Since they lacked certain physical and/or cultural characteristics needed to belong in the American nation, they were not considered worthy enough to receive the same rights and privileges they deserve. Therefore, Takaki hopes that with his book, people would acknowledge how America developed a society centered to benefit only white people with the creation of laws hindering these racial groups from receiving the same and equal rights they deserve.
Japanese-American internment camps were a dark time in America’s history, often compared to the concentration camps in Germany (Hane, 572). The internment camps were essentially prisons in which all Japanese-Americans living on the west coast were forced to live during World War II after the bombing of Pearl Harbor Naval base in Hawaii. They were located in inland western states due to the mass hysteria that Japanese-Americans were conspiring with Japan to invade and/or attack the United States. At the time the general consensus was that these camps were a good way to protect the country, but after the war many realized that the camps were not the best option. Textbooks did not usually mention the internment camps at all, as it is not a subject most Americans want to talk about, much less remember. Recently more textbooks and historians talk about the camps, even life inside them. Some Japanese-Americans say that their experiences after being released from the internment camps were not as negative as most people may think. Although the Japanese-American internment camps were brutal to go through, in the long run it led to Japanese-Americans’ movement from the west coast and their upward movement in society through opportunities found in a new urban environment such as Chicago and St. Louis.
It all started with a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. During the 1940s, United States placed an embargo on Japan’s access to war materials in an attempt to stop Japan from further invasion in Asia. However, the plan did not work out well. On December 7, 1941, the Japanese attacked the US’s Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, and caused more than 2,400 deaths of Americans (Roark 671). This surprise attack not only pushed the United States into World War II, but also triggered the start of racial discrimination against Asians in America, specifically Japanese Americans, Chinese, and of course, the Japanese. In this essay, an excerpt taken from the Life Magazine will be analyzed and supported with The American Promise written by James Roark et al.
Many minorities like Mukherjee and Divakaruni have expressed that although many traditional obstacles of prejudice have been made obsolete, discrimination still exists, especially in the negative responses of other Americans to their success. The peaking of Anti-Asian sentiment and violence on America’s streets and office buildings has reinforced this theme ten fold. Asians must seek to dissolve the racist love behind the distortions of the model minority paradigm.
Within the United States, the attitude towards Asian American immigrants have changed from being seen as a menace to society to becoming praised as the model minority. Under the Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1965, the United States was looking to accept model immigrants by prioritizing those with higher education and desirable skills for the workforce. This immigration policy caused an influx of middle to upper class Asian immigrants to come to the United States, which is the root for the model minority stereotype that is attached to the Asian American community. Yet, the idea of being the model minority does not extend to all Asian immigrants especially those who came to the United States seeking refuge from various conflicts such as the Vietnam War. Thus, the model minority myth is damaging for the Asian American community because it ignores those who do not fits this stereotype which is reflected in Erika Lee’s book, The Making of Asia America, and the film Children of Invention.
In February of 1942 a San Francisco columnist, Henry McLemore wrote, “I am for immediate removal of every Japanese on the West coast …Herd ‘em up, pack ‘em off. Let ‘em be pinched, hurt and hungry! I hate the Japanese. And that goes for all of them!” (Stanley 16-17). This feeling of hate was common in America at this time, reflecting a tendency to confuse the enemy nation of Japan with American citizens of Japanese ancestry. A poll conducted in March 1942 found that 93 percent of Americans supported the evacuation of alien Japanese, and 59 percent supported the removal of Japanese- Americans who were citizens (23-24). Americans acc...
Throughout America’s history, there have been numerous incidents of unnecessary incrimination of certain races, perhaps most evidently the internment of Japanese-Americans between World War I and World War II. Not only did public opinions shift towards illogical discrimination of the foreigners, degrading propaganda, discriminating laws, and segregation/separation began taking over the nation. Mainly due to the idea of national safety, irrational fear of the Japanese quickly arose and the government saw internment as a reasonable response, which only led to the Americans feeling superior to the so-called “inferior creatures.” During the gap between the World Wars, the American population took drastic measures in order to make it clear that they are superior to the Japanese and the United States truly is their country.
