Japanese Internment Essay

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Melissa Savala
Period 4
March 2010
Japanese Internment Essay

“Deemed a ‘menace which had to be dealt with,’ Japanese-Americans were forced into ‘relocation centers.’” After the events of December 7th, 1941, the west coast of the United States was considered vulnerable to attack by the Japanese. I feel the Japanese internment was wrong, because it was based upon fear, prejudice, and greed. It was also a civil rights violation because the majority of the Japanese detainees were American-born citizens.

The people of the west coast believed the Japanese living in the United States would aid Japan by committing acts of sabotage and spying. Panicking and hysteria influenced people’s emotions. They did not stop to consider that the majority of the Japanese were American citizens and were loyal to this country. People were misled by rumors and gossip about the Japanese being disloyal which exaggerated their fear.

Due to the Asian ancestry of the Japanese, their appearance make them stand out, which made it easy for people to single them out. The United States was also at war with Germany at the same time. The Germans were of European descent, there for they blended in and people were not as prejudice against them. Many people did not understand the Japanese culture and because of that, it led to suspicion and prejudice.

When the Japanese left for the internment camps, they were forced to sell their property. Because they left with such short notice, people were able to take advantage of them by purchasing their property at far below market value. If people had been more tolerable and understanding of the Japanese’ situation, I think that they wouldn’t have been so greedy and would have offered a fair value for the property. There were farmers that were envious of the Japanese owning farmland and gladly took the opportunity to relieve them of their land.

Additionally, the Japanese internment camps were basically a civil rights violation because the...
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