Instead of interrupting Dick Swart’s excellent post about the World War II internment of Japanese-Americans, I thought it useful to move the discussion to a new thread. Start with this item in the Daily Messages:

This message was sent to Students, Faculty, and Staff on February 19, 2010 by Rebecca Ohm, Williams College Libraries.

Executive Order 9066 On this day in 1942, Franklin Roosevelt signed Exec. Order 9066, authorizing “removal of resident enemy aliens”, to what were described as “military areas”. U.S. citizens or not, thousands of Japanese-Americans were interned in these camps, ruining lives and livelihoods in the process. MORE: from Rebecca Ohm, Williams College Libraries

Message details:

For more on this dark period in U.S. history, explore the extensive library collections on this aspect of WWII; search FRANCIS for subjects: Japanese Americans — Evacuation and relocation, 1942-1945 Japanese Americans — Reparations World War, 1939-1945 — Japanese Americans

This is a cute little example of political correctness at Williams because it pretends that there is only one reasonable position to hold: That internment was evil. In fact, as with most controversial issues, there are two sides. Curious about the other side? Start with In Defense of Internment: The Case for ‘Racial Profiling’ in World War II and the War on Terror by Michelle Malkin. Note especially the seriousness with which Malkin engages her academic critics.

Best part? The Williams libraries do not own a copy of Malkin’s book! Wouldn’t want to confuse the students . . .

UPDATE: Just to clarify, I don’t mean to accuse Rebecca Ohm of political correctness. I don’t know her. But every member of the Williams library staff that I have dealt with has been knowledgeable and cordial. Instead, I think this Daily Message illustrates an attitude that is widespread at Williams, as Professor Sam Crane’s comment demonstrates.

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