Between 1942 and 1945, the US government locked up tens of thousands of Japanese American citizens not because of anything they’d done but because of who they were. Scapegoat Cities is a podcast that helps you know and feel what this episode of mass injustice was. Each episode tells one true and moving human story drawn from historian Eric Muller’s two decades of research, reminding us of the devastating harm that can arise when a frightened nation turns against its own people.
The Desert Was His Home
In the hot spring of 1943, a lonely old Japanese prisoner went missing from the Gila River Relocation Center in southern Arizona. This episode introduces Mr. Otomatsu Wada and tells the story of his disappearance and of the efforts to find him.
The story is true in every essential detail.
And Your Little Dog Too
Nisei: "No Way"
We Built This City
A Day in the Life - August 21, 1943
Are You Now Or Have You Ever Been Japanese American?
Great storytelling on sorrowful topic
Professor Eric Muller is a master of the written and spoken word. I’m actually dragging my feet about the last few episodes, not wanting to be finished listening. I grew up in a house constructed from several pieces of the barracks at the Heart Mountain Camp. Though growing up I understood the story of the camp, I never understood the injustices inflicted there by my own government until I was an adult and a student in Professor Muller’s constitutional law course at the University of Wyoming’s College of Law. These stories build on and deepen that understanding. If you like the podcast, you must read Eric Muller’s book “Free to Die for Their Country.”
As a storyteller, I know that stories open listeners’ hearts and touch us emotionally in a way that mere facts do not. As a Japanese American with family members who were incarcerated at Tule Lake and Minidoka for the crime of looking like the enemy, I am especially grateful for Eric Muller’s carefully researched and moving stories that bring the hardships of the incarceration to life and to a larger audience. These stories are needed more today than ever before and Professor Muller is doing a remarkable job here. Thank you!
Thank you professor Muller. My parents met at Heart Mountain and I believe when people experience something so hard, they often want to put into their past - that’s natural. So I am thankful to learn our history from people who did not personally experience the camps.