What Racist Registries Look Like

A new large photo book has just been published called Un-American: The Incarceration of Japanese Americans During World War II.

People who support creating a Muslim registry should take a look. Here are the victims before, in their small farms and their LA mansions. Here they are being forcibly removed. Here they are incarcerated. Here is what was done to their homes in their absence. Here they are in the camps, prisoners for nothing, and after their release.

To this day, no proof has ever been produced that any Japanese American planned to assist Japan in war against the United States in any way. Nor was there reason to think so at the time. Instead there was open admission of racist and greedy motivations on the part of government officials and white farmers respectively.

These photographs were the U.S. government’s own documentation of its crime, and the hired photographers included Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange and others with the talent to capture stories in stills. The accompanying text by Richard Cahan and Michael Williams expands one’s understanding.

In 1936 President Franklin Roosevelt ordered the creation by the Office of Naval Intelligence of a list of Japanese-Americans who would be the “first to be placed in a concentration camp” once a war could be started.

In 1939 FDR ordered the ONI and the FBI to create a larger “custodial detention index” of primarily Japanese-, German-, and Italian-Americans, renamed and continued as the “security index” by J. Edgar Hoover after Attorney General Francis Biddle ordered it shut down.

The Alien Registration Act of 1940 required all non-citizen adults to register with the government. In early 1941 FDR commissioned a study of West coast Japanese-Americans, which concluded that they were no threat at all. He commissioned another study that reached the same conclusion.

On November 26, 1941, Roosevelt secretly ordered the creation of a list by Henry Field of Japanese and Japanese Americans.

On December 7, 1941, FDR issued a proclamation stripping Japanese in the United States of rights (and the very next day for Germans and Italians).

Within 24 hours of the Pearl Harbor and other Japanese attacks, the FBI broke into enough homes on its list to forcibly remove 1,212 Japanese Americans.

On January 14, 1942, FDR proclaimed that enemy aliens could be put in internment camps. On February 19, 1942, he ordered the internment of citizens and non-citizens alike.

From 1980 to 1983 a Congressional commission studied the history and concluded that Japanese-Americans and Japanese had been locked up in camps, not due to any evidence of a threat, but on the basis of racism and bigotry. The commission recommended $20,000 in reparations to each victim. In 1988, President Ronald Reagan signed legislation authorizing those reparations payments, and apologizing to the victims. This law acknowledged “race prejudice, war hysteria, and a failure of political leadership” as the factors that motivated the crime.

In 1992, President George H.W. Bush signed a law appropriating more finds for reparations payments. On the anniversary of Pearl Harbor he issued another formal apology, which included this claim: “The internment of Americans of Japanese ancestry was a great injustice, and it will never be repeated.”

In 2000, a memorial was dedicated in Washington, D.C., that includes, carved in stone, these words:

“The lessons learned must remain as a grave reminder of what we must not allow to happen again to any group.”
–attributed to Daniel K. Inouye, U.S. Congressman and Senator

In 2001, Congress passed a law making 10 of the camps historical landmarks and stating that “places like Manzanar, Tule Lake, Heart Mountain, Topaz, Amache, Jerome, and Rohwer will forever stand as reminders that this nation failed in its most sacred duty to protect its citizens against prejudice, greed, and political expediency.”

The question is how many more such failures will be allowed. The first section of a mass-crime-against-Muslims photo book could be made now. Perhaps it would help: a photo album of Muslim Americans.

It’s highly encouraging that high-tech companies, some of them generally willing to violate people’s rights on behalf of the U.S. government, are announcing that they will not take part in creating a Muslim registry. This is encouraging for what it is, but also for what it suggests, namely that these companies are not completely sociopathic. They may readily assist in unconstitutional surveillance, political repression, or censorship, but the possibility must now be recognized that they would not do so if they came to view those things as unacceptable in the way that racism is unacceptable.

Combine the resistance to a Muslim registry with the refusal of staffers at the Department of Energy to facilitate a witch hunt of reality-based climate observers, and you’ve got the outlines of a nonviolent revolution that can’t come a moment too soon and could have been beneficial many times over past decades and centuries.

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  • Josh Stern

    Thanks for the article on a good topic. Adding a couple of notes that, I think, flesh out the picture of the – racist climate and its orgins:

    As Wikipedia says – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Executive_Order_9066 – prior to WWII, people born in Japan were legally prohibited from become US citizens and immigration to the US from Japan had been halted for a long time. Also, prior to 9066, the US govt. had actually done investigative studies which determined that there was NO fifth column with US residents of Japanese origin. This conclusion was ignored in the hysteria after Pearl Harbor.

    On the specific point of the early 1936 – it is noted that it was about Hawaii only, preparing for “trouble”.


    But that note and others of the time did use the then less loaded term “concentration camp”.

  • WillDippel

    Here is an article that looks at how much it will cost Americans to actually fully enforce current immigration laws:


    When American taxpayers realize the high cost of immigration law implementation, it will be interesting to see if those backing deportation still believe that it is the best option.

    • Charlie Primero

      > “Assuming that 20 percent would leave the United States on a voluntary
      basis, the remaining 80 percent would have to be forcibly removed.”

      LOL “Assume my base costs…”

      Surprise, surprise; a group of corporate oligarchs want to keep flooding the U.S. with cheap labor and shove the social costs onto taxpayers. Imagine my surprise… https://www.americanactionforum.org/about/

  • Charlie Primero

    Swanson’s contention that a Muslim Registry is racist is destroyed by the fact that “Muslim” is not a race.

    Islam is a political ideology, not a race, which calls for the enslavement and or extermination of out-group members, a.k.a. Kafirs.

    Swanson should study basic logic and reason.

    • Carl_Herman

      So, to be clear, Charlie is in favor of what policy towards a group of people he claims upholds the policy to “enslave and or exterminate” anyone not in their group?

      Just curious: how many Muslims do you personally know who advocate this policy? I assume you have zero Muslim friends, of course.

      • Charlie Primero

        I didn’t say I was in favor of any Muslim Registry. I don’t know anything about it.

        I said Muslim is not a race.

        Carl, building Strawmen is a logical fallacy I see you fall victim to quite frequently. You are better than that.

        • Josh Stern

          Children of Muslim & secular Arab parents are probably jumping up and down with joy due to your insightful insurance that they would have to take and “fail” a religous quiz before before being added to that list, and that absent such a quiz, they are free and clear from government sponsored prejudice, civil rights abuse, and preemptive FBI “sting” surveillance…

          • Charlie Primero

            Can you please point out where I made any such insurance?

          • Josh Stern

            I was being sarcastic to make a serious point. The actual discrimination of such a program would be largely based on race, ethnicity, social, and family ties even if it carries a label based on a religious group. That point should be obvious to you, yet you chose to criticize someone on the basis of ignoring it.

    • FYI C.P. – Dec 9, 2015 US & Britain Planned Use of Islamic Extremists to Topple Syria ’57’ Years Ago

      BBC reports that – in 1957 – the British and American leaders approved the use of Islamic extremists and false flag attacks to topple the Syrian government: Nearly 50 years before the war in Iraq, Britain and America sought a secretive “regime change” in another Arab country… by planning the invasion of Syria and the assassination of leading figures.


  • Jul 25, 2011 Japanese Internment during WW II

    After America was attacked by Japan at Pearl Harbor, President Franklin Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066 consigning 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry to internment camps. Fred Korematsu challenged the internment all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. In “Korematsu v. United States” (1944), the Court sided with the government.


    • MCB

      Hey MOLON LABE/Lincoln! 🙂