The Japanese-American Internment During World War II: A Discussion of Civil Liberties Then and Now - May 2, 2000

The history of the United States is the history of a nation and a people whose essence is rooted in the exercise of our freedoms (be they civil liberties - the freedoms of speech, press, religion, assembly and petition, together with freedom from arbitrary arrest and persecution; or civil rights - the freedom to vote, to receive equal protection before the law, and to share equally with other citizens the benefits of public facilities). Often times, however, these freedoms come in conflict with each other. The Bill of Rights was instituted not only to guard against the tyranny of the majority, but also to balance those rights in conflict. Yet, what happens when the Bill of Rights can't or won't balance those rights and individuals or groups suffer partial or total loss of their freedoms as American citizens?