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Trump’s Muslim Ban Repeats the Constitutional Travesty Committed Against Japanese-Americans in World War II


Trump’s Muslim Ban Repeats the Constitutional Travesty Committed Against Japanese-Americans in World War II

Cecillia Wang

Trump is taking the nation back to a time that was specifically and undeniably not "great"

Persons of Japanese ancestry arrive at the Santa Anita Assembly center from San Pedro, California. (Photo: Archive/U.S. Dept. of Interior)


The entire premise of this piece is false. While I agree that the treatment of Japanese Americans during WWII was atrocious, there is absolutely no comparison between that and an immigration ban on people from nations on a terrorist watch list.

During WWII, the Government rounded up thousands of American citizens of Japanese descent (including many who had never been outside the US) and held them prisoner.

The people affected by the travel ban are not US citizens. The ban explicitly exempts US citizens, and even green-card holders, from being prevented entry into the US. And no one is locking them up, except for the time required to send them back to their country of origin if they manage to make it to a US port of entry.

This is the kind of reportage that gets sites labelled as “fake news” in the algorithms at Google and Facebook.


You might consider that thousands of citizens of German or Italian descent (in other words, “white”) were NOT rounded up and interned. That fact strongly suggests that perceptions of potential threats were totally arbitrary and capricious (or simply racist).


There was and is plenty of discrimination of Germans it just wasn’t organized. Pick a point in history and see who the scapegoat is. In the South the new Italian immigrants were lynched along with others. Immigration has its ups and downs depending who you talk with.


I tend to agree. I wasn’t sure if the author is trying to make a more subtle point about law and precedence and justification but as far as the actual events go (Japanese Internment and the (some) Muslim Ban), comparing them is like comparing Franken and Weinstein.


I’ve allowed that the treatment of Japanese Americans was despicable. The fact that German and Italian Americans weren’t similarly treated doesn’t make their fellow citizens’ experiences more or less despicable. The point is that the treatment of Japanese American citizens during WWII is in no way comparable to the immigration ban on people from countries on terrorist watch lists.


I’ll agree with you in spirit. Franken and Weinstein are both admitted abusers of women, so I think the comparison with the travel ban vs American citizen internment is a little extreme. Maybe Tavis Smiley? At least he’s pushing back and denying any wrongdoing.


The act of placing certain whole countries on “terrorist watch lists” is also totally arbitrary and capricious.


Living as we do under a binding social contract called the Constitution, we Americans agree to not favor a particular religion with governmental powers, and by extension, not persecute any either. This of course includes Muslim, or Islam, if you will.

Having said that, it should be recognized that believing in a religion is an act of choice, and protecting that choice comes under religious freedom. It is definitely not an ethnic equality issue, unless somehow we equate being Arabic as being Muslim, which is not the case.

Being born of Japanese American parents is neither a choice nor a religion. It is ethnic. Confuse the two, and we risk muddying further this divisive issue.


I think I see your point, Derek.

If an applicant was brought up in a society which practices religious intolerance, codifies male chauvinism, and is willing to defend to his death against perceived insults to his religious leader, I agree that that applicant needs be scrutinized extra carefully. These social and cultural norms may or may not reflect the applicant’s personal reliefs, but we should make sure. Unless we deny reality, these cultural mores have been too often manipulated by evil doers to instigate violence. We are obliged to be thorough.

But I am less than convinced about a blanket ban based on country of origin alone. It seems too broad stroke, a laziness if you will. And if struck down based on bias, as it has been, ultimately self defeating.


This is absolutely false.


This is false.

Italians and Germans were also interned and treated badly too, despite the fact they’re both white.


There are certain countries which provide safe havens for terrorist (al Quaida and/or ISIS), turn a blind eye to their recruitment and training efforts, or even provide material support to those efforts. Anyone moving to and from those nations should be met with greater scrutiny. The so-called “ban” is meant to be in place until we find a way to positively identify the dangerous ones or until the target country decides to cooperate in eradication of the vermin.