Local Histories- White City

Ranked high among ironically and unfortunately named places in Oregon is White City. Located in a remote corner of south-central Oregon, White City isn’t really a city at all. Originally coined Camp White after an army General, the community was established as an army base in 1941. But what it really was, was a massive internment camp for American citizens of Japanese heritage. At its peak, more than 40,000 people were in Camp White, which was paid for by Congress, to the tune of $27 million. It was a transformative economic windfall for the area. Today, most Oregonians don’t know it exists and certainly couldn’t place it on the map.
Perhaps people feel guilty. Or the subject of internment and the role of Oregonians in it makes us uncomfortable. Maybe they think it’s best to leave the past in the past.
I disagree.
I think that we should wear our history on our sleeve, leave it to stand as the elephant in the room, and own it, so as not to repeat it. So. White City, Oregon. It’s where we sent our own people during the war, the same war we fighting because people were being unfairly interned. And we profited from it.