Camp for troubled young adults
In some ways, life inside Manzanar was shockingly ordinary.Children went to school and acted in cowboys-and-Indians play; adults danced to the tunes of a jazz band named, cheekily, the Jive Bombers.They operate a gas station that doubles as a casino.It appears to be the most successful commercial enterprise for many, many miles.You can see them on the edge of the camp, dry branches reaching into blue sky.The camp consists of an excellent series of exhibitions inside the repurposed, barnlike auditorium, which the Japanese prisoners built.
Satisfied, he returns to watching Fox News, where a blond pundit is defending the travel ban. Each has in front of him an unopened copy of that morning’s I ask about Manzanar.
Three days before I went to Manzanar, President Donald Trump had ordered a halt on immigration from seven majority-Muslim countries. Manzanar was created via Executive Order 9066, which will turn 75 years old on February 19.
The order did not mention the Japanese, but its intention was very clear.“It’s in no way a concentration camp,” said one newsreel that showed Japanese-Americans disembarking buses with their suitcases in the high desert of Inyo County, where the rudiments of Manzanar awaited (they would have to build a good deal of the camp themselves).
A fear of espionage was the reason given for Japanese internment, just as a fear of terrorism is the reason Trump cites for his travel ban.
But there were no spies among the Japanese confined during World War II.