Structural Racism is a form of racism that revolves around ideas and beliefs of a dominant group which gets implemented in the society and are seen as the cultural norm in the community. Other ethnic’s cultural practices are obligated to confirm to the dominant group’s cultural practices or risk being outcast. Structural racism tends to favour one ethnic group over the other as it is likely to oppress and marginalise other cultural groups. (Horan, 2015)
Racism (n): the prejudice that members of one race are intrinsically superior to members of other race (Wordnet search, 1), a controversial topic in today’s society, a subject that many people try to sweep under the rug, but yet a detrimental problem that has been present in America since the colonial era. Will this dilemma come to a halt? Can all Americans see each other as equals despite their skin color and nationality; and what role has it played in past generations versus today’s generations and how will it affect our future? Has this on going way of thinking gotten better or worse? These are questions raised when many think about the subject; especially members of American ethnic groups and backgrounds, because most have dealt with racial discrimination in their life time.
In 1942 Roosevelt signed the Executive order 9066 which forced all Japanese-Americans to evacuate the West Coast. They were forced out no matter their loyalty or their citizenship. These Japanese-Americans were sent to Internment camps which were located in California, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, Wyoming, Colorado, and Arkansas. There were ten camps all-together and 120,000 people filled them (2009). The immigrants were deprived of their traditional respect when their children who were American-born were indorsed authority positions within the camps. In 1945 Japanese-American citizens with undisrupted loyalty were allowed to return to the West Coast, but not until 1946 was the last camp closed.
December 7, 1941 was a military accomplishment for Japan. Japanese Bomber planes had flown over the island of Hawaii and bombed the American naval base Pearl Harbor. After the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, many Americans believed that the Japanese Americans, were disloyal and were sabotaging the United States Government. There were rumors that most Japanese Americans exchanged military information and had hidden connections with Japanese military. None of these claims were ever proven to be true but believed by many at the time. The United States Government became concerned about National Security and demanded action. On Thursday, February 19, 1942, President Roosevelt issued the Executive Order 9066, which called for an evacuation of Japanese Americans on the west coast with the excuse of a “military necessity.” The government’s enforcement of Executive Order 9066 in reaction to the public resulted in the creation of internment camps.
Racism is defined by dictionary.com as '1. A belief or doctrine that inherent differences between the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one's own race is superior and has the right to rule others. 2. a policy, system of government, etc., based on or fostering such a doctrine; discrimination. 3. hatred or intolerance of another race or other races.' The first is most appropriate to use for my purposes, as it most general, and defines what i ill be analyzing. The basic problem of racism starts with the idea that there is something different between different races. Though it is an irrational thought, it is a very common one, that can seem unavoidable. We are all taught that we were all created equal, so the idea that one group is inferior to another goes against something that many people stress, and is an important point in many religions. For the most part, humans like the idea of being equal to everyone else. So why do we discriminate against people of different ethnic backgrounds?
Racism has historically been defined as the belief that race is the primary determinant of human capacities, that a certain race is inherently superior or inferior to others, and/or that individuals should be treated differently according to their racial designation. Sometimes racism means beliefs, practices, and institutions that discriminate against people based on their perceived or ascribed race. While the sin of racism is an age-old phenomenon based on ignorance, fear, estrangement, and false pride, some of its ugliest manifestations have taken place in our time. Racism and irrational prejudices operate in a vicious circle. Racism is among the worst of ingrained prejudices that characterize sinful human beings.
“There are a few views regarding on the definitions of racism by experts. Racism can be defined as the belief that all members of a purported race possess characteristics, abilities, or qualities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or other races”. (Hoyt, C., 2012) “Racism is the belief that characteristics and abilities can be attributed to people simply on the basis of their race and that some racial groups are superior to others”. (Anup, S., 2010) “Racism is based on a hierarchy of physical differences. Racism is not only a network of attitudes, beliefs, and convictions; it also refers to behaviors, practices, and actions. Racism is a social construction”. (Carignan, N. et al, 2005)
During WWII, many Japanese-American citizens were imprisoned. They were imprisoned for being from the Japanese decent. There was no evidence to convict these people but they still were imprisoned. Many Japanese came to the West Coast, which caused Americans some paranoia. Americans thought that the Japanese might be terrorists in disguise. In February of 1942, President Roosevelt ordered Americans of Japanese to be sent to concentration camps which were located in various areas of the United States. There were many aspects to the imprisonment of the Japanese-Americans such as their life before coming to the camps, the executive order 9066, and what it was like being in the concentration camps.
On December 7, 1941 the Japanese Empire had declared war on the United States by planning and carrying out a devastating surprise attack on Pearl Harbor killing 2388 people and wounding 1178. (I) This horrible act provoked the U.S. to take part in WWII and because of the threat of espionage by Japanese Americans on February 19th, 1942 President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066. This order authorized military commanders to designate areas for internment camps where people of Japanese ancestry who might pose a danger would be held. “…The Roosevelt administration was pressured to remove persons of Japanese ancestry from the West Coast by farmers seeking to eliminate Japanese competition, a public fearing sabotage, politicians hoping to gain by standing against an unpopular group, and military authorities.” (II) Congress supported the Executive Order by authorizing a prison term for those who do not obey.
In today’s society the definition of racism and what it entails may vary from person to person and the differences in the definition may be a reflection of alternative perspectives taken on the issue. A lot of the responses to the definition of racism may be based solely on personal experiences including the individual’s interactions with others, how they were raised, and the influences that affected them during their lifetime. With further research it can be discovered that contrary to popular belief, racism is not that simple and cannot simply be described by ones interactions or attitudes towards a specific group of people. Traditional views describe racism as the belief of the superiority of one race above others (Lecture, September 12,
During 1941 many Americans were on edge as they became increasingly more involved in WWII. On December 7, 1941 the Japanese decided to take matters to their own hands. They attacked the naval base Pearl Harbor and killed 68 Americans in order to prevent the U.S. Pacific Fleet from interfering with their military. After this surprise attack, the Americans officially entered the war, which caused many people to become paranoid (Baughman). Many people feared the Japanese because they thought they were spies for Japan, and because of this the Executive Order 9066 was signed and issued by FDR which sent many Japanese Americans to live in internment camps (Roosevelt). This caused the Japanese to become a scapegoat of America’s fear and anger. The Issei and Nisei who once moved to this country to find new opportunities and
Nevertheless, Japanese were resented and disliked by whites. Due to pressure from state leaders near the west coast, President Roosevelt, on February 19, 1942, signed Executive Order 9066. This resulted in the which resulted in the violent imprisonment of 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry. When the government gave its internment order, whites rounded up, imprisoned, and exiled their Japanese neighbors. In 1942, 110,000 Japanese Americans living on the West Coast of the United States were relocated to ten internment camps. More than two thirds of those sent to internment camps, under the Executive Order, had never shown disloyalty and were also citizens of the United States. In April 1942, the War Relocation Authority was created to control the assembly centers, relocation centers, and internment camps, and oversee the relocation of Japanese-Americans. It took another forty years for the US government to recognize the violations of this population's constitutional rights.
Black youths arrested for drug possession are 48 times more likely to wind up in prison than white youths arrested for the same crime under the same circumstances. Many people are unaware how constant racism has been throughout the years. It is important to understand the problems of racism because it is relevant to society. Racism in America is very real and Americans need to know it.