The Commission has not attempted to change the words and phrases commonly used to describe these events at the time they happened. This leaves one open to the charge of shielding unpleasant truths behind euphemisms.
While the CLPEF does not wish to dictate individual choice of vocabulary, it strongly urges grant applicants and the public at large to discontinue the usage of terms such as "relocation," "evacuation," and "assembly centers" as clearly misleading references for this historic event.
The CLPEF concurs with the alternatives suggested by, among others, the National Japanese American Historical Society's (NJAHS) in its publication, Due Process-Americans of Japanese Ancestry and the United States Constitution (1995, NJAHS, p. 48).
**rather than "evacuation" or "relocation," the following terms for this event are more accurate: "imprisonment, incarceration, internment, detention, confinement or lockup."
**rather than "assembly centers," the term "temporary detention centers" is an accurate alternative.
**rather than "relocation camps," "internment camps, detention camps, prison camps, or concentration camps" is more accurate.
**rather than "evacuee," "detainee, internee, inmate or prisoner" is more accurate.
This is based on a comparison of the dictionary definitions of such terms and the documented facts of this historic period.
The Board recommends that grant applications, as a starting point, begin to utilize more accurate terms such as the above, keeping in mind that "Continued use of these misnomers would distort history... The choice of term must reflect the fact that the inmates were not free to walk out without getting shot." (Due Process, NJAHS, p. 48.)