More than 75 years ago, amid the hysteria of World War II, more than 120,000 Japanese Americans were incarcerated in detention centers across the U.S. GuideSpark CEO Keith Kitani became intimately familiar with that history, as it affected his own parents and extended family. They were held against their will in one of the greatest constitutional failings of American history.
I can relate to this, as my own family faced similar circumstances in the wake of Pearl Harbor. I felt a certain kinship with Kitani, who was a sansei (third-generation American) from Pasadena, California. He is a serial entrepreneur in Silicon Valley and now runs a company that handles employee communications software in Menlo Park, California.
Kitani recently wrote a post about what the legacy of Japanese American internment means to him.
“If I were to fast-forward 75 years, how would history characterize this new immigration ban, which targets immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim countries, regardless of background or status? When the chaos at airports ensued, applying the executive order to all entrants, including U.S. citizens, dual citizens, Green Card holders, valid visa holders, and refugees, it all sounded eerily familiar,” he wrote.