I read with interest Gary Bullert’s Jan. 29 guest editorial on the Japanese-American relocation in World War II, and while I respect the author’s academic qualifications, I fear he has drawn the wrong conclusion. Why he would conclude that removal order was not racially motivated confounds me.
If racism did not contribute to the removal of Japanese-Americans, then why were there no camps for German or Italian Americans? If race had nothing to do with it, then how does one explain the frenzy of white neighbors in the Yakima Valley to get their hands on Japanese-American property? If race had nothing to do with this blot on our national character, how does one account for the virulent racial propaganda posters and inflammatory headlines which were so commonplace?
Yes, the Japanese Empire’s atrocities were racially motivated. But their brutality should have had nothing to do with the travesty of denying American citizens their constitutional rights under the law.
Bullert’s reference to the spy at Pearl Harbor fails to mention that he was a commissioned Japanese officer attached to the government of Japan. In point of fact, not a single American-Japanese citizen whose loyalty was questioned was ever proven guilty of treason.
Jim Campbell, West Richland