Tuesday, April 12, 2016

"J" is for Japanese American Internment -- The "A, B, C"s for Christian Schools; 26 Topics We Have the Opportunity to Teach Our Students

There are several embarrassing chapters in American History, one of which is the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II.  The reason?  They were Japanese.  And America was at war with Japan, and thus they were not trusted.   

Executive order 9066 was signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1942, and internment camps were opened where Japanese people, many of them American citizens, were held for sometimes up to four years.
My favorite book about this incident is Farewell to Manzanar, the true story of a girl who spent years in a Japanese internment camp with her family.  And my favorite part is when the girl's grandmother smashes her own wedding china all over the driveway rather than sell it to some American who was trying to take advantage of her situation by offering her a ridiculously low price for it.
There is a little resolution to this awful period of history.  In 1988, President Ronald Reagan made a public apology and signed legislation to pay $20,000 to each camp survivor.   The document officially recognized the mistake and admitted that the government's actions were prompted by "race prejudice, war hysteria, and a failure of political leadership."