While coming up with a topic for this paper, one of my questions dealt with war and cultural groups. I will be the first to admit, Racism was the last thing on my mind. The original question being, “How does war affect a Social Culture and how does it stand today?” When I started thinking about Cultures that had been so deeply affected by war, one of the first that came to mind were the Japanese in World War II. Then I recalled what one person had told me of their younger days at college, when they were attending school. Their name will remain anonymous; I do not want to make the victim’s name public as it has a very personal nature.
They had told me that they had been beaten because they were Japanese. They told me how the group of people, mostly military brats had called them “Jap”. How they had beaten them up, some restraining them, some throwing punches or much worse. Knowing this person’s experience made me understand why they acted in the manner that they do now.
I was shocked initially, the only types of racism that I had heard of and witnessed firsthand was between Whites and African Americans as well as Whites vs. Hispanics. So to hear that another cultural group had been discriminated against in the past, here in the Mountains where I was attending school was an eye opening experience. While I was hearing this story, my mind kept querying, but my mouth remained silent.
The question that has pestered me since then and before when witnessing these acts of hatred was “Why?” My family, especially the female members are very suspicious of Hispanics.
One close family member in particular would interrupt rudely while I was teaching my sisters some Spanish phrases I would say them and they would repeat, “you are saying all the same thing”, they would say in a very condescending tone. While I would read signs out loud that had Spanish on them (to help me with my speaking and reading skills) my family would frown at me and yell at me to shut up or to speak in English.
In this time and age, Hispanics in my home community are not welcomed in my neighborhood, nor are they referred to in a positive light. They are seen as thieves and illegal immigrants, and this has brought up the question, “Why? What have they done to deserve such animosity? What makes them so low that you cannot even be nice to them, or simply waving a hand, giving a friendly smile or even acknowledging their presence?” This question, “Why?” is the answer that I seek to find the response to in the case of Racism. So to the beginning of my quest for the answer, I picked a War and a culture that it has affected in a negative manner. My subjects for analysis were World War II and Japanese Americans.
In the days that the West was being populated by the great pioneers that we have all read about and been taught in elementary, there was more than just the ones that had crossed the Great Plains, there were also “pioneers” that were crossing the Pacific...