Originally Posted by Ummagumma
Because it was indeed racism.
No US citizen of German descent was interred (only some - not all - German born immigrants). Even though some were active in pro-Nazi organizations, were spying on behalf of Hitler, some were actually preparing for diversions/acts of terror. Likewise, no Americans of Italian, Hungarian or Romanian background were interred based just on their ethnic background. Even though these countries were at war with the US. Only those who were actually caught working on behalf of the enemy were apprehended, the way it should be in a lawful democratic state.
But the American citizens of Japanese descent were all rounded up, stripped of their constitutional rights, robbed of their property, and sent to prison camps. Just because their parents or grandparents came from Japan. The newspapers of the time were full of "yellow danger" and similar slurs. The Japanese Americans were been treated differently than German Americans, even though they posed about the same level of danger. And many newspaper references at the time were outright racist. If that's not racism, what is it then ?
Imagine that we go to war with Ireland and all Americans with Irish background are arrested and put in camps - sounds ridiculous doesn't it ? How about arresting all Polish Americans during Cold War ?
If it was about race, they would have locked up all "Orientals" (common racial classification was different then; anybody remember being taught about Mongoloids, Caucasoids, and Negroids
?). They did not, it was about national origin. Words have meaning, confusing them does not not help the conversation, it hurts it.
Are you one of those people that calls every white person that kills a "black" person a racist? Or is it a hate crime to you?
Everything does not have to be about race, and this wasn't. It was about national ancestory and questions of loyalty.