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75 Years Since Japanese Internment Order, Is History Repeating Itself?

Above: Poston, Arizona, near the Colorado River, was where many San Diego Japanese Americans were interned during World War II.

Aired 2/21/17 on KPBS Midday Edition.

75 Years Since Japanese Internment Order, Is History Repeating Itself?

GUESTS:

Michael Provence, modern Middle East history professor, UC San Diego

Simeon Man, modern U.S. and Asian American history professor, UC San Diego

Transcript

This weekend marked 75 years since one of the most controversial executive orders in U.S. history.

In the aftermath of the Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed executive order 9066. The objective was to prevent espionage. But the order led to the mass internment of nearly 120,000 people of Japanese descent, including U.S. citizens, for the duration of World War II.

More than four decades later, the U.S. government acknowledged "a grave injustice" had been committed.

A lecture in San Diego Tuesday explores the history of the Japanese internment order and how it's being remembered in the current political climate. Does it resemble President Trump's recent travel ban? And is history repeating itself?

Michael Provence, modern Middle East history professor at UC San Diego and Simeon Man, Asian American history professor at UC San Diego discussed the lessons learned from the Japanese internment order Tuesday on Midday Edition.

In regards to the public reaction to President Trumps travel ban, Man said that "what we're seeing now is a resurgence of political activism. Not only surrounding the Muslim ban, but surrounding a host of other issues such as police brutality, immigration enforcement and exclusions."

"I think what we are seeing is a very particular moment when people are starting to make connections between the Muslim ban and other things that are going on,” Man said.

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