Could a “Trigger Moment” Imperil Civil Liberties?

Surveillance, Government Secrecy, and an Unpredictable Political Landscape Raise Difficult Questions

In December 1941, the attack on Pearl Harbor was the “trigger moment” that eventually led the U.S. government to herd tens of thousands of Japanese Americans into internment camps. If some explosive incident were to occur during Donald Trump’s presidency, could it provoke a similar mass round-up of Muslims, immigrants, or some other ethnic or religious group?

On Wednesday night, a standing-room-only crowd gathered to mull that possibility and other, sometimes dire scenarios, past and present, at the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy in Little Tokyo in Los …

More In: Why We’re Still Reckoning With Japanese American Internment

How a Segregated Regiment of Japanese Americans Became One of WWII’s Most Decorated

The About-Face Permitting Japanese Americans to Enlist Provoked Dissent, Anger—and the Remarkable 442nd Regiment

In January 1943, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his War Department abruptly reversed course by allowing Japanese Americans to enlist in the U.S. Army in the fight against Germany …

The Supreme Court Ruled Wrong, Then Right, on Japanese American Internment

The Only "Precedent” for the Proposed Muslim Registry Is Conflicted Legal Thinking

In 2014, a group of law students at the University of Hawaii asked Justice Antonin Scalia to comment on the Korematsu case, the infamous 1944 Supreme Court decision that upheld …

Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Act of Infamy Against Japanese Americans

How a Human Rights Champion Gave in to Racist Suspicion After Pearl Harbor

In recent months, president-elect Donald Trump has said he is considering setting up a registry to track Muslim Americans and foil jihadist plots from being hatched in the United States. …

Why I’m Still Talking About My Incarceration as an American Japanese

The Pain of Remembering Is Deep, But the Danger in Forgetting Is Far Worse

I am a member of a once despised minority group, American Japanese, who spent three and a half years incarcerated in an American concentration camp during World War II. …