Japanese Americans in Internment Camps

900 Words4 Pages
On December 7, 1941 Japanese planes bombed the United States Naval Base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. This surprise attack destroyed several naval ships and killed over 2,300 Americans. President Franklin Roosevelt described this tragic day as “a date which will live in infamy.” There was a huge fear of racial superiority of Asians, the suspicion of Japanese Americans as spies for Japan, and denial of equality rights for the Japanese. Congress declared war on Japan the following day. Out of the everlasting fear of racial superiority, panic of attack and suspicion of the Japanese in the United States, on February 19, 1942, just two months after the attacks, President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 that called upon the evacuation of over 110,000 Japanese Americans to internment camps in the west coast. This order violated the constitutional rights by ruthlessly forcing thousands of innocent Japanese Americans to abandon everything they had to move into the poorly conditioned internment camps. Japanese Americans suffered immensely due to the racial struggles and consequences of the Executive Order 9066. After the Pearl Harbor attack rumors spread that Japanese Americans sought to sabotage the war effort in loyalty to Japan although none had ever shown disloyalty to the nation. Americans feared disloyalty of Japanese citizens, they believed that even American-born and raised Japanese were an “unassailable race [that can’t fit into American culture].” Some Americans believed that Asians should be deported to “preserve white racial purity.” The order stated that the internments were necessary due to the, “successful prosecution of the war [that] requires every possible protection against espionage and against sabotage to natio... ... middle of paper ... ... internment camp was closed in 1945. When the internees were free, they were conflicted because they had no life to go back to. They had abandoned everything and lost their families. Some remained in the US and rebuilt their lives, while others were unforgiving to the United States and returned to Japan. Hostility against Japanese Americans remained to prosper high across the West Coast. This made it hard for them to find jobs. As a result, the interns scattered across the country. A 1948 law provided for reimbursement for property losses by those interned. However, this still did not pay off the debt of suffrage and pain the Japanese Americans went through. In 1988, Congress tried to pay the emotional and social debt destroyed with the establishment of the internment camps. Every survivor of the internment camps received a payment of twenty thousand dollars.
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