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Japanese I Nternment Camps Essay

1206 words - 5 pages

"I'm for catching every Japanese in America, Alaska, and Hawaii now and putting them in concentration camps....Damn them! Let's get rid of them now!" -Congressman John Rankin, Congressional Record, February 19th, 1942. If you look through a junior high school history book you find many chapters on World War 2 and how America came in and "saved the day", or you see chapters on how the confederate states had slaves and were racist and again the Union, where the American Government lies, comes in and fights to stop racism. Of course we know the fight had less than 5% to do with racism, the major reason was so the United States of America would still have that word United in front of it, plus the military repercussions of losing a major portion of their county, that held host to many naval bases, was just a problem. The black people really didn't have much to do with that. You never hear about "unjust" racism in Chicago, but it was pretty bad, almost as bad as down in good old Louisiana, but do they want you to know that? No. In turn we have something that is virtually silent until one person actually searches for it, or takes AP American history in 11th grade. This would be the Japanese Internment camps. Places to keep the Japanese so they don't spread distress and destruction throughout the United States during World War 2. That's ok, but Jewish people in internment camps, or even with stars on them is not ok... I'm starting to see a problem here. On February 19, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, which called for the eviction and internment of all Japanese Americans. This was not an act of military security, but rather of pure hate and racism. Many basic rights were stripped from these Americans whose ancestry lived in Japan. All shops were asked to close, they were asked to identify themselves, so people could tell they weren't Chinese or Korean, Government raids made sure their house had nothing harmful in it, that would include fine china forks and knives handed down from generation to generation. The men of the house were taken away early and any women with jobs were fired, because these people could do anything that would put the American people in Danger. Finally, just like the Jews of Germany 110,000 Japenese-Americans were shipped off from the west coast to horse race tracks throughout California, and finally to relocation sights where they lived in barracks, with tar-paper roofs, and plywood walls, sometimes without windows. Barracks fit not even for the army, and they were forced to live in them sometimes 2 families to an "apartment". No walls, sheets were used to separate each family, and 1 bed for every 3 people. These camps were placed in areas such as Topaz, Utah, where in the winter the temperature would reach below 0, without windows, or heaters, and no running water, the snow lost it's fun. The water in the water areas would freeze up and many people would die just waiting in...

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