But, when America was brought into World War II, there was not enough soldiers to defend the country. Ironically, thousands of the feared Japanese-Americans were pulled out of the internment camps, put into the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and sent to war. The Japanese-American unit proved themselves to be the most heroic and decorated unit in American Military history. One man, Fred Korematsu, refused to be evacuated from his California home. So, he changed his identity in attempt to stay out of the camps.
In the process of war the public skipped to the conclusion that all Japanese Americans were out to get them. The suspicion of a government takeover was on everyones mind. Paranoia led people into to thinking every single Japanese American was guilty, no matter if it was a child, a WWI veteran, or if they had ever even been to Japan. The suspicion did not end there, inducing temporary segregation, and the exploitation of japanese american’s human rights. Mass hysteria and racism influenced the government's actions towards the Japanese.
According to the Munson Report, 98% of Japanese-Americans were loyal to the U.S. This is an impressive number; however, in times of war, 2% sabotaging on mainland America was a major threat. A more startling fact that tarnished the Japanese-American reputation was the fact that Japan was rumored to have an extremely effective spy system on the West Coast. There were even some conspiracy theorists that rationalized that the sneaky Japanese were merely waiting for the right time to strike, as they did at Pearl Harbor. The people were scared of the Japanese, and in a democracy, the people have a voice.
Between the years of 1942- 1945, the lives of many Japanese Americans were changed. The attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese military made the United States concerned about national security. The US was also made wary of Japanese people living in America, even though they were legal citizens. This fear of the Japanese immigrants put into motion the document that would forever leave an impact on the unsuspecting Asian foreigners. The Japanese were often lead away from their homes, mistreated, and in the end they were released after years of imprisonment, but the effects of the tragedy were too great to ignore.
The American people, along with the government, wanted nothing more than to destroy Japan, and win the war. In the Monica Sone document, I belief that the frustrations that the Americans were feeling are expressed in their entirety. The American people were so angry with the Japanese people, and so afraid that the Japanese would attack again, that the Americans basically rejected anyone that looked Japanese. To the Americans, regardless of whether you were native born, if you looked Japanese you were the enemy. The American government did not want to take chances, so they gathered all the people of Japanese decent and made them live under military law.
If the shop owners were being difficult, the white vendors would threaten the shop owners’ families, knowing that no one would be able to stop them. This economic loss devastated all Japanese people. What would they do with such little money? There was no other choice, however, as they couldn’t take their merchandise with them (63 O’Brien). Based on necessity, the War Department took responsibility for the removal for Japanese ancestry from the west coast.
The start of the First World War brought a strong distaste for immigrants. People hoping to assimilate by working in the American community were quickly faced with troubles. Immigrants from countries in Eastern Europe (specifically in the Slovak region) were discouraged from working and the new motto “100% American” began t... ... middle of paper ... ...o provide for those in our own country. We continued the seperation of races by making generalizations about races.A hundred twenty thousand people of Japanese ancestry from the United States were sent to live in war relocation camps due to the fact that they “might” be involved with future attacks on the United States (The Great Depression and World War II, 2007). Although many of these Japanese people were US citizens, based on misconceptions that they could endanger our country even our President was fooled.
Like all issues involving race or war, the question of whether or not it was legal and ethical to make Japanese Americans move to relocation camps in early WWII is a difficult and sort of a controversial problem. It might have been controversial because during World War II the United States did not put German Americans and Italian Americans into camps as they did with the Japanese Americans, even though Germany, Japan and Italy were allies. The internment of around 50,000 Japanese citizens and approximately 70,000 Japanese-American people born in the U.S. living in the American West Coast has become known as a mistake. The government even set up numerous projects to apologize to the Japanese American citizens who were wronged by them. Still, at the time that the decision to relocate was made the actions were constitutionally legal and seen by many as not needed.
Since there was a huge influx of Japanese Americans in the West Coast, there was anger and fear that they might take over the U.S [Yellow Peril]. The imminence of the World War II solidified the motive to be afraid of the Japanese Americans and created cause for the U.S government to lead them to internment. Surprisingly even though Americans boasted about democracy, most of the Nikkei placed in internment were American citizens by law and had no right to be incarcerated. After 30 years, President Ford, the current chief of staff reversed Executive Order 9066. He stated that it was wrong to detain Nikkei as they were loyal to America.
A hidden bias would soon become evident in both average civilians and higher positioned government officials. This bias against Japan aided in the formation of the Executive Order 9066, signed by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) on February 19th 1942. Once Executive Order 9066 was signed, with no proof that sabotage or espionage had been committed by Japanese Americans, it allowed for the relocation and summary removal of “enemy aliens” from their homes to incarceration under guard in designated areas / camps. With just one pen and piece of paper, FDR suddenly made it possible for citizens of Japanese descent to be ... ... middle of paper ... ...at essentially contradicted the Bill of Rights. Eleanor Roosevelt, a strong supporter of civil right, as noted in her memoirs, recalled being gob smacked by her husband’s decision in regards to EO9066.