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  • Jeff Bailey

The Story of Akiko Kato and Japanese- American Incarceration

When I was a high school student in the 1990's I learned about the horrors of the Holocaust in school. I was aware of the travesties perpetrated by the German Nazi party and it was discussed throughout many years of my school career from middle school on.


One topic that was almost entirely left out and omitted from my American History education was the internment of Japanese Americans after The Attack on Pearl Harbor. Only later, as a college student, did I learn, mostly through my own reading and learning, of the actions my own government took to strip legal American citizens of their rights and dignity based on their race.


Since then, I have found a few different sources to be helpful in coming to an understanding of this.


The first is this video from TEDed.


The amazingly compassionate personal history of George Takei the actor best known for his role as Sulu on the original TV series Star Trek.


Mr. Takei, who was a young child when Pearl Harbor was attacked, recounts the story of his family's internment at a camp in Arkansas. He recounts how, later as a teenager, he tried to reconcile the ideals of America with his experiences in that camp and the discrimination his family faced after leaving there.


The last resource I'll share is the podcast "RadioLab Presents: More Perfect". This podcast series focuses on the history of the United States Supreme Court and the impact of those decisions. In this episode "Radiolab Presents: More Perfect - American Pendulum I" they cover the story of Fred Korematsu's Supreme Court challenge to Japanese-American Internment.


The Government of the United States did not formally apologize for the treatment of Japanese Americans until 1988.




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