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FDR's Record

June 29, 1997

Re "Roosevelt's Stand on Civil Rights," Opinion, June 22: If Robert Zelnick understood that the struggle for civil rights involved other groups besides blacks, praising President Roosevelt would be considerably more difficult. On Feb. 19, 1942, Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, denying West Coast Japanese Americans their civil rights, one year after Zelnick writes of FDR signing an order "proclaiming a new policy of nondiscrimination in federal em- ployment and defense contracts."

Apparently, Zelnick does not recognize the discrepancy. Roosevelt is praised: "Defeating Nazism on the battlefield, FDR struck a serious blow at the moral and intellectual underpinnings of racism." How can this be, when on American soil thousands of issei and nisei were interned in guarded camps? Could Zelnick believe that Executive Order 9066's forced relocation was not a racist policy?

DOUGLAS CRUISE

Los Angeles

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