Manzanar is a Japanese-American prison city and concentration camp placed in the middle of Owens Valley on the eastern side of the Sierras. Made during World War II along with ten other camps, Manzanar had 10,000 American residents of Japanese ancestry, all forced out of their homes bringing only what they could carry. Mostly American citizens born and raised in America, they were forced to leave their homes, jobs, businesses, even their pets.
Completely disrespecting the laws of America, Manzanar was a wrong and unjust piece of American history which the US must remember not to copy again.
We visited Manzanar on November 7th and I was wholly surprised about how racist some parts of America were back then, even after the Civil War. Cartoons of Japanese people were drawn with buck teeth and slanted eyes in the newspapers, and Japanese families were excluded from neighborhoods by the public. The US government also backed the public by launching exclusion acts on the Japanese and earlier on the Chinese people, not allowing them to immigrate to the US.
Surprisingly, Manzanar was like a city, with everything a city would have, from boys scouts to gardens, sports clubs to newspapers, and dance halls to temples. Sadly though, the Japanese residents were being surveyed by watch towers and guarded by barbed wire, so it was nothing less than a city of prisoners.