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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

George S. Schuyler: Conservative Critic of the Japanese Internment

In recent years, it is has become fashionable among some conservatives to defend FDR's internment of the Japanese-Americans. Michelle Malkin and Daniel Pipes spring to mind as examples.

For this reason, it should be mentioned that one of the few consistent voices against this policy was George S. Schuyler, an important figure in the rise of the modern conservative movement. Schuyler later wrote
Black and Conservative and contributed to such journals as The Freeman and National Review.

Until his death in 1977, Schuyler never flagged in his oppostion to Japanese internment. While he had not yet made the full transition to conservativism during World War II, he already hated FDR's New Deal and "Globalony" with a passion.

On May 29, 1943, he wrote the following in his column for The Pittsburgh Courier, one of the two leading black newspapers at the time:

"Some colored folks have said we should remain indifferent because the Japanese-Americans have never championed our cause and sought to avoid us at all times. While this is not entirely true, it would make difference if it were true....These Japanese-American citizens are NOT in concentration because of the commission of any crime against the state. The contention that 70,000 citizens among the millions of whites on the Pacific coast constituted a danger is a fantastic falsehood. These people are the most industrious, thrifty, and best behaved citizens in this country. Thousands of them are the offspring of American-born Japanese-Americans. Other thousands are the offspring of mixed Americans, many having blonde hair and blue eyes, and look no more Japanese than I do. They had farms, businesses, and service jobs and professions. They sent their children to school and college and did all possible to measure up to American standards. They were put in concentration camps SOLELY because of "race," and the principle behind their jailing is exactly the same as that behind the jailing, torture and murder of the Jews under Hitler's jurisdiction.

Their fight is our fight....and the sooner we realize it the better."

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