The Japanese Internment and What it Can Teach America Today

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60 years ago today, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed an executive order authorizing the internment of over 100,000 Japanese Americans. The fear that people of Japanese descent living in America might aid the cause of the Axis power at war with the United States was enough to compel the government to undertake what many call the worst civil rights violation in the nation's history.

The parallels between Americans' feelings towards the Japanese during World War 2, and the feelings towards Arab-Americans since September 11th are striking. This hour, we look back at the dark period of the Japanese internment to look for insight into the racial questions facing the United States today.


Paul Watanabe, Professor of political science and co-director the Institute for Asian American Studies at the University of Massachusetts at Boston

Eric Muller, author of a new book "Free to Die for Their Country," the story of the Japanese American Draft Resisters in World War II," law professor at the University of North Carolina

This program aired on February 19, 2002.


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