HomeJapanese American80th anniversary of order incarcerating Japanese Am remembered

80th anniversary of order incarcerating Japanese Am remembered

President Joe Biden issued a proclamation Friday proclaiming February 19 a Day of Remembrance to mark the 80th anniversary of Executive Order 9066 which called for the removal of Japanese Americans from the West Coast.

He called it one of the most “shameful chapters in our nation’s history.”

“Despite never being charged with a crime, and without due process, Japanese Americans were forcibly removed from their homes and communities and incarcerated, simply because of their heritage. For years, many Japanese Americans lived in harsh, overcrowded conditions, surrounded by barbed wire fences and armed guards. Not only did they lose their homes, businesses, property, and savings — they also lost their liberty, security, and the fundamental freedoms that belong to all Americans in equal measure,” the President’s proclamation read.

The National Park Service is holding numerous online events this weekend to remember this dark day in American history.

Panel discussions are being held both Saturday and Sunday, February 19 and 20th.

“This was a reflection of decades of really severe anti-Asian prejudice along the West Coast. That’s really what fed it,” said Linda Ivey, a professor of history at Cal State East Bay to KPIX5. “In many cases, families lost all their property, loss personal property. Your businesses would be disrupted. Your careers disrupted. Your childhood disrupted. It was a devastating thing to happen to families in our country.”

Stop AAPI Hate and JACL are also commemorating this day.

“This anniversary shows us that we have learned too little from the past. The United States’ actions with foreign countries continue to result in the villainization of communities at home. American Muslims and South Asians were targeted by discriminatory governmental policies after 9/11, including the Special Registration program, NSA surveillance, and police profiling. Most recently, at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, misinformation and inflammatory rhetoric from our political leaders sparked hate against not only Chinese Americans but all Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs),” said Stop AAPI Hate in a statement.

JACL has posted links to commemorations across the country today.

“Every February, the Japanese American community commemorates Executive Order 9066 as a reminder of the impact the incarceration experience has had on our families, our community, and our country. It is an opportunity to educate others on the fragility of civil liberties in times of crisis, and the importance of remaining vigilant in protecting the rights and freedoms of all,” JACL said.

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