Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Switching it up: Japanese in America

Today’s studious thought is going to be a little bit different compared to what it usually is. We are turning a new leaf, and we are going to explore the history of Japanese in America. To start I thought I’d begin with Japanese Internment camps. After the bombing on Pearl Harbor in 1941, the government became suspicious about the Japanese people that were already in the country. The US felt as like they had to protect themselves not only from the people outside of the country, but also inside their country as well. This caused an issue within the US, and it was handled by various strict rules and later internment camps. The executive order 9066 enforced a strict curfew on the Japanese people and forced them to move into new areas. Japanese Americans were forced to sell all of their belongings, and move into camps.

Many wonder if this was the right thing to do to the Japanese Americans, because after all they earned their right to be citizens of America and the new circumstances stripped them of their basic rights. In this case it was a matter of national security against the civil rights of citizens. There was no balance between the two. Japanese Americans were forced to sell their belongings against their will and move into facilities without running water, or the basic necessities they had before. Although the government was trying to protect the American people in the process they hurt some of “their” people (the Japanese Americans).

Racial prejudice has a big part in the way the government treated the Japanese Americans during this time. They did earn the right to be called American citizens, and just because they were Japanese they were deemed suspicious and their rights were taken away. Moving Japanese Americans into internment camps violated their constitutional rights to work, form a home, and live as they please. It also violated their right to due process, because they were removed without a hearing. While the government primarily focused on Japanese Americans, just because of their race, they ignored the fact that there were German, Italian, and more that were disloyal to America.

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