Today marks the anniversary of FDR signing executive order 9066, which authorized the “indefinite detention” of nearly 150,000 people on American soil.
The order authorized the Secretary of War and the U.S. Army to create military zones “from which any or all persons may be excluded.” The order left who might be excluded to the military’s discretion. When President Franklin D. Roosevelt inked his name to EO9066 on Feb. 19, 1942, it opened the door for the roundup of some 120,000 Japanese-Americans and Japanese citizens living along the west coast of the U.S. and their imprisonment in concentration camps. In addition, between 1,200 and 1,800 people of Japanese descent watched the war from behind barbed wire fences in Hawaii. Of those interned, 62 percent were U.S. citizens. The U.S. government also caged around 11,000 Americans of German ancestry and some 3,000 Italian-Americans.
I only learned about this when I moved to LA when I was 24. That’s too old to learn that about your own country. I’m glad kids in Southern California are taught about it (since it’s an unavoidable fact that affected kids’ grandparents here) but Boston public schools, shall we say, “whitewashed” this fact from my own education. Maybe they teach it now. Anyway #teens, don’t let your school hinder your education; hit the books at home too. xo
I’m sure someone mentioned it in passing during high school but yeah, I was an adult when I found out what the United States did to its own citizens in the name of
racism national security. What’s even more fucked up is it took the government four decades to officially apologize. Seriously. It was Ronald Reagan, in his final year in the White House, who signed it.