It was a time of fear.
Shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066, authorizing the secretary of war to designate military zones within the U.S. from which “any or all persons may be excluded.” In response, the government forcibly relocated over 100,000 Japanese-Americans to internment camps and held them for years.
Today, it was announced that the Trump administration is looking to build tent cities at military posts around Texas to shelter the increasing number of unaccompanied migrant children being held in detention.
It is hard not to see the parallels of the two eras using camps as a means of protecting people. Beyond the clear human rights violations that have resulted from these actions, over 5,000 children without their parents will be put together in these “cities” in triple digit temperatures awaiting an uncertain future.
The sheer risk of physical, mental, and sexual abuse these kids might face in poorly monitored prison camps is horrifying. Unfortunately, a disgustingly large percent of our country simply doesn’t care what happens. Some of you may even think they deserve it for their families illegally entering the country.
This is what happens when a country remains uninformed and unconcerned about their fellow human. We become the monsters we once went to war against. You read about the Trail of Tears in your history classes. You read about Jim Crow. You read about all the countries where the government threw people into camps en masse, and you wondered, “how could it happen? How could people allow that to happen?”
Now you know.