The Horrors Of Racial Profiling During World War II Essay

The Horrors Of Racial Profiling During World War II Essay

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The horrors of racial profiling during World War II had always seemed to be distant to many Canadians, yet Canada was home to several xenophobic policies that were a violation of many rights and freedoms. One of the cruelest instances of this was the Japanese Canadian internment. At the time, the government justified the internment by claiming that the Japanese Canadians were a threat to their national defense, but evidence suggests that it had nothing to do with security. The government made illogical decisions in response to the mass panic and agitation in British Columbia. To aggravate the situation, Prime Minister William Mackenzie King reacted passively to these decisions, as it was not in his best interests to be involved. Moreover, racial prejudice against the Japanese had been around in B.C. for over 50 years and was at its peak. Although it is something many Canadians are ashamed about, the incarceration serves as a lesson and has shaped Canada. The internment of the Japanese Canadians was not a reaction to the security threat they posed since the wartime hysteria influenced the government to made irrational decisions, there was poor political leadership by King, and the racial discrimination against Japanese Canadians was at an all time high.
During WWII, when Japanese forces invaded Pearl Harbour and Hong Kong, the British Columbian government, along with all its restless citizens, convinced the federal government to intern all persons of Japanese heritage due to the security threats that they posed (Quinlan 134). Under the War Measures Act, they lost their citizenship and were disenfranchised. The children and women were sent to livestock barns in the interior of B.C. while the men were forced to work in labour camps...


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...xtreme pressures from B.C., King’s political agenda, and the racial discrimination against the Japanese. The Japanese Canadians who were interned posed no security threat to Canada. The threat of a Japanese invasion created an atmosphere of anxiety and fear that overcame logicality. William Mackenzie King ignored the injustice to satisfy his political and personal interests. The internment was a racist operation that abused the War Measures Act in order to remove all persons of Japanese heritage from B.C. The Japanese Canadian internment was not a proud moment in history, but it serves as valuable knowledge for Canadians who are in the midst of a similar predicament. Although Canadian soldiers fought in WWII for democracy and freedom, their efforts were in vain from the perspective of Japanese Canadians, as Hitler had won a small, but significant, victory in Canada.

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