To the editor:
This is in response to a comment in the Dec. 7 article regarding treatment of Japanese Americans after Pearl Harbor and how, after 9/11, there were “reports of U.S. citizens of Arab descent being detained.” In the article, Roger Shimomura was quoted as saying, “It was clear we hadn’t learned a damn thing.”
I beg to differ. As the article said, “there were no large-scale U.S. detention camps.” I don’t recall seeing even small-scale detention camps. I “heard” reports, but don’t recall much of any news coverage of any detentions nor any lawsuits taking place as a result of Muslims being detained. Yet, unlike World War II, the 9/11 attackers did come from within our country. They attacked primarily our civilian population. Japan attacked primarily our military base on a territory thousands of miles from the continental U.S.
The 9/11 attackers had lived among us, planning and plotting how they would kill us using our own passenger planes. What was done to Japanese Americans is a major dark spot on our history, especially since we continued to re-elect Roosevelt, who said, “We set our faith in human love and in God’s care for us and all men” while he was imprisoning entire American families! Our response to fellow Americans after 9/11 was very different from WWII. If I or my family had spent time in a Japanese detention camp in WWII, I would be offended to have that situation be compared with how our nation responded to Muslims after 9/11.