Addressing and Redressing Racial Prejudice: Lessons from the WWII Japanese American Incarceration
WHEN Wednesday | 16 Mar, 12:00 PM-1:00 PM
WHERE 238 HRCB
Susan H. Kamei debunks the U.S. government’s decades-long justification that the wartime imprisonment of approximately 120,000 persons of Japanese ancestry, two-thirds of whom were American-born citizens, was a “military necessity.” By placing this unconstitutional episode in the context of the discrimination faced by Asians in this country, from the hostilities against the first Chinese immigrants to the current climate of anti-Asian hatred, Kamei points out the constitutional dangers when the assertion of national security interests infringe upon the civil liberties of marginalized communities.
Susan H. Kamei, author of When Can We Go Back to America? Voices of Japanese American Incarceration during World War II (Simon & Schuster, 2021), teaches at the University of Southern California about the constitutional relevance of the incarceration. A descendant of incarcerees, Kamei was a volunteer leader in the campaign for the Civil Liberties Act of 1988 that acknowledged the wrongfulness of the incarceration and provided redress payments to surviving incarcerees.
Part of our Winter 2022 lecture series, “Engaging Global Inequality.”