Ethnic Internment By Emiko Omori

1279 Words6 Pages
There are many events throughout history that have shown civil liberties being taken away from people. America still dedicates a day every year to a man who killed and nearly eradicated an entire race of people. Christopher Columbus is honored with a national holiday in his name. The attack on Pearl Harbor is taught to every child in the American school system, but Japanese Internment during World War 2 is taught in significantly less schools, and not until middle school. The government was suspicious of all Japanese-Americans during World War II, and so in all the camps they sent out a loyalty questionnaire. Tule Lake was a maximum security camp that was more like a prison than all of the other camps. The questionnaire and Tule Lake are correlated:…show more content…
Under the constitution, it states that all citizens are entitled to certain unalienable rights. These rights are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Many men, women, and children lost their lives while they resided in the camps, many also lost their homes, and found themselves struggling with depression. “The most problematic part of the questionnaire, questions 27 and 28 addressed explicitly the intertwined topics of origin and national identity” (Inouye 1). The film by Emiko Omori clearly shows that the questionnaire forced the people in the camps to be perceived as either completely loyal to their country or the enemy. Karen Inouye explains that question 28 asked: “Are you willing to serve in the armed forces of the United States on combat duty, whenever ordered?” Fight for a country that has stripped rights away and separated families? Many men answered yes to this question and many men answered no to the question. In the film, Chizuko Omori explains that one train arriving in the first may unloaded three dead bodies and is mentioned in an unpublished report by the War Relocation Authority. “’Disloyal’, with papers so stamped, I am relocated to Tule Lake, but for myself, a clear conscience” (Okada 15). This was a poem written by an unnamed internee at Tule Lake. Tule Lake was more like a prison and a segregation camp than an internment camp, the people were treated like prisoners, like they had committed some type of punishable offense when really they were innocent. “The guard towers were turrets equipped with machine guns. The outer perimeter was patrolled by a half-dozen tanks and armored jeeps.” How outraging it must have been, to be treated like criminals because of the color of their
Open Document