The attack on Pearl Harbor December 7, 1941 was the result of decades of mistrust between Japan and America. Japan had attacked with the misguided ideals that this would encourage the US to withdraw from their support with East Asia. Unfortunately, the repercussions of such an act from the Japanese led to an ever increasing distrust of the 110,000 Japanese and Japanese Americans currently residing in the United States. This distrust elevated to extreme measures in March, 1942 when President “Roosevelt created the War Relocation Authority to oversee the forced removal of 38,000 Japanese immigrants and 72,000 Japanese American citizens to internment camps, where they were held under armed guard.”
The national justification for internment was that the Japanese immigrants and Japanese immigrants were potential enemy agents, and posed a threat to national security. Although the Office of War Information hired a photographer to illustrate the evacuees were being humanely treated, they were forced to leave their homes and personal belongings and could only bring with them what they could carry.
I would presume that the internment of Japanese Americans affected their conceptions of citizenship very poorly. How long had they resided in the US proving their loyalty, and how quickly did they become the enemy because of their heritage. If I were in their position, I would feel beyond humiliated, and this certainly would never feel like home to me. They call America the “melting pot” because the majority of citizens have multiple heritages and cultures. I am part Native American Indian and also have French heritage. If we went to war with France, am I to be blamed for my heritage? There is nothing logical nor ethically correct about what happened to the Japanese folks residing here. Then again, is this not the same demeanor Americans show those of Muslim culture? Are they not today shunned because Americans fear they are connected with the Islamic State?
History truly does repeat itself time and time again. Does it not matter how much documented history proves such discrimination is counter productive to our American culture?