Schools, according to Biden, are ‘whitewashing’ Japanese-American internment camps.
As he signed a measure to examine the building of an Asian-American history museum on the National Mall in Washington, DC, President Biden hinted that the incarceration of Japanese-Americans during WWII was being “whitewashed” from school textbooks.
Biden made the strange remark at a White House East Room event, where he also mispronounced a guest’s name and claimed, without evidence, that a deadly Atlanta shooting spree last year was an anti-Asian hate crime.
According to a recent review of school curricula, Japanese-American internment is the most common Asian-American history subject taught in schools. Biden did not mention any specific controversy around the topic’s teaching.
It’s probable that Biden mixed up the issue with a separate Republican-led effort to limit the teaching of critical race theory, which asserts that racism and white supremacy are at the heart of American law, politics, and society.
In 1988, President Ronald Reagan approved bipartisan legislation providing $20,000 in reparations to survivors of the internment camps. Senator Biden was one of four senators who voted against the bill.
The teaching of Japanese-American internment is required by history standards in 25 of the 32 states that have specific Asian-American history requirements, according to a study published in January by Sohyun An, a professor of elementary and early childhood education at Georgia’s Kennesaw State University.
Even though it isn’t officially specified in state rules, it may nevertheless be taught in other states. South Dakota, for example, requires students to learn about “the origins, events, and repercussions of World War II, including domestic and international issues.”