Losing One Of The Good Guys
by Robert Thomas, InverseCondemnation
The Washington Post reports that "Bob Fletcher, who saved farms of interned Japanese Americans, dies at 101," and tells one small and little-known part of America's internment of Japanese Americans during the Second World War.
Once the evacuation was ordered and the internments began, Fletcher "quit his job [as a state agricultural inspector] and went to work saving farms" owned by three Sacramento-area families. He worked the land, and paid the mortgages and taxes. Unlike many of their neighbors, these families' farms were there when they were released.
Many Japanese American families (including ours, on mom's side of the family, who lost their Sacramento-area farm) lost everything when they were transported to the camps, because unlike the farms that Fletcher saved, theirs were gone when they returned, lost to squatters, the banks, or the tax man.
For more on the legal aspects of the internment, see "Unfinished Business: The Case for Supreme Court Repudiation of the Japanese American Internment Cases" by Professor Peter Irons.