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HY 204

Sabrina Berman Section 204-014 The Negative Effects of the Japanese Internment Camps:ABeneficial Change in Foreign Policy History serves as an informative, instructive manual for its predecessors by informing humanity of the failures and successes of past events; subsequently, it guides us to avoid and handle our future complications in the most beneficial way available. One of the very controversial events America experienced was the apology for Japanese Internment camps during World War II. In an effort to protectAmericans after the unfortunate event of the Pearl Harbor bombing, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942. This ordered Japanese-Americans immediate relocation to Internment Camps for as long as three years;America refused to associate with Japanese-Americans for fear of their disloyalty. Prior to Pearl Harbor,Americans already experienced anti-Japanese prejudice. Unfortunately, these feelings of intimidation towards Japanese- Americans contributed to the enactment of Executive Order 9066. The Japanese-Americans suffered many unintentional consequences because of the Internment Camps: occupation and property loss, damaging memories, and ultimate humiliation.America took steps to alleviate the Japanese-Americans from their demeaning experiences in the Internment Camps, but an apology and cash payments did not repair the damaged lives of the Japanese-Americans. As a result of President Gerald Ford’s proclamation of America’s fault in withholding Japanese Internment Camps, his apology and efforts to remedy the issue proved significant for they demonstrated howAmerica inappropriately subjected innocent citizens. His actions set a precedent that contributed to the national support of the current racial inequality dispute. Japanese-American immigrants endured the wrath of anti-Japanese prejudice from their fellow American citizens prior to their cruel subjection to the Japanese Relocation Camps. Majority of Japanese-American immigrants resided in the Pacific West Coast and attained occupations as farmers and businessmen. Neighboring civilians resented the enormous immigration overflow; people ofAsian decent agreed to work for substantially lower wages, causing intense competition in the workforce. California, where majority ofAsian immigrants resided, passed laws to restrict theAsianAmericans and to benefit the others; a “new law” was created in California that “rigidly” commanded that “aliens ineligible to become citizens (Japanese and Chinese)” were forbidden “from purchasing agricultural land,” “leasing it,” and investing “stock in any company.” As ifAsianAmericans were not limited enough, “MinorAmerican-born children” were “denied the right to have their own parents as 1 Gulick, Sidney L. “California'sAnti-Japanese Laws” guardians.” It was argued whether this newly instated law remained in “harmony with the Fourteenth Amendment” which stated, “no state ‘shall deny any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the law.’” During the early 20 century, America’s perceptions were concurrent with the anti- Japanese opinions their government demonstrated with the newly ratified laws. People were livid that the Japanese-Americans had limited their job opportunities and majority of the population commended the acts their government enacted which limited their competition. Ironically, journalist Sidney L. Gulick, reported on “California’s Anti-Japanese Laws” and asked the question, “What will happen next?” The Japanese-American immigrants and their collegialAmericans knew these precarious laws created a concerning precedent for the Japanese, but it was impossible for them to predict the future’s horrific regulations. December 7, 1941was the bombing of Pearl Harbor, commonly referred to as “ADay of Infamy” in history, had escalated the radically prejudice views of Japanese-Americans. The unsuspected Japanese “attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii…killed 2,403 U.S. sailors, soldiers and airmen” 4 and leftAmericans in despair. America’s military, national security, and citizens took immediate action to prevent further destruction; people complained about potentially untrustworthy Japanese-Americans residing in their country unsupervised. Citizens openly displayed their concern of disloyal Japanese- Americans: I don't want any of them [persons of Japanese ancestry] here. They are a dangerous element. There is no way to determine their loyalty... It makes no difference whether he is anAmerican citizen, he is still a Japanese.American citizenship does not necessarily determine loyalty... But we must worry about the Japanese all the time until he is wiped off the map. 5 2 Gulick, Sidney L. “California'sAnti-Japanese Laws” 3 Gulick, Sidney L. “California'sAnti-Japanese Laws” 4O'Neil, Tim. “Remembering Pearl Harbor - Dec. 7, 1941;Veterans are Dwindling, but Memories Live on” 5 Mullen, Fred. "DeWittAttitude on Japs Upsets Plans." Clearly the government had to establish order to this situation. Hastily, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066, ordering the relocation of Japanese-Americans (citizens or noncitizens) to Japanese Internment Camps. February 19, 1942, Roosevelt declared, “in order to provide for the removal from designated areas of persons whose removal is necessary in the interests of national security” the United States was prepared to “provide for the relocation” of Japanese-Americans and “their needs in such manner as may be appropriate” with the intention to “supervise their activities.” 6 Roosevelt intended to preemptively avoid any situations involving disloyal Japanese-Americans assisting their former country in war; he was fearful “that some of the Japanese-Americans might be 7 tempted to aid Japanese attack on the West Coast.” The president acted as soon as possible with the most plausible solution he could invent. Racial inequality towards immigrants was an issueAmerica had been struggling to conquer for many years. The sense of prejudice, which already existed th (regardless of the efforts of the 14 Amendment), allowed this executive order to be passed. Executive Order 9066 eased the anxieties ofAmericans as well as decreased the probability of future surprise attacks, but its impulsiveness contributed to the suffering of Japanese-Americans. These innocent people we unaware of their unfortunate futures: “On May 16, 1942, at 9:30 a.m., we departed…for an unknown destination.” In accordance with Executive Order 9066, many Japanese- Americans “lost their homes and their businesses.” They were not given a chance to prove their loyalty toAmerica and were sent to the Internment Camps deprived of “hearings or trials…because they were considered possible spies or saboteurs in wartime” and uncontrollably “suffered humiliation living under armed guard and behind barbed-wire fences.” They resided in areas with “harsh climate 9 and inadequate housing” which resulted in “physical hardship” during their stay at the camps ; horrible 6 "111 Remarks Upon SigningA Proclamation Concerning Japanese-American Internment During World War II. February 19, 1976." 7 “Keep Internment Interred” 8 JaneAnderson Staff correspondent of The Christian,Science Monitor. (1983, Jun 02). Japanese- americans seek redress for WWII internment. 9 Mitgang, Herbert. 'Unfinished Business' living conditions were provided and tedious work was enforced onto the Japanese-Americans. For the 10 people who refused to be subjected to the camps, they “suffered the consequences---imprisonment.” There were zero options for these people to even attempt to preserve their freedom. Everything they had previously worked for was legally stolen from them; they appeared enemies in a country which many were native born. February 19, 1976, President Ford annulled the executive order that allowed the existence of Japanese Internment Camps. Once Japanese-Americans were able to slowly assimilate back into society, they realized they had to start completely over.A sense of humiliation and shamefulness overwhelmed the Internment camp victims; the Japanese-Americans “deeply resent[ed] the humiliation 11 of differential race treatment.” The eldest victims born in t
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