Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Japanese Interment Camps


In 1942 the United States President, Franklin D. Roosevelt signed an executive order that allowed the military to control the freedoms of Japanese and Japanese-American citizens. This included making curfews, restrictions on where they were permitted and moving Japanese/Japanese American  citizens to where deemed necessary.  This turned into internment camps, where both Japanese and Japanese American citizens were held during World War II. This was, in the eyes of the government, a way to ensure safety for Americans and to prevent sabotage or espionage. While this was an order the government passed thinking that this was a way to ensure safety, I believe that this failed to balance with the rights of all Americans. Those who were turned into the internment camps were stripped of many, if not all, of their constitutional rights. This also to me seemed like a waste of resources. Why spend a large sum of money on these interment camps during war time, especially when the possibility of a detained person being part of espionage or sabotage was so low.


I believe that this was also a moment of racial prejudice in American history. While Japanese and Japanese American citizens were forced into internment camps, no citizens from the other countries involved in World War II where required to do the same. There was also no screening process that possibly ruled a person out of being a possible spy. This goes further in how it did not pertain to travel, there is a possibility that someone with no Japanese heritage could have been a part of espionage, which is why it would have made more sense if the enrollment into the internment camps had a correlation to travel or communication with Japan, but the enrollment was purely based on race.  However, I still believe that the use of Japanese internment was not the way to address a possible national security problem.

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