Japanese Americans Struggles in the US

Junior (College 3rd year) ・History ・MLA ・1 Sources

During WWII, 127,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry were imprisoned for no reason other than their race. The Japanese Americans were thought to be faithful to their nation. The terror of Japanese Americans grew as their numbers grew, particularly on the west coast. There was a fear that if the Japanese decided to attack America, the Japanese Americans would join them. They were viewed as a major security risk at the time. A few months after Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, killing hundreds of Americans, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066, mandating all Japanese Americans on the West Coast to depart. The paper will argue against the internment of the Japanese Americans.

It was not justified for President Franklin Roosevelt to sign an Executive Order ordering thousands of American citizens to vacate their home. Fast and foremost, there was no evidence at that time to suggest that Japanese Americans were still loyal to their ancestry. The action of the President was due to poor advice, rumors and the popular public opinion. There was nothing else that justified the relocation of thousands of people from their homes. There was the factual evidence of the shore to ship radio transmission from Japanese communities occupying the west coast, but this was found to be false by government agencies (Kermit). The Supreme Court ruling approving the detention was also based on false evidence. The evidence presented by General Dewitt in court was not factual, but the Supreme Court nonetheless went ahead to make a ruling based on the same (Kermit). The President’s decision to sign the executive order was rather a blanket suspicion that had its basis on race. No evidence was presented to prove that there were informants, saboteurs and spies within the Japanese American community.

This was racial discrimination and an attack on the personal liberties of the American citizens. The detention of the American citizens actually violated their constitutional right to a due process and a fair hearing as affirmed in the 5th amendment of the Constitution. The government had no right to imprison thousands of people without according them the right to a fair hearing as enshrined in the Constitution. It was also wrong for the authorities to detain people just on the basis of their race. The Japanese Americans had their rights as much as any other American. It was the responsibility of the government under the government to protect people’s right rather than to violate them. By taking them into detention camps, the government violated the very rights they were supposed to defend. Some people lost their lives while others lost their property. Families suffered through separation (Kermit).

The statement made by Earl Warren that it is easy to deal with the Germans and Italians than the Japanese is wrong and misguided. First of all Earl Warren statement is discriminatory. He attempts to use the unique lifestyle and language of the Japanese Americans as a justification for his discriminative remarks. If there was any threat at all, the Germans and Italian posed the same threat as the Japanese or even more. This was an act of discrimination directed towards members of a particular ethnicity. Though German and Italians were also on the opposing side of the war, they were accorded preferential treatment because of their race and language.

The internment was an attack on the constitutional rights of Americans citizens. The government had no justification to put people through a lot of suffering under the disguise of national security. Families were separated, people died, properties were lost; this was totally wrong.

Work Cited

Kermit, Roosevelt. “The Debate Over Japanese Internment Is Deeply Flawed.” The Time. (2016)Retrieved Oct. 12, 2017, from http://time.com/4578616/japanese-internment-debate/

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