In other words, by the systematic discrimination against Asian Americans on the part of the government and the acquiescent American people, the stage had been long set for the internment of the 1940s. The government and the people had been discriminating against the Chinese since the mid-nineteenth century, when hundreds of thousands of Chinese came to make money in the Gold Rush, a situation in which the Asian immigrants were gravely exploited economically and legally deprived of their rights.
Daniels carefully and passionately presents the background and facts of this episode of racism and places it in its historical context. The author also notes that what happened once to one group of Americans in one crisis could well happen to another group in another crisis.
Clearly, those cynics who would minimize the suffering of the Japanese Americans in the camps, or who would discount the claim that the internment was part and parcel of historical American racism against minorities in general and Asian Americans in particular, simply are in a state of ignorance about this ugly chapter in American history.
extending into the twentieth century, culminating with the internment of Japanese Americans.
For those who would minimize the maltreatment of the Japanese Americans in the internment camps, saying that it was not such a terrible experience, Daniels makes clear that it was indeed terrible. The Japanese Americans were as much as in prison, surrounded by barbed wire, watched by guards, in isolated are