“The earliest vivid memory in my life,” said Kazuo Matsubayashi, “is the day my father was arrested on January 7th, 1943.”
….The internment of Japanese Americans? No. Matsubayashi was recalling a shameful and forgotten chapter in American history. From 1942 onward, the United States abducted some 3,000 people of Japanese, Italian and German ancestry from Latin America, shipped them to the United States and placed them in internment camps. These prisoners were never charged with crimes.
This is why I think it’s important not to romanticize the past: it prevents us from learning from our mistakes. Yes, interning those people was wrong, but it’s different today. Don’t you understand that the world is a far more dangerous place than it was in our parents’ day?
No it’s not. And if in hindsight something was wrong 60 years ago, it’s also wrong today.