Lingering lesson of World War II

The hearings that began in Washington last week will continue in cities farther west as a congressional commission makes the first official inquiry into a shameful lapse from American's ideals of civil rights. We trust that all along the way there will be a recognition that the World War II internment of 120,000 Japanese-Americans was indeed a lapse. The very establishment of the commission is testimony to a national determination not to let anything of the sort happen again.

No doubt suggestions will emerge for strenthened legal safeguards against relocating and confining persons without charges, without trial, for no reason other than their ancestry. But for any safeguards to be effective, especially during any future emergency such as war, the American public must firmly back equal justice to support them.

of 5 stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read 5 of 5 free stories

Only $1 for your first month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.