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12.12.2016

Los Angeles Times publishes letters in defense of internment

"The interned Japanese were housed, fed, protected and cared for."



This is some kind of bullshit.

On Sunday, the Los Angeles Times published two letters from readers arguing that the forced mass removal and incarceration of thousands of Japanese Americans during World War II was necessary and justified.

The letters, published in the paper's print and online editions, were sent in response to a story by Carolina A. Miranda that ran last month regarding the internment camps. The letter-writers call Miranda's article "unbalanced," and attempt to make the case that "internment" was an imperative wartime measure.

One of the letter-writers, identifying himself as Steve Hawes, calls Miranda's reporting "another anti-U.S. remake of history," and argues that the internment was, in effect, ultimately for the good of "the Japanese." The other letter, penned by Dick Venn, calls for "a little bit balance" in Miranda's "one-way reporting."

No. Get out of here with that shit.



There is no other side of this history. The wartime incarceration of Japanese Americans is widely and officially acknowledged as one of the most egregious civil rights violations in our nation's history. The United States formally apologized and granted reparations to surviving internees and their families in 1988, declaring that the government's actions during World War II were "rooted deeply in racial prejudice, wartime hysteria, and a lack of political leadership." The government acknowledged it was wrong and backed it up with money.

This is simply not up for debate, and any arguments otherwise, like these bullshit letters, are revisionist noise.

Are we really doing this right now? Amid heightened Islamophobia, ominous discussions of Muslim registries and a spike in post-election hate crimes, the lessons of history seem more relevant now than ever. Thousands of innocent Japanese Americans were locked up behind barbed wire. Their stories stand as a memorial of the government's injustice and a warning to those who cite internment as "precedent."


So what is the Los Angeles Times doing, giving voice to these views? This is not a matter of "balance." Steve and Dick can believe whatever fucked up crackpot history they want, but a major metropolitan newspaper giving a platform to their whackshit arguments is dangerous and, frankly, irresponsible.

If you agree, feel free to contact the Los Angeles Times and let them know how you feel.