All right, so I said I’d talk about poisonous Japanese blowfish today. Er–I decided I’d talk about something else, seeing as I already had to type this up for school. It’s very interesting and, to me, somewhat disturbing.
When I first read my article on Manzanar Relocation Camp, I was shocked. I had never known, before, about the Japanese internment camps. To read about such an obvious lack in my education hurt me. If this was such an important period in history with such enormous discrimination, why don’t we know about it? Why isn’t it taught in schools today alongside the Nazi Concentration Camps and the aftermath of Pearl Harbor Day?
The government shut down American branches of Japanese banks. Men, women, and children, sometimes second-generation American or even adopted by Americans, were carted off to Manzanar and other camps. Religious and political leaders were arrested for no apparent reason, with no warning or explanation to their families. In the relocation camps, families were expected to survive in “apartments” the size of two horse stalls.
The worst came after the Japanese gained permission to leave. Those with less than $500 in savings received a measly $25, a train ticket, and food on the road. How could this ever be payment for what those people suffered? Even the $20,000 to survivors offered by President Reagan in 1988 and the official apology offered by President Bush in 1989 could never come close to repaying the Japanese for what we did to them.
I found this article at americanhistory.about.com, written by a man named Martin Kelly. Kelly taught social studies for eight years at a secondary school and developed the AP History curriculum for the Florida Virtual School. From my research, he appears to be well-educated and I found no reason to doubt the information he placed in his article.
You can read the original article here.
How many of you knew about this or learned it in history? Comment and let me know!