That stuff is not actually the stuff I wanted to write about today. Today, I wanted to write about today’s Day of Remembrance: 73 years ago today, Executive Order 9066 was signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Executive Order 9066 authorized the eventual round-up and forcible incarceration of Japanese Americans — based solely on their racial similarity to citizens of a country with whom we were at war — in the nation’s largest coordinated concentration camp effort (learn more about the JACL’s 2010 resolution and campaign to target the words we use to refer to this period in our history).
Japanese Americans — American citizens by birthright — were imprisoned under grueling and inhumane conditions in repurposed racing tracks and stadiums, and later in the middle of the desert. These Japanese Americans and their foreign-born parents (who were denied the right to naturalize as Americans based also on their race) were treated with suspicion of disloyalty. Their possessions were stolen. Children grew up under gunpoint.
I sadly don’t have the time to write a new post for this year’s Day of Remembrance (dammit, #AngryAsianGate!), so I instead invite you to revisit last year’s three-part photographic collection documenting Japanese American concentration camps and their aftermath. This is a great set of posts I put together; I think you’ll enjoy:
- Part One: 12 Images of anti-Japanese xenophobia
- Part Two: 10 images of Japanese American internment
- Part Three: 12 Images of Japanese American strength & patriotism