Is America about to witness a frightening instance of history repeating itself? According to Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, maybe. During a speech at the University of Hawaii on Monday, Justice Scalia warned the Supreme Court could approve a wartime violation of civil rights like it did in allowing internment camps for Japanese-Americans during World War II.
The Supreme Court’s 1944 decision in Korematsu v. United States upheld the convictions of Gordon Hirabayashi and Fred Korematsu for violating orders to report to an internment camp. While Scalia said the Supreme Court was wrong to uphold the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II, something similar could easily happen during a future conflict.
“Well of course Korematsu was wrong. And I think we have repudiated in a later case,” he said. “But you are kidding yourself if you think the same thing will not happen again.”
Glenn has long spoken about the importance of Americans being aware of and familiar with the tragedies and massacres that have been orchestrated by the United States government in order to ensure history (like internment camps) does not repeat itself. His newest book, Miracles and Massacres: True and Untold Stories of the Making of America deals with that very theme.
“Excuse me? Excuse me? Now, this is the case that we make in Miracles and Massacres. In fact, he used the Latin ‘In times of war the laws are silent.’ That’s the name of one of the chapters in Miracles and Massacres… In the book we said, ‘We’ve got to learn from this because we’re about to repeat it again.’ And we gave evidence… We’re starting to do it again,” Glenn said. “And I know when I say it, it’s crazy. And I’m sure because Scalia is crazy and a warmonger or whatever he is, I’m sure it’s going to be called crazy too. But does it not wake anybody new up?”
The danger Justice Scalia discusses is not simply a big government, progressive problem; it is an inherent problem with human nature. Whether you look back in history to the slavery debate and Manifest Destiny or look at today’s conversations about abortion, human nature hasn’t changed.
“[It’s the feeling of] ‘we know we’re right, and if you don’t agree with us, there’s no place for you.’ That’s why Scalia is saying it’s going to happen again. Because human nature doesn’t change. I’m sorry. The progressives are wrong. Man does not progress,” Glenn said. “Every human starts with the same problems, the same flaws. We don’t progress past that. We have that in our basic nature. And it is for each individual to conquer that. And so you have to conquer it over and over and over and over again.”