Letters to the Editor

Internment was all wrong

Shame on Mr. D. C. Barber and his “Soundoff” column (News-Times, Dec. 5) regarding the absolutely unjustified internment of Americans of Japanese descent, and shame on the newspaper for even publishing such a scurrilous and inaccurate narration.

President Roosevelt was wrong, General DeWitt was wrong, the country was wrong and the court cases since have proved the meanness and the economic basis for the action, hardly any of which could be compensated by the conscience money finally paid by our nation.

I’m surprised that Mr. Barber, a man of my generation, evidently quite literate, has not read how unjust it was to take Americans, none of whom were shown to have committed any treasonable acts, uproot them from their homes where so many of them had been born, in effect steal their farms and their businesses, and ship them away to concentration camps. Discrimination against Americans of Japanese descent was plain racism, as proved by our not treating non citizen Germans or Italians similarly, let alone locking up American citizens of German or Italian descent.

And what about the 442nd, composed of Japanese Americans, the most decorated American fighting force we had, or the glaring fact that even larger numbers of alien Japanese, not to speak of Japanese-Americans, were not deported or bothered in Hawaii, the forward bastion of our war against Japan.

Mr. Barber cannot substantiate the hearsay from his brother-in-law or any of the other supposed acts of treason, mainly because there were none. I was away at war and certainly not in position to protest, but many times since have reflected on just what a shameful crime we perpetrated on our fellow citizens.

Many times I have reflected on what the Nazis did to the Jews and other people they considered inferior and because of what we did to OUR fellow citizens find it hard to condemn the majority of Germans, who witnessing the deportations, probably didn’t fully know about the killing of those sent away. Did it occur to any of us, out of communication with so many that were our friends in school and in our neighborhoods, to wonder what fate was in store for them? It is plain to me that a military government could just as well have done the unspeakable things the Nazis did and we would have been none the wiser.

Mr. Barber, in due respect, get your facts straight, and I hope, apologize to our fellow Americans, because my friend, you are just plain wrong.

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