Thursday, June 23, 2005

More National Park Service Revisionism

Friends of Historical Accuracy regarding the ethnic Japanese Evacuation of 1942

Got the latest NPS "General Management Plan Newsletter" today.

As expected, none or our conerns regarding 100% historical accuracy have been addressed, although there is a lot of lip service such as, "You'll find many of your ideas from the public workshops and your written comments are represented..."

Yea, sure they are....

Not one of our concerns (ideas) are represented.

The last mailer on the Bainbridge Island memorial discuused the "diversity" of the community members involved and then listed names that were all pro-reparations. It'd be a good laugh if the content wasn't so serious.

Here are but a few examples:

Under "Interpretive Themes for Minidoka Internment National Monument" it states:

"Civil and Constitutional Rights

- The internment and incarceration of American citizens and legal resident aliens of Japanese ancestory was the product of a long history of race prejudice, war hysteria, and failure of political leadership."

This is absolutely false. Approximately two-thirds of the ADULTS among those evacuated were Japanese nationals--enemy aliens.

The vast majority of evacuated Japanese-Americans (U.S. citizens) were children at the time. Their average age was only 15 years.

In addition, over 90% of Japanese-Americans over age 17 were also citizens of Japan (dual citizens)under Japanese law. Thousands had been educated in Japan. Some having returned to the U.S. holding reserve rank in the Japanese armed forces.

The accusations of "racism", "wartime hysteria" and "lack of political will" are straight out of the flawed "Personal Justice Denied" report. Ask a Japanese-American reparations activist how the commission reached those conclusions.

P.S. Hey NPS - The evacuation was the product of the United States being attacked by the Empire of Japan at Pearl Harbor. That didn't seem to make your newsletter.

The Minidoka newsletter then states:

" The loyalty questionnaire designed by the U.S. government was administered only to internees (relocatees, they mean to say) and required that every internee (relocatee) over the age of 17 declare their loyalty and patriotism to the United States of America. Minidika internees (relocatees) overwhelmingly affirmed their loyalty (97%) and helped to refute the government's assumption that the Nikkei population on the West Coast was a threat to national security."

What the NPS fails to acknowledge is in the same questionaire, over 26% of Japanese-Americans of military age at the time said they would refuse to swear an unqualified oath of allegiance to the United States. What the NPS fails to acknowledge is according to War Relocation Authority records 13,000 applications renouncing their U.S. citizenship and requesting expatriation to Japan were filed by or on behalf of Japanese-Americans during World War II and over 5,000 had been processed by the end of the war.

This, along with MAGIC and other intelligence that the NPS conveniently ignores support the government's concern for espionage in the West Coast Japanese American community.

Also, relocatees at Minidoka pledged the loyalty oath before arriving at Minidoka (at least Bainbridge Japanese). The 97% figure reflects this fact. Ethnic Japanese who refused to provide an oath of loyalty were sent elsewhere. NPS conveniently ignores this fact.

The Minidoka newsletter then states:

"Minidoka provides a forum for discussing the violation of U.S. constitutional rights and the redress movement, which resulted in an apology from the United States government."

Violation of U.S. constitutional rights?

The Executive Branch produced Executive Order 9066.

The U.S. Congress immediately passed legislation providing enforcement provisions for FDR's Executive Order 9066. Public Law 503 passed unanimously in both the House and Senate, provided under Article 1, Section 9 of the United States Constitution.

The Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the evacuation in three separate cases that are good law to this day.

In Korematsu v. U.S., 1944 term:

In summing up for the 6-3 majority, Justice Black wrote:

"There was evidence of disloyalty on the part of some, the military authorities considered that the need for action was great, and time was short. We cannot --by availing ourselves of the calm perspective of hindsight -- now say that at the time these actions were unjustified."

That decision has never been reversed and stands to this day.

In Hirabayashi vs United States, Chief Justice Horace Stone wrote:

"THE ALTERNATIVE WHICH APPELLANT INSISTS MUST BE ACCEPTED IS FOR THE MILITARY AUTHORITIES TO IMPOSE THE CURFEW ON ALL CITIZENS WITHIN THE MILITARY AREA, OR ON NONE. IN A CASE OF THREATENED DANGER REQUIRING PROMPT ACTION, IT IS A CHOICE BETWEEN INFLICTING OBVIOUSLY NEEDLESS HARDSHIP ON THE MANY, OR SITTING PASSIVE AND UNRESISTING IN THE PRESENCE OF THE THREAT. WE THINK THAT CONSTITUTIONAL GOVERNMENT, IN TIME OF WAR, IS NOT SO POWERLESS AND DOES NOT COMPEL SO HARD A CHOICE IF THOSE CHARGED WITH THE RESPONSIBILITY OF OUR NATIONAL DEFENSE HAVE REASONABLE GROUND FOR BELIEVING THAT THE THREAT IS REAL."

