Introduction to Sociology
Race & Ethnicity Assignment
A Look at Japanese Internment of WWII
To start off, the definition of internment is the imprisonment or confinement of people, commonly in large groups, without trial. (The Oxford English Dictionary[->0] 1989)
Japanese Americans in 1942 were taken to internment camps during WWII because of suspicions of their allegiance and dedication to the United States. Any Japanese American regardless of citizenship status was incarcerated. In early 1943 a loyalty questionare was issued within the camps. If the questions were answered incorrectly people were taken to Tule Lake, California which was the most heavily guarded camp at the time. The US justified their action by claiming that there was a fear of those of Japanese descent spying for the Japanese government.
To view Japanese Americans in regards to racism, it was detemined that Calif. farmers were upset about the arrival of Japanese into their industry. Internment was popular among many white farmers who resented the Japanese-American farmers. These individuals saw internment as a positive means of uprooting their Japanese-American competitors. California experienced a wave of anti-Japanese prejudice, in part because of the concentration of new immigrants. The San Francisco Board of Education separated Japanese students from Caucasian students. The Board ordered 93 Japanese students in the district to attend a segregated school in Chinatown.
Japanese Americans weren't the only people to be interned during WWII, Italian immigrants were also assigned to internment camps. Italians, Germans and Japanese were called "enemy aliens" and the U.S. government did not discriminate. Non-nationalized Italians, Germans and Japanese (diplomats, students, visitors etc) were treated differently, classed as enemy aliens and, theoretically, could be interred without due process. But unlike Japanese only non-citizen Italians were...