Free Range Free Chat

Another Monday, and while it’s officially President’s Day, maybe we should rename it “Things Presidents Do” day. . . This is our Monday Free Chat, an open forum to discuss, opine, rant, rave and repeat the issues at hand.

December 7, 1941
The attack on Pearl Harbor. Local authorities and the F.B.I. begin to round up the leadership of the Japanese American communities. Within 48 hours, 1,291 Issei are in custody. These men are held under no formal charges and family members are forbidden from seeing them. Most would spend the war years in enemy alien internment camps run by the Justice Department.

February 19, 1942
President Roosevelt signs Executive Order 9066 which allows military authorities to exclude anyone from anywhere without trial or hearings. Though the subject of only limited interest at the time, this order set the stage for the entire forced removal and incarceration of Japanese Americans. Archives

Excerpt from Executive Order 9066 – Archives

It was 81 years ago yesterday the Executive Order was signed which paved the way for the internment of American citizens by the government. Japanese Americans, Post Pearl Harbor, were removed from the stream of their own lives and placed in Concentration Camps by their own democratically elected government.

That was the America we voted to have, the history we seem doomed to repeat. On this President’s Day, it’s open topic, but I know what’s on my mind— the country we’ve made for ourselves seems to be having trouble with the ideas of freedom, responsibility, equality and control. This is an old rut we’re stuck in — we remember this anniversary, but will that keep us from the mistakes of an EO 9066? We should check into the Department of Homeland Security for an answer to that one. . .

Individuals of Japanese ancestry at the Santa Anita Assembly Center in April 1942 before removal to WRA camps.
In this May 23, 1943, file photo, an American soldier guards a prison camp at Manzanar, Calif., where Japanese Americans were incarcerated. San Diego has just formally rescinded its World War II-era support of the mass incarceration of Japanese Americans based on their ancestry.
(Associated Press)

San Diego Union-Tribune

Meanwhile, let’s talk about it, whatever it may be for you on this Monday. And let’s answer the question: are we doomed to repeat history? If so, which one? Happy President’s Day, Happy Monday, what’s going on in your world today?