Japanese-American Internment – Social
Conflict During War
today’s America, outrageous beliefs like racism and discrimination are
practically nonexistent. Unfortunately, this hasn’t always been the case for America,
as prejudiced views still raged strongly throughout the nation a mere 70 years
ago. Unfairly treated, and cruelly forced to relocate to inhumane internment
camps, Japanese-Americans faced these harsh conditions during World War II. This
brutal internment of Japanese-Americans led to an influx of Civil Rights movements
and helped create many significant laws. Consequently, this conflict has helped
shape America into the free and independent place we know today, with its
modern society and government becoming more accepting every second.
World War II was a
noteworthy war that involved many influential nations, and would be responsible
for the controversial Japanese-American internment. As rising tensions between
Japan and America grew, it ultimately led up to “The Japanese attack on Pearl
Harbor, the U.S. naval station in Hawaii, on December 7, 1941” (“Japanese
American Internment”). This unwelcoming attack would soon set off major conflict
between America and Japan. Scarred from the attack, fear grew that the Japanese
would attack the U.S., which brought about the unfair internment of Japanese-Americans
during WWII. (“Japanese American Internment”)
Japanese-American internment was the discriminative confinement of American citizens
of Japanese background during World War II. The fact that America was only
targeting Japanese-Americans is a crucial detail that represents the vile American
ideals of the 1940s. In 1942, “President Franklin Roosevelt signed Executive
Order 9066”, which authorized the internment of Japanese-Americans (“Japanese
American Internment”). What’s scary is the fact that Executive Order 9066 was
able to pass through every step of a bill without any moral questions asked.
After this harsh law went in effect, Japanese-Americans were moved to temporary
detention camps by June 1942, and later on to various internment camps by
November 1942 (“Internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II”). These
pitiless internment camps closely resemble the horrifying concentration camps
of the Holocaust, in the way that they both held people with an opposing
feature against their will. However, Japanese-American internment camps did not
go to such extremes as the Holocaust’s brutal camps. The unjustified internment
of Japanese-Americans would not see any further action until the December 1944
rule in Ex parte Endo (“Internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II”).
Although internment seems like an issue that should be
solved right away, the internment of Japanese-Americans wouldn’t be solved
until about 3 years after the issue rose up. This internment was put to a stop
in December 1944, when “the Supreme Court ruled in Ex parte Endo”, which meant
that Japanese-Americans could not be held against their will any longer (Internment
of Japanese-Americans during World War II). Don’t think too fast though,
because even with this new law, Japanese-Americans were far from being fine. It
wouldn’t be until later laws like the McCarren Walker Act of 1952, and the
Civil Liberties Act of 1988 which provided Japanese-Americans with an official
apology, restitution for former internees, added internment to public education,
and allowed for Japanese immigration (“The Legacy of Japanese-American
Internment”). These laws show how America has grown and matured as a country.
Though it may not be apparent, the compromise of Japanese-American internment has
had a huge impact that still resonates today.
Japanese-American internment has helped shaped America
into its open-minded and accepting place we know today. With events like 9/11,
Japanese Americans were one of the most prominent groups to make sure that
civil and constitutional rights are preserved (“The Legacy of Japanese-American
Internment”). Instead of repeating their mistakes, America learned from their
mistakes and made sure internment never happens again. Activist groups today
even say that, one of their top priorities is to make sure that internment
never happens again in America. (“The Legacy of Japanese-American Internment”).
America has made a complete 360 when dealing with Japanese-American internment.
Instead of dwelling on their mistakes and doing nothing, they found a way to
improve themselves. This is the type of change that allows the world to
progress, and there is no doubt that America has made the right choice for everyone.
Though Japanese-American internment
may not be happening now, the influence that it’s had still lives on today. The
internment started as a cruel and menacing conflict, but as compromise began to
be more apparent, America decided to improve itself. Instead of holding
grudges, and dwelling over their mistakes, America learned from their mistakes.
This type of thinking allowed America to become the open-minded, free, and progressive
place it is today. The conflict and compromise of the Japanese-American
internment will forever change the way the world thinks about internment and discrimination,
and with this knowledge, history’s mistakes will be sure to never repeat again.
Becker, Peggy Daniels. “The Legacy of Japanese-American
Internment.” Defining Moments Online,
Lincoln Library Press, 2014, www.factcite.com/definingmoments/30067.html.
Accessed 6 Dec. 2017.
“Internment of Japanese Americans during World War II.” DISCovering Multicultural America: African
Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans, Native Americans, Detroit,
Gale, 2003. Research in Context,
Accessed 7 Dec. 2017.
“Japanese American Internment.” Gale Encyclopedia of U.S. History: Government and Politics,
Detroit, Gale, 2009. Research in Context,
Accessed 7 Dec. 2017.
“Reparations for Wartime Internment of Japanese
Multicultural America: African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans,
Native Americans, Detroit, Gale, 2003. Research
Accessed 6 Dec. 2017.