The Asian American community in the contemporary period face a lot of race relation issues which all interconnect within each other. Asian Americans face the basis of “Model Minority” that purportedly whitens Asians leading to the belief that there are no issues such as racism and poverty within the Asian American community. With that, they face the issue that there is no racial discrimination against Asian Americans due to the racial barrier being contextualized within a “black or white” framework. Another problem they face is mainstream America’s lack of awareness to the diversity of the Asian population, which causes a lot of misperceptions and misdirected racial hatred towards certain ethnicities within the Asian race. This causes the Pan-Asian community to not be supportive, unwilling to support each other, in order to avoid racism by avoiding being associated with that ethnicity just because they look alike. This causes the Asian American community and the ethnic groups within to be invisible to the American community as they lack organization and unification to have their voices heard.
This discrimination initially began with the Naturalization Act of 1790, allowing free white-men of “good character” naturalization while excluding Native Americans, indentured servants, free Blacks, and Asians. In addition to extreme acts, the Chinese Exclusion Act, signed in 1882, had prohibited the Chinese from entering our country. Another example of the racism Asian-Americans faced occurred during World War II due to the war’s propaganda and the slurs that came about as a result of the war. The historical background of Asian-Americans and racism not only left scarring tendencies, but managed to transcend into modern society within a lower degree.
Throughout their history in America, Asian immigrants have struggled in many different ways to encourage this country to accept and respect the diversity of its citizens. Through efforts in labor strikes and military aid such as that in World War II, the American society has gradually moved to accept racial minorities. Asian today have much more freedom than when they first began traveling across the Pacific. However, many still find that they are unjustly viewed by society and treated as “strangers from a different shore” (474).
The English immigrants are given a brief introduction as the first ethnic group to settle in America. The group has defined the culture and society throughout centuries of American history. The African Americans are viewed as a minority group that were introduced into the country as slaves. The author depicts the struggle endured by African Americans with special emphasis on the Civil War and the Civil Rights movement. The entry of Asian Americans evoked suspicion from other ethnic groups that started with the settlement of the Chinese. The Asian community faced several challenges such as the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, and the mistreatment of Americans of Japanese origin during World War II. The Chicanos were the largest group of Hispanic peoples to settle in the United States. They were perceived as a minority group. Initially they were inhabitants of Mexico, but after the Westward expansion found themselves being foreigners in their native land (...
Japanese immigration created the same apprehension and intolerance in the mind of the Americans as was in the case of Chinese migration to the U.S at the turn of the 19th century. They developed a fear of being overwhelmed by a people having distinct ethnicity, skin color and language that made them “inassimilable.” Hence they wanted the government to restrict Asian migration. Japan’s military victories over Russia and China reinforced this feeling that the Western world was facing what came to be known as “yellow peril”. This was reflected in the media, movies and in literature and journalism.4 Anti-Oriental public opinion gave way to several declarations and laws to restrict Japanese prosperity on American land. Despite the prejudice and ineligibility to obtain citizenship the ...
The trend and patterns of interracial marriages have increased substantially in America over the past few years. Between the early 1970 and late 1980’s after abolishing laws prohibiting interracial unions, the proportion of interracial marriages was under five percent of all married couples in America (Lewis & Robertson, 2010). Although recent surveys indicate that the percentage of interracial marriages is a little over five percent in America, the rate and frequency of occurrence are alarming (Lewis & Robertson, 2010). The American society has become more diverse and much of this diversity has been attributed to the growing number of new immigrants (Qian & Lichter, 2011). Immigration has lead to assimilation of many cultures into the mainstream American culture and as a result narrowing the gap between majority and minority groups. The United States of America Census Bureau show that there has been a dramatic increase in population due to immigration (Qian & Lichter, 2011). For instance, between 1980 and 2007, the Hispanic population in America has doubled while the Asian population has increased by four percent, and the Black population is more or less the same over the same time period (Lewis & Robertson, 2010). The increase in size of the population has resulted in the increase rate of interracial marriages. Interracial unions in the 1980’s represented about three percent of all marriages in America (Lewis & Robertson, 2010). In the year 2000, interracial marriages have only increased approximately by two percent, with marriages between Hispanic and white representing the greatest balance of all interracial marriages (Lewis & Robertson, 2010).