The original FEMA camps in 1942
150,000 immigrants and citizens imprisoned
No charges, no trial, no due process
On this day in 1942, the US decided to arrest and imprison all American citizens Japanese ancestry.
There’s legitimate concern about plans for mass internment in the US based on race, religion, or politics.
It’s already happened.
In a mirror of the Nazi’s behavior, any US citizen with as little as 1/16 percentage of Japanese ancestry – including orphaned infants – was subject to mass incarceration.
130,000 mainland Japanese Americans – many full citizens and the children of citizens – were forcibly relocated from their West Coast homes during the spring of 1942.
In Hawaii, where the 150,000-plus Japanese Americans composed over one-third of the population, only 1,200 to 1,800 were interned. The internment is considered to have resulted more from racism than from any security risk posed by Japanese Americans.
It was also a massive land grab.
Over the generations, citizens of Japanese ancestry had built of substantial holdings of prime farmland in the south and urban real estate in cities like San Francisco.
All that property had to be sold at fire sale prices when the owners – many American citizens – were led away at gunpoint to live behind barbed wire. Moneyed insiders made millions.
Pat Morita’s story