Racial identity

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

It has been determined that nations use racial identity as a social invention to split up the races. It is thought that the idea of race as a factor in social stratification and human identity is a relatively new one. The majority of historical documents do not demonstrate the existence of racial beliefs and notions before the seventeenth century. For instance, race was considered to be the primary form of human identification in the United States. However, it did have a tragic impact on low-status racial minorities as well as individuals who viewed themselves as mixed-race. Therefore, it is thought that race has both superseded and undermined earlier forms of human identification. It served as a critical catalyst in the nature of combat in the Pacific in the World War 2.

Individuals tend to have numerous overlapping identities; In which case, the identities of the various soldiers who took part in the Pacific War are believed to have been derived from religion, sex, ethnicity, socio-economic belonging, branch or service, geographical background, military specialty, rank and nationality. Different cultural historians, including Takaki and Dower, tend to define Pacific war as one based on race because of the different cultural groups that are used in explaining it during that time. Race was regarded as the most prevalent factor used in promoting identification among groups or individuals who shared very little. For instance, in the United States politics, legislators hailing from different regions divided by other issues discovered a bond in the need of upholding color barriers. Among these included Japanese immigrants, black Americans, Hispanics and native Americans.

The different pre-war policies of Japan, European powers and United States were all believed to have been constructed on assumptions of racial superiority. United States’ racial prejudice is believed to have given credence and inflamed Japanese ultra-nationalism particularly in the 1930s and 1920s. This is because; the actual and perceived iniquities of the Washington conferences, Versailles as well as the immigration laws enacted in 1924 contributed to an environment in which the Japanese ultra-nationalism flourished. This means that the Western policies helped in fostering a surrounding in Japan where social and political discourses played a huge role. In addition, Western policies also contributed to the recognition of aggression as a solution to different international problems.

Another reason that explains connecting Pacific war to racial identity is the main purpose that prompted the United States to take part in the war. For instance, the Japanese action of posing as liberators of their fellow Asian counterparts from oppression of the whites placed America on the defensive. Therefore, racism at home and overseas gave weight to characterizations of Japanese. Wartime racial prejudice and equality clashed with the different cultural ideas that called for fairness. As a result, the greatest motivations behind the civil rights movement occurring after the war resulted from the different ideological inconsistencies that were founded on the occurrence of cold war.

In conclusion, it is evident that the Pacific war was as a result of racial identity. The connection is illustrated by the evidence of western policies that fostered a spirit of aggression in solving international problems. In addition, United States joined the Pacific war because Japan acted as liberators of Asians from white oppression. Japanese Ultra-nationalism flourished as a result of the United States racial prejudice.

Work cited

Spector, R. Eagle Against the Sun: The American War with Japan. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2012.

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