Focus on Friendship or Fights for Civil Rights? Teaching the Difficult History of Japanese American Incarceration through The Bracelet

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2020-11-01
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Naseem Rodriguez, Noreen
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School of Education

The School of Education seeks to prepare students as educators to lead classrooms, schools, colleges, and professional development.

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The School of Education was formed in 2012 from the merger of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction and the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies.

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2012-present

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  • College of Human Sciences (parent college)
  • Department of Curriculum and Instruction (predecessor)
  • Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies (predecessor)

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In regard to the imprisonment of 120,000 Japanese and Japanese Americans after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, euphemisms abound. The most popular of these is the term “internment” in reference to the events initiated by the War Relocation Authority as a result of Executive Order 9066. However, as Daniels (2005) and other Asian Americanists have noted, internment is a legal process designed for prisoners of war and civilian enemy nationals. As two-thirds of those who were imprisoned as a result of EO 9066 were U.S. citizens, these individuals by definition do not fall under the legal designation of internment and their imprisonment without due process was a violation of their civil rights. Therefore I use incarceration, rather than internment, for its legal accuracy and apt description of what happened to Japanese and Japanese Americans on the West Coast during World War II. Similarly, I avoid euphemistic language, such as relocation and evacuation, which deliberately evades the trauma, hardship, and lack of due process faced by Japanese and Japanese Americans during this time period.

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This article is published as Rodríguez, N. N. (2020). Focus on Friendship or Fights for Civil Rights? Teaching the Difficult History of Japanese American Incarceration through The Bracelet. Occasional Paper Series, 2020 (44). Retrieved from https://educate.bankstreet.edu/occasional-paper-series/vol2020/iss44/6. Posted with permission.

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Wed Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2020
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