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Welcome to STop, the Seattle Times Opinion blog where our editorial writers and editors share their evolving thoughts on a variety of issues. STop is a place where opinion writers and readers can exchange views and readers can learn more about how editorial positions are formed.

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Jim Vesely
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Jim Vesely
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Lee Moriwaki
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Eric Devericks
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Lance Dickie
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Bruce Ramsey
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Kate Riley
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Lynne Varner
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Ryan Blethen
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September 08, 2005

No Idea Whatsoever

In response to my column on the Japanese internment, here, I received this email:

As a WWII US Marine who fought and lived through this period, I am always troubled to find that there are so many Americans like you, who hate our country so much that they are willing to bash and believe the worst about our country.

You have no idea whatsoever as to the facts of the relocation. And you don't even seem to want to learn. The small note that this American hating Canadian professor sent you, specifically says that these people are not "internees." Yet you continue to refer to them as such. Anyone who knows the first thing about this issue, knows that those who would not leave the war zone voluntarily were "relocated." Yes, some enemy aliens, Japanese, German, Italian and Eastern Europeans were placed in 'Internment Centers,' as international laws allow. These Europeans were placed in prisons; incidentally, have you ever heard any of these people complaining, bashing America, demanding an apology or money? NO!

I don't have the time or desire to educate you or recommend the dozens of books, research papers, and formally secret documents now available that make you the fool but I will tell you that after fighting in three wars, I am truly depressed that it was for people like you.

Someday, your family and friends will learn the truth and understand how you have discredited the memory of America's Greatest Generation, including those of your own parents.

Lt.Col.Gil Ferguson, USMC Ret.
Member of the California State Legislature, Ret

P.S. Incidentally, many of those of Japanese ancestry in California, asked our government to remove them to safety, away from their American Chinese, Korean and Filipino neighbors. I'm sure even you can understand that.

I wrote him back:

I will try to make a civil reply.

If I had to agree with everything my country did in order to show my loyalty, I would hate it. Thankfully, that is not required in the United States of America.

The professor is an American. He told me he got a job in Canada because he speaks French. Anyway, the Canadians were in WWII well before America was, and they interned their citizens of Japanese ancestry, too.

You mention the "Japanese, German, Italian and Eastern Europeans were placed in Internment Centers, as international laws allow." Yes, that's right. These were foreign nationals. My column was about U.S. nationals.

My father was in the Navy during WWII. He had no sympathy for Imperial Japan, but he made a distinction between Japan and the Japanese Americans on the West Coast. So did my mother. They are both gone, but I don't either would be offended by what I wrote.

Reply to Bruce.

 
Posted by Bruce Ramsey at September 8, 2005 01:09 PM



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