GOP Senator Compares Trump’s Impeachment Inquiry To Life In A Concentration Camp

Darren.Woon

Sen. John Kennedy draws an inappropriate parallel between Japanese internment during WWII and House proceedings.

Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) compared the Democrat-led impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump to the discriminatory incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II, a comment that has drawn fierce criticism from Japanese American groups, NBC News reported.

The senator commented on the inquiry and said that it seemed as if the Democrats “are going to give about as much due process to the president as the federal government gave our Japanese American friends during World War II,” referring to the forced relocation of 110,000 people based solely on race.

Several Japanese American civil rights and social justice groups called such a likening an “offensive” analogy. Tom Ikeda, executive director of Densho, a nonprofit organization that preserves Japanese American history, said the senator’s comment was “using someone else’s traumatic, painful history as a way to avoid accountability.”

“There is no universe in which a public investigation into the president of the United States, one of the most privileged and powerful people in the world, is equivalent to a half-century of racialized hysteria, surveillance and discrimination culminating in the extrajudicial roundup of an entire immigrant community,” Ikeda said. 

Jabbing at Kennedy’s due process argument, Carl Takei of Tsuru For Solidarity, a Japanese American activist initiative, pointed out the Trump is being represented by attorneys of his choosing and has been given opportunities to defend himself throughout the process, unlike Japanese American families during World War II, who were denied those rights. 

“For our families, there was no such opportunity” for due process, Takei told NBC News. “All of us were rounded up by the government and given no choice but to go into concentration camps where we were not only forced to prove our loyalty after we were locked up, but also the government instituted the military draft inside the camps.”

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