The Japanese American reparations activists and the NPS can say differently until they are blue in the face. The evacuation was not unconstitutional. (Perhaps in their world an entity other than the United States Supreme Court interprets the constitution.)

I could go on and on correcting this NPS newsletter. I've read previous ones and they're all the same.....historically inaccurate and pandering to special interests.

It's a real shame and does nothing to gain lost respect for my Japanese-American neighbors who got sucked into this bogus movement.

5 Comments:

At April 09, 2006 8:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, it was unconstitutional and if it were YOU that had to go to a camp, you would see it that way..Many refused unqualified loyalty to the US because the US had put them in camps!

 
At July 11, 2006 2:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You people just won't give up. The incarceration of Americans of Japanese descent was wrong and not needed. Hawaii was in real danger of being invaded yet there was no mass roundup of Japanese Americans there.

If Japanese Americans were so dangerous and the government knew this, why were virtually all of the Japanese Americans in Hawaii NOT put into concentration camps?

Also, by January 1943 the government was already making plans to release as many Japanese Americans as possible after a cursory loyalty review.

The government made a mistake and only blind racists can't see that today.

 
At January 14, 2007 12:27 PM, Blogger Friends of Historical Accuracy said...

According to the 1940 census, ethnic Japanese made up 40% of the population of Hawaii. In California, the population was 1.6%.

Military authorities had considered moving all ethnic Japanese to Molokai or the West Coast but moving 40% of the population was logistically and financially impossible.

That said, there was an internment camp in Hawaii at Sand Harbor. More importantly, Hawaii was under military martial law at the time.

If the the authorities could have evacuated all ethnic Japanese from Hawaii they would have. They could not so they did not.

As an aside, Japan had a battle plan in place for the invasion of Hawaii that intended to utilize ethnic Japanese during the occupation. The battle plan was dubbed "Eastern Operation", and was scrapped after Japan's defeat at Midway.

Hurling accusations or racism is always the sign of a last gasp for "you people", too.

 
At March 31, 2007 11:14 AM, Blogger Michelle said...

The "internment" camps in Hawaii (there were two, including Sand Island) housed a total of around 1600 japanese-americans during the entirety of the war. 2500 total residents of Hawaii were interned (some were sent to the mainland).

Compared to the general population, this was a pittance. Most of those held were only held for short periods of time for "martial law violations", generally for being japanse after dark.

Btw, Germany had a plan for using ethnic germans to assist in a takeover of the US. By your logic, shouldn't all german-americans have been locked up?

 
At April 04, 2007 12:24 PM, Blogger Friends of Historical Accuracy said...

Thank you for commenting, Michelle.

Considering that ethnic Japanese were 40% of the population this indeed was a pittance. See my comments above yours explaining why it was a pittance.

Regarding your comments on ethnic Germans, German Americans on the east coast and throughout the country were arrested, interned, and in some cases deported.

Germans were interned in Hawaii also.

Almost 11,000 German Americans were interned in the U.S. during World War II. Many German Americans sat, worked, played and went to school in the same camps as their Japanese American counterparts.

Furthermore even before the first person was interned, 600,000 Italian Americans and 300,000 German Americans were deprived of their civil liberties when they (all persons, male and female, age 14 and older) were required to register as "Alien Enemies."

This registration entailed photographing, fingerprinting and the issuance of identification cards which the Alien Enemies had to have on their possession at all times.

In addition they were forbidden to fly; to leave their neighborhoods; to possess cameras, short-wave radio receivers, and firearms. Finally, these persons were required to report any change of employment or address to the Department of Justice.

Why were they not evacuated off the coast? There was no evidence they posed a threat to the extent the ethnic Japanese on the West Coast posed a threat.

Why were ethnic Japanese outside the military exclusion zones not evacuated?

Same reason.

To argue there must be some kind of proportionality between Germans and Japanese because they both happen to be the enemy without acknowledging the extent of the security threat from ethnic Germans compared to ethnic Japanese is questionable logic....

 

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