To Fear The Japanese or Not?

Japan attacked the United States Of America in 1941, it was an act of war that Americans took serious. The island of Honolulu was bombed in a viscous and earth shattering attack, more than 2,000 people were killed and over 1,000 left wounded. This unforgivable event instilled fear and hatred into the hearts of every American. In an almost immediate reaction, President Roosevelt signed the Executive Order 9066 which detailed the removal of all persons of Japanese descent. Thus the beginning of the Japanese American internment.

The evacuation order set into place a sequence of events that were both unjust and horrific. Any person of Japanese decent was removed from the newly formed military zones, two thirds of which were United States citizens. Yes, American citizens were removed from their homes, assets frozen, and forced into relocation camps. The environment at these camps were less than adequate, they were overcrowded with very poor living conditions . There was a lack of plumbing and ability to cook, coal was hard to come by with only a limited amount of blankets, and food rations were scarce. Medical treatment was next to non-existent, which explains why almost 2,000 people died in these camps.

The incarceration of American citizens is an unconstitutional act, the way they were treated is one of the most appalling in history, comparable to the holocaust. As an American i am ashamed that our government was so narrow minded. To read the history of this event and stumble across statements that detail the concern for their safety…….Americans ready for justice, so we keep them safe……… in piss-poor conditions? I don’t think we had their best intentions in mind at all.  How is it that the government can treat the people of this country this way and get away with it? Oh wait! could it be because we as a nation are just as narrow minded as the people who run this country?

If the French decedents were targeted the way the Jewish and Japanese heritages have been targeted in the past I could potentially end up in one of these evacuation situations. I would be considered a French American because of the way my family tree is laid out. It would not be fair to me as a upstanding American citizen to be targeted just because of my ancestors homeland. i would not stand to tolerate that type of abuse in this day of age.


Keene, Jennifer D., Visions of America: A History of the United States, Vol 2, 3e, Pearson, 2017.

“Japanese American Internment Notes.”



8 thoughts on “To Fear The Japanese or Not?

  1. I agree with what you said about the unfairness of Japanese-americans being targeted. They did nothing wrong, but were still targeted because of their heritage. They were hated for what a country they might have never been to did. The bombing of Pearl Harbor was the action of Japan, not Japanese-americans. We were very wrong to put Japanese-americans in internment camps, and I believe everyone sees that now.

    1. I agree completely, I am upset that people, of any era, could treat others so badly, especially those who have done nothing wrong. I like your statement, “The bombing of Pearl Harbor was the action of Japan, not Japanese-Americans.” It seems so unjust to punish people for something that a country they don’t even pledge allegiance to did. Many of the people punished were hard-working, beneficial members of their communities and even were citizens here. It blows my mind that we found way to “justify” doing something like this to a group of people, determined by ancestry and appearance.

  2. There are a lot of things that could have been done differently about this whole situation. It is unfair, and the Japanese-Americans did not deserve what happened to there. FDR most likely could have changed things, or did things differently, but he did what he thought was best for the country, and it proved to be helpful as we won the war. War sometimes inflicts lifestyles that are not fair to certain individuals, but sometimes that is life. It is not always optimal. It was wrong for them to be put in the camps though and there could’ve been different things done.

  3. How horrific to think American citizens had to endure such awful living conditions because of an irrational decision that was made. I believe that this could have been handled much differently and I don’t believe they should have been removed from their homes! Aside from the Japanese descendants being transferred to these relocation camps, they did not even provide an adequate way of living for them. It is only a wonder how many more did not perish away. Thanks for the post!

    1. It is absolutely wrong that these people were being forced to live in the conditions that they were. It was even more wrong that they were being incorrectly blamed and as a result being forced into this situation. However, do you think Japanese-Americans would have been forced into internment camps if FDR was able to see how the future played out, prior to making these decisions? I think he truly was doing what he had thought, at the time, was best. We, as a country, can learn a lot from our historical pasts but without those mistakes being made we would have nothing to learn from.

  4. Could you imagine if the government triend to pull this type of thing today. The outrage would be heard across the world in a matter of minutes. It makes you wonder if news traveled back then as fast as it does now, would the government\military had made the same decision?
    Makes ya wonder! I myself feel that they may have went about it differently. This was truly a dark decision made by our governent and one not that i’m proud of. You think we would learn from the mistakes of other countries doing this same thing.

  5. I think this is a prime example of how the view from the rear-view mirror is crystal clear. During the time that Japanese-Americans were being put in internment camps, FDR was doing what he felt was best for the country. Of course we now look back and know that his choice to put these people in camps was wrong, but had we been living back then maybe we would have viewed things differently, too. Japanese-Americans were not the problem and they were certainly being blamed for something based on their background, which is not okay. However, this just shows that if we could make all of our decisions after seeing how things play out as a result of those decisions, we would live in a very different world today.

  6. I, as I think anyone would, agree that the treatment of Japanese-Americans during world war 2 was horrible and completely unjustified. These were people’s neighbors and had sometimes lived in the United States for decades before they were taken to the camps and had no reason to be there. These were people that could’ve helped during the war by either fighting or working in factories to help arm the troops and cut out a significant amount of the United States’ labor force.

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