As a part of the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, the U.S. Congress authorized the establishment of the Civil Liberties Public Education Fund (CLPEF)

     In the spirit of its mission, CLPEF Board is taking this opportunity to encourage the public, academia and governmental agencies to begin using accurate terminology with reference to the World War II internment experience. 

     For instance, the terms "evacuation" and "relocation" have been widely acknowledged by historians and scholars as governmental euphemisms.

      In his Forward to Personal Justice Denied CWRIC Special Counsel Angus Macbeth reiterates those concerns:
      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. 
      For instance, "evacuee " is frequently used in the text; Webster's 3rd International Dictionary defines an evacuee as one "who is removed from his house or community in time of war or pressing danger as a protective measure. "
      In light of the Commission's conclusion that removal was not militarily necessary, "excludee" might be a better term than "evacuee. " 
     The Commission has largely left the words and phrases as they were, however, in an effort to mirror accurately the history of the time and to avoid the confusion and controversy a new terminology might provoke. 
     We leave it to the reader to decide for himself how far the language of the period confirms an observation of George Orwell: "In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible... Thus political language has to consist largely of euphemism, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness. " (Personal Justice Denied, p. viii,)
      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.)

Source: http://www.momomedia.com/CLPEF/backgrnd.html#Link%20to%20terminology

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you. I totally agree. Even Pres. Roosevelt called it concentration camp until the internment became a reality. We were then brainwashed so thoroughly. I wonder what the young people are thinking when they read in our obituaries "Kiyo was in the Poston Relocation Center." Did she go there for school? We need to tell the truth in history. Kiyo Sato