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Japanese Loyalty And The Internment Essay

1831 words - 7 pages

JAPANESE LOYALTY AND THE INTERNMENT In the movie Gladiator, Maximus is a Roman general who is enslaved after leading his army through many battles. While he fights for his freedom as a Roman gladiator in the coliseum, his soldiers learn that he is still alive and are willing to go against the Roman Empire to help their general. These men were loyal to Maximus because he had shown that he was a fearless leader who cared more for those who served beneath him than for his own well being. He earned this loyalty by being willing to die for every man he went to war with. This type of loyalty is one of the strongest bonds that can be formed. It illustrates the type of devotion to a person or cause that cannot be broken. Loyalty is a strong virtue that is the basis for relationships between both people and causes. Many Americans have this strong sense of loyalty in their country. While they may have various ethnic backgrounds they are united under one flag, or are they? During the Japanese Internment many loyal Americans were unjustly placed in camps and robbed of many the freedoms that America stands for. Japanese Americans had a strong sense of pride in their heritage. They loved their homeland and brought many of their traditions with them when they came to America.Many proudly displayed Japanese flags and kept the strong family structure that was a way of life in Japan. Does this make them any less of an American? All ethic groups bring something from there respective countries with them when they begin their new lives in America. The Japanese were no different. They had their own foods, clothing, and way of life. There is no question that they were a distinct group of people, but Americans none the less. Many came to the United States eager to find opportunities that were not readily available to them in Japan. They overcame challenges imposed by the government to make life harder for them. First generation Japanese were not allowed to become citizens, yet they considered themselves proud Americans nonetheless. A driving force behind the Japanese Internment was the apparent inability to distinguish the loyal from the disloyal. In the eyes of the public and the government, anyone with Japanese ancestry was suspect. Final Report by The U.S. Department of War questions the loyalty of Japanese Americans. "While it was believed that some were loyal, it was known that many were not.... It was necessary to face the realities - a positive determination could not have been made." (p.631) These suspicions further caused a public outcry for action to be taken in order to protect America against this supposed domestic threat. The Japanese may have been fiercely loyal to America, but there was nothing they could do to convince the greater population that they were not on Japan's side during the war. The Internment Camps made many Japanese Americans lose faith in their country.They were forced into an environment similar to that of a...

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