The internment of Japanese Americans during World War II is a dark stain on the history of our country. And we could be repeating that history now.
Ann Burroughs, the president of the Japanese American National Museum, spoke Thursday as part of a lecture series for the Barbara & Norman Tanner Center for Human Rights at the University of Utah.
She says the climate in the United States today parallels the climate of fear and hatred that led to the incarceration of Japanese Americans 75 years ago. She draws a direct comparison to the detention of immigrants and separation of migrant families at the southern border.
Burroughs has a history of fighting for human rights in South Africa. She was jailed for her opposition to apartheid. She is the president and CEO of the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles.
Utah was home to the Topaz Relocation Center near Delta that held Japanese Americans. The Topaz Japanese American Internment Camp Museum in Delta works to remember that piece of history. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.every day except for Sundays. You can learn more on their facebook page.
And you can see art produced at the Topaz camp in an exhibit at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts. The exhibit, Chiura Obata: An American Modern, is by an artist incarcerated in Topaz from 1942 to 1943. It runs through September 2, 2018.