The Streets of Topaz

I’ve just returned from walking the streets of Topaz, UT. It is a beautiful cloudless, calm morning. There was frost on the car when I left about 50 minutes ago.

Topaz was once the 5th largest town in Utah and certainly the most unique. It “contained,” literally, a little over 8,000 American citizens of Japanese decent, behind a barbed wire fence inside a one mile square.

All that is left of this town is the gravel streets, a few concrete floors and foundations, and a memorial to sons of these people who served honorably in three wars.

As I wandered the streets among the remains of this ghost town I developed a feeling of foreboding, a restlessness, driven by this vision of the past. It was a time when our country was driven by fear of Japan to build these prison cities in an effort to protect themselves from a perceived enemy that brought on this time of degradation of an innocent people. The same near-hysteria is afoot today. Some fear radial Islam. Some fear radical Christianity. As a result there are places being prepared to deal with either or both.

Back then, the government and the US Army, citing “military necessity”, locked up over 110,000 men, women, and children in 10 remote camps. These Americans were never convicted or even charged with any crime, yet were incarcerated for up to 4 years in prison camps surrounded by barbed wire and armed guards.

Follow the links below for more on the past, present and future of mass fear and intollerance. Topaz is no ghost town, it is alive and well in the hearts of men who fear their lose of power. Currently there are more than 800 known facilities across our nation ready and waiting for this fear to return with enough vengence to put them into use.