International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

America’s Concentration Camps : Anniversary of a National Injustice
Ronald Saltinski

In 1942 80,000 Japanese American citizens were incarcerated in desolate concentration camps in violation of their Constitutional protections. Another 40,000 Japanese American long-time residents who by law could not become citizens were incarcerated as well. Motivated by racism and politics President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066 allowing the Department of War to remove all Japanese Americans from the West Coast under the guise of “war necessity.” Challenged in the United States Supreme Court, the U. S. Department of Justice engaged in the suppression of evidence that would have invalidated “war necessity” and proven that the incarceration of Japanese Americans in concentration camps was solely because of their Japanese ancestry. The official admission by the United States government in the 1980s for the World War II incarceration of Japanese Americans was “wartime hysteria, racism, and failure of political leadership.” Apologies and compensation followed years later. In 2011 the United States Department of Justice revealed documents that evidence had been intentionally withheld during the Supreme Court Japanese incarceration cases in World War II. The implications for such an injustice holds for American citizens in the present day as well as for the Japanese Americans in the past.

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