In Defense of Internment Camps

Columnist Michelle Malkin has been promoting her soon to be released book that takes a fresh look at the internment camps of WWII and concludes that they were not fueled by irrational war-time racist infused hysteria after all: (from the publisher’s notes)

Everything you’ve been taught about the World War II “internment camps” in America is wrong:

  • They were not created primarily because of racism or wartime hysteria
  • They did not target only those of Japanese descent
  • They were not Nazi-style death camps [this one I already knew]

I look forward to the book’s success – or debunking- whichever is appropriate. You will probably never be able to convince me that racial profiling (always referred to here as ‘security profiling’) is a good technique for increasing security on a national scale. And I fear that the book will become more fuel for racist views and those that hold them. Is it a debate whose time has come or an attempt at historical revisionism? Or both?

As a supplement I’ll point us to Russ Kick’s entry over at Disinfo, Internments: Yesterday or Today?

A large engine for the Japanese-American incarcerations was agri-business. Agri-businesses in California coveted much of the land owned by Japanese-Americans.

And from Behind Barbed Wire

Canada enacted similar removal and internment programs . . . Many Latin American countries were shaken by anti-Japanese riots. Some shipped their Japanese people to the United States at the urging of Washington. They were held in the camps our government set up . . . Ironically, after the war ended, the U.S. government tried to deport these Latin American Japanese on the grounds that they had entered the country without passports or official visa.

Any of this sound familiar?

Update: Eric Muller of UNC Law School has posted a six-part rebuttal of Malkin’s thesis. Matt Stoller presents a brief history of Malkin’s career as a radical right-wing conservative and her efforts to out-Coulter Ann Coulter. Further debunking at Metafilter. Bonus thought: if Malkin was alive back during the internment – would she have gladly gone to the camps as well? She is part Filipina and I imagine that communities and law enforcement would not have understood the nuances of the East Asian countries – devolving to they all look the same.






4 responses to “In Defense of Internment Camps”

  1. Andy Avatar

    Update: Graphics-heads tweaking the Japanese/Mohommad Atta book cover to other ends.

  2. kc Avatar

    First Ann Coulter defends Joe McCarthy. Now Malkin defends the internment of American citizens of Japanese descent.

    What’s next from these right wing bats? “In Defense of the Salem Witch Trials?”

    Hm, maybe I should put that on my own blog . . .

  3. Andy Avatar

    KC, I love you’re tagline: I don’t hate white people… I just seem to feel better when they’re not around.

  4. Tsu Name Avatar

    Thanks for writing ‘In Defense of Internment.’
    Free speech is a valuable right;too bad the book-signing was cancelled at Berkeley–that is free speech of a kind, the kind that prohibits others from exercising that freedom.
    For those closed-minded persons who condemn everything they disagree with: do some research on your own if you’re not afraid of learning that sometimes you are wrong!

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