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The Karma of Becoming American
IdeasMagazine | Feature
On February 19th, 1942, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt issued an executive order designating military zones along the West Coast and laying the groundwork for US authorities to remove citizens of Japanese descent from their homes and imprison them in camps. While it is widely acknowledged that racism was central to this shameful chapter of American history, the role of religious discrimination cannot be overlooked, says scholar and Soto Zen priest Duncan Ryuken Williams.
Here, Williams joins Tricycle Editor and Publisher James Shaheen to discuss his new book, American Sutra: A Story of Faith and Freedom in the Second World War, how Japanese Americans in internment camps stood up for religious freedom, and how this disturbing legacy of persecution has taken on new relevance.
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