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Opinion

Readers React: Japanese internment is a disgrace now, and it was a disgrace during World War II

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The Japanese internment camp at Manzanar in California during World War II.
(Handout)

To the editor: I literally dropped my spoon when I read the letter defending the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. Even Ronald Reagan, that noted liberal, was willing to acknowledge that it was wrong.

As for the claim that few at the time felt “shame” about internment, that’s a very selective view of the past.

Among other things, there were three challenges to the internment and related rules that made their way to the U.S. Supreme Court. The government hid evidence in order to win them, and the decision in Korematsu vs. United States is a blot on our legal history.

Lorelei Laird, Culver City

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To the editor: One reader wrote that he felt no shame that President Franklin D. Roosevelt had ordered the internment of Japanese Americans on the West Coast during World War II.

The Army’s 442nd Infantry Regiment was made up almost entirely of Nisei, or second-generation Japanese Americans. Many of them were drafted out of the internment camps.

It is the most decorated regiment in U.S. history. Twenty-one of its members were awarded the Medal of Honor. Of the 14,000 men who served, 9,486 earned Purple Hearts.

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If not shame, I would think that one could feel some admiration for these people given those staggering numbers.

Victor M. Silva, Hermosa Beach

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