I am reading a book about the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. The author titled it “Infamy” to point out the irony of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Dec. 7 “Day of Infamy” reference only to be followed by his act that many considered to be infamous, the imprisonment of more than 100,000 American citizens.
The racial aspect of this measure is reflected in the fact that, while some in the military considered also gathering up Germans and Italians, practicality won out.
However, baseball player Joe Dimagio’s immigrant father, who neglected to attain citizenship, was prevented from going to his restaurant and fishing boat.
The author equates that the people’s acceptance of this act to the attitude toward immigrants then, to the present-day feelings of many towards the Hispanics and Muslims among us.
Army cartoonist Bill Mauldin drew a post-war cartoon with a group of WWII veterans sitting around a gas station, and an old codger says, “What I can’t understand is how you guys put up with all them ignorant foreigners.”
Too many people today still share that old codger’s opinion of immigrants (foreigners) and also see it is an aspect of their patriotism.