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Taken: Oregonians Arrested after Pearl Harbor

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What Lessons Have Been Learned?

The events surrounding the attacks of September 11, 2001, and the subsequent treatment of Arab Americans paralleled that of Japanese Americans 60 years prior. As Lorraine Bannai, part of the legal team in Korematsu v. United States and Associate Director of the Fred T. Korematsu Center for Law and Equality at Seattle University, writes:

[I]t was the news immediately following 9/11 that brought an eerie sense of déjà vu. Hate crimes against Arab Americans and Muslims increased dramatically...Law enforcement began targeting Arab Americans and Muslims. FBI agents sought to enter mosques to conduct interviews and recorded the license plate numbers of cars parked there...Some of those detained waited several months before they were allowed to speak to an attorney or even learned why they were arrested.

Again, sixty years after the internment of Japanese Americans...the shadow of suspicion fell on individuals who "looked like" the enemy.

The same questions again came to the surface. How was this possible in a nation founded by and built on the toil and personal sacrifices of immigrants? What did it mean for a country that claimed democratic principles of "liberty and justice for all?"

Dr. Tetsuden Kashima, author of Judgement Without Trial , offers:

We as a nation must take care not to base our actions on prejudice and stereotypes...It is therefore important to know not only why the expulsion and imprisonment of Japanese Americans took place during World War II but also how that terrible process unfolded...Only by making the American populace aware can we ensure that such injustices will never affect another group of Americans.

Based on this original

A letter from John J. McCloy to Dillon S. Myer (part 2)
uploaded by Oregon_Nikkei
Letter from John J. McCloy to Dillon S. Myer, the director of the War Relocation Authority. McCloy describes to Myer some the complications they've been having with disorder and cultural ... More »


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