
- George Takei recalls being rounded up by rifles as a child to be brought to an internment camp, states: “Denying our rights denies our dignity.”
- The New York Times uses video and photos to illustrate Bob Fuchigami’s return to the internment camp he was imprisoned in at 12 years old.
- Last month, a Japanese-American couple pulled from high school to be imprisoned in an internment camp during WWII finally received their diplomas.
In the past few months, prominent Japanese Americans and activists have cautioned against present-day practices that recall the unjust and unjustified incarceration of innocent and often vulnerable people:
“ICE’s misguided effort to build child-friendly prison camps repeats the inhumanity that the U.S. government inflicted on Japanese-American families during World War II. If Obama administration officials implementing family detention ignore the lessons of the past, they will assure their own ignoble place in history.” — Carl Takei, staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union’s National Prison Project
- Carl Takei compares the Dilly “South Texas Family Residential Center” to the prison camps his ancestors were incarcerated in during World War II.
- Satsuki Ina, born in an internment camp 70 years ago, reiterates the parallel between family detention facilities and the prisons she experienced as a child, and asks, “Have we not learned from the past?”
- Friend and daughter of Fred Korematsu, who brought the landmark Supreme Court case questioning the constitutionality of ordering Japanese Americans into internment camps, call for an end to the detention of families seeking protection in the United States.
Finally, today marks the first day of a National Week of Action to End Immigrant Detention, organized by the #Not1More campaign along with Detention Watch Network, We Belong Together, Families for Freedom, and others. Andrea Cristina Mercado at the We Belong Together campaign sounds the call for President Obama to end the incarceration of families in an op-ed to the New York Times.