At CPAC, Internment Of Japanese Americans Cited As Precedent For Treatment Of Muslims

Posted by | February 12, 2011 13:05 | Filed under: Top Stories

by Stuart Shapiro

Gatherings like the Conservative Political Action Conference are always good for crazy sound bites.  This, however, would have to make any top ten list.  Niger Innis, ironically the spokesperson for his father, Roy’s group, the Congress of Racial Equality, was asked about treatment of American Muslims.

But the fact is, we are at war, and it is just logical that a country— that a country— not go after them, but that we monitor, and that we just make sure that there is not unusual behavior. And I think the key is to let them know that this is not isolated. This has happened in the past. And of course we know the classic case of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, an icon of liberal Democrats and progressivism, interning Japanese-Americans.

Um, is anyone defending the interment of Japanese-Americans?  Just because we progressives like FDR, doesn’t mean we endorse everything he did.  What comes next?  Should we treat slavery as a precedent?  How about denying women the vote? Or the treatment of Native Americans?  There is no shortage of horrible incidents in our history.  Most of us love this country because we tend to (not always, but often) learn from them — not use them as justifications for more unacceptable behavior.

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Copyright 2011 Liberaland
By: Stuart Shapiro

Stuart is a professor and the Director of the Public Policy
program at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers
University. He teaches economics and cost-benefit analysis and studies
regulation in the United States at both the federal and state levels.
Prior to coming to Rutgers, Stuart worked for five years at the Office
of Management and Budget in Washington under Presidents Clinton and
George W. Bush.

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