“Japanese internment was initiated by the California farm lobby,” writes Dr. Sarah Taber, a food scientist in the aquaponics industry. “Japanese farmers’ success came from having tight management skills, and that threatened their white neighbors. White farmers had a choice: level up their game, or play dirty.”
The head of the Salinas Valley vegetable growers’ association actually said, “We’re charged with wanting to get rid of the Japs for selfish reasons. We might as well be honest. We do.”
Taber believes there are farm interests today that covet the wealth created by new immigrants and are pressuring Congress to throw DACA-eligible immigrants out of the country. And she reminds us what happened last time: “Once internment started, food shortages quickly followed.”
More from History Is Power:
How we changed our minds about Presidents Grant and Eisenhower
Americans changed their minds about other things first.
The founders of Black History Month fought a lonely uphill battle for decades
White historians had a blind spot.
Henry George was Bernie Sanders 130 years ago
He’s the reason we talk about the “99 per cent.”
Kansas City Black History highlights
(Every month is Black History Month.)