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Justice For All Except Persons Of Japanese Descent

1526 words - 6 pages

Justice for All Except Persons of Japanese Descent

America… Land of the free and home of the brave. Land of the free… Land of the free… Funny that the land of the free would steal away the lives of 119,000 individuals simply because they looked different. Nothing like good old irony to bring a country together.
During the late 1800's, there was a large rise in the immigration of Japanese to the U.S, much to the dismay of many American citizens. The Japanese have long been discriminated against in the U.S. People have thought they are sly, treacherous, cruel… In other words, they were strangers. People, as a whole, fear the unknown. Individuals of Asiatic descent have been so singled out for so long for one reason: they look different. Almost 200,000 Japanese and Japanese Americans were evacuated and relocated during World War II. Reasoning behind this? Although there was no proof of any of this, it was said that the farmers, for example, were charged with poisoning their vegetables and with planting their tomatoes in such a pattern that they pointed to U.S. military objects from overhead. At the time, the government claimed that the threat was real and that this action was pure "military necessity." Now we all know better.
On December 7, 1941, the Empire of the Rising Sun, more commonly known as Japan, launched an air attack on the naval base at Pearl Harbor. Many people feel that this is what provoked President Roosevelt and our government to evacuate. Not so. Did you ever stop and think things through? I mean, really think things through? Franklin Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, which allowed for the evacuation of all West Coast individuals of Japanese ancestry, on February 19, 1942 -- a mere ten weeks after the bombing on Pearl Harbor. Could this nation really assemble enough living space for 119 thousand people in ten weeks? That seems a little far-fetched. Now that I've got your attention, let's take this from the beginning.
Japan enters the war. Almost immediately, the U.S. government's Federal Bureau of Investigations gets to work, looking for any suspicious individuals of Japanese heritage who could possibly mean sabotage. Thought to be a threat because they were so close to the enemy and they could communicate, Japanese on the West Coast were already seen as suspicious.
7 and 8 December, 1941 - Presidential proclamations were sent out, dealing with the control of and subsequent action against any aliens suspected of hostile intent or of action against national security. These proclamations were sent out the day of the bombing -- the same day. 10 December, 1941 - A report was made by a Treasury Agent to the Army authorities that, "an estimated 20,000 Japanese in the San Francisco metropolitan area were ready for organized action." How could the bombing of Pearl Harbor possibly have had any effect on Executive Order 9066 when there were already orders out to discriminate?

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