78 years of its concentration camps

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The February 19, 1942in full World War II, the president Franklin D. Roosevelt approved the Executive Order 9066. The decree forced to evacuate more than 120,000 Japanese residents in the United States and “relocate” them in concentration camps located in the western part of the country and in Arkansas.

That directive opened a torrent of racial hatred that poisoned a citizens still stingy by the attack on the base of Pearl Harbor The statements made by the governor of Idaho, as an example, Chase clark, shortly after: «Japs live like rats, breed like rats and act like rats. We don’t want them here.

Of all the prisoners, almost 30,000 finished their days in the concentration camps of Apple orchard (10,046) and Tule lake (18,789), located in California. And that is why this state has reported that, in the coming days (shortly after the 78th anniversary of the arrival of this sad directive) will issue a official apology for collaborating in the detention of citizens of Japanese descent during the WWII.

As reported by the newspaper «The Times», the local government recognizes in this way the mistakes made by the United States in 1942 and demonstrates that, despite the decades, it wants to learn from the past.

The Revenge Order

Executive Order 9066 was triggered by the attack that, in December 1941, perpetrated Japan against Pearl harbor and that caused the United States to enter the WWII. Roosevelt, fueled by the tension that existed in a beaten and shocked country, justified the decision to imprison the Japanese (in California, less than 2% of the total) in the need to defend their country from spies Y foreign enemies. That led to an even greater psychosis.

To be more specific, the order affected both the japanese as to citizens of Japanese descent. This is confirmed Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick in his work «The silenced history of the United States»: «On February 19, Roosevelt signed the Order and, from that moment on, preparations were made to evacuate and detain those affected by the states of California, Oregon Y Washington, two thirds of whom were US citizens by birth.

Officially, they were allowed to travel to nearby states, but most of the possible migrant recipients were opposed to it. «If you come here, you will see a japo hanging from each pine», Said the governor of Wyoming.

Given the need to seek a residence, the government decided to create permanent relocation centers between March and April. The fearsome “concentration camps.” In the words of these authors, the living conditions in them were deplorable. «Frequently, there was a lack of running water, bathrooms, decent schools, well-insulated bungalows with appropriate roofs …», they reveal.

What they did have were “good fences, machine gun posts and watchtowers.” Apparently, such was the treatment offered to inmates that, in the end, the director of the agency dedicated to relocating them (the WRA) left his post.

As if that were not enough, the departure to these concentration camps meant that Japanese citizens residing in the United States lost a whopping $ 400 million in movable property (which today would have a value of $ 5.4 billion). “Since refugees were only allowed to take their personal belongings, their former neighbors hastily acquired their homes for a small part of the real value,” the experts complete.

In 1944 it was requested to Roosevelt its dissolution, but, being election year, the president preferred to wait. The decision did not become apparent until the following year.

78 years later

Since then, there have been many governments that have charged against the decision considering that it fueled racist hysteria and paranoia. In the words of the Japanese American Citizens League (organization that seeks to safeguard the rights of the Japanese in the United States) the detainees were never “accused, and much less convicted, of espionage against the country.” However, “they were attacked, detained and imprisoned for years just for having the enemy’s face.” All in all, they are happy about the decision made in California.

The apology has been orchestrated for several months. The request was submitted by politician Al Muratsuchi and six co-authors on January 28. The project was approved unanimously the following month. “We want California to be the example for many others,” he said.

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