DBQ 4: Supporting Racial Internment During World War II
Many American citizens today do not know that during World War II, the Fascist Party in Germany were not the only ones to have concentration camps with a specific race occupying them. Between the end of 1941 till the end of the war, the United States evacuated and imprisoned around 127,000 people of Japanese ancestry. During this internment period, a supreme court case arose against Fred Korematsu where he was found guilty by a six to three verdict of trying to leave the state of California when all Japanese were prohibited from leaving and supposed to report to a relocation center. Although deemed unconstitutional today, the majority has strength in the letter of the law but weakness in racial prejudice; the dissenting argument has strength with using the Constitution but is weak in explaining military actions; and finally the line that should be clear before being crossed with "military necessity." To gain further insight on the subject it would be best to explore the majorities strengths and weakness first.
The majority opinion in the case has strengths with the letter of the law, but is weak on the topic of racial prejudice. When Justice Black delivered the opinion of the court in December 18, 1944, he first restates the law ( Exclusion Order No. 34 and Executive Order No. 9066, 7 Fed. Reg. 1407) that the defendant," ... knowingly and admittedly violated... a number of military orders and proclamations," (Doc 1 247). The Exclusion Order No. 34 states that all persons of Japanese ancestry in the designated military areas on the West coast have a curfew from 6 AM to 8 PM and to report to a relocation center to be moved away from the West coast. Also, the Executive Order gