Malkin, and the Liberal AcademyEric Muller and Michelle Malkin debated about Malkin's book again today. Unfortunately I don’t have a transcription of round two of the interview and didn’t listen to it. So I’ll refrain from picking a winner. What I do have is the notes of a blogger, and one particular point bothered me:
Britt[Britt is one of the hosts], what about other, non-Japanese internees? That’s not taught in history.
Malkin. There was internment of 31,000 enemy aliens and their families, about one-half were of European descent. We don’t hear about that. We only hear that the Japanese suffered.
First off it’s important to remember that Germans and Italians were treated very differently from the Japanese. But what bothered me is that I don’t think the overall claim this is true, historians do talk about the internment of Germans and Italians. It may not be remembered as well, but that’s not because it doesn’t make it into textbooks or lectures. For example I’m currently studying for my field exam. Along with reading monographs, I picked up a fairly well regarded textbook to help me keep the big picture in view. The textbook is A People & A Nation compiled by seven historians (I won’t list them all here). I’m using the sixth edition, published in 2001. In the opening paragraph on internment they say:
After Pearl Harbor, the government drew upon this authority [provided by the Alien Registration Act of 1940] to take into custody thousands of Germans, Italians, and other Europeans as suspected spies and potential traitors. During the war, the government interned 14,426 Europeans in Enemy Alien Camps. Fearing subversion from aliens born in enemy countries, the government also prohibited ten thousand Italian American from living or working in restricted zones along the California coast, including San Francisco and Monterey Bay.
Now, Malkin didn’t make the original claim that European internment is “not taught in history.” But she did agree. This also isn’t an exhaustive review of multiple textbooks, but I think the point is still valid. Historians haven’t been hiding this from the public.