The Incarceration of Japanese Americans
For the week of March 12, 2017
Following Japan’s surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, fear of domestic espionage and sabotage ran high. President Roosevelt ordered the removal and detention of 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry, many of whom were U.S. citizens. This week, the mass incarceration of Japanese Americans and its context in the current debate on immigration.
Guest: Yuichiro Onishi, Professor in the Department of African American & African Studies and the Program in Asian American Studies at the University of Minnesota
Professor Onishi discusses the 75th anniversary of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066 and how the order paved the way for the government to incarcerate Japanese Americans.
“How we remember is very important,” says Onishi, “we have to understand the costs of racism…the price that all Americans paid by accepting this political reality of race.” Despite parallels to anti-immigrant sentiment in the current political climate, Onishi says he is optimistic that people seem to be resisting racism and checks and balances are happening at the judicial level.