Japanese Internment Camps During Wwii Essay

2165 words - 9 pages

In many times throughout history groups of people have been discriminated against based on race or religion. These people receive inferior rights because of the discrimination. In some cases they do not get citizenship, in others they are segregated from others, and physically harmed. Two groups of people that faced discrimination near World War II (WWII) were the Jewish people and Japanese Americans. Both groups faced very different types of discrimination by different oppressors with different motives yet their treatment was very similar and many events paralleled each other. The treatment of Japanese in WWII internment camps was as harsh as the Holocaust's treatment of the Jewish people.

The lead up to the Japanese Americans internment took place over many decades leading up to WWII. It began in the middle of the 19th century with the gold rush taking place in California. A large number of immigrants were coming to California because of the gold rush. However the Japanese were not among them. This was because Japan would not allow their people to emigrate to other countries. However that changed in 1968. With Americans becoming agitated by the number of Chinese immigrants they easily accepted Japanese instead of the Chinese. The Japanese immigration peaked after the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. The large number of Japanese who came to America soon began to be segregated at every opportunity possible. Such as building different schools for Japanese after an earthquake destroyed the current one. Also a law was passed that did not allow Japanese to come to America unless they could become citizens. Also earlier laws made it so that Japanese had to

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become citizens by being born in the United States (US). These two laws ended Japanese immigration to America in 1824. The Japanese press in America despised these laws. The Japanese hate from Americans now began to cool down until one event in the 1940s (Japanese Internment).

The bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 restarted the hate on Japanese Americans. One Japanese boy, Ben Uchida, viewed himself just like everybody else before the bombing of Pearl Harbor:

I’d never thought I looked different from the other kids at school, even though most of them were Caucasian. But when I went to school the day after Pearl Harbor, I realized I did look different. My hair was black, my skin was darker, and my eyes were almond- shaped. My face was the face of the enemy. Just a few months later, we were told to pack just what we could carry, sell everything else, and get on a train that would take us to our new home (Bodart).

Also after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the US rounded up 1,500 people they viewed as dangerous. They interrogated them and if they were still dangerous they were sent to camps around the US to hold them. This was in fear of spies helping the Japanese in WWII (McGrath).

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A few months later President Franklin Delano Roosevelt issued...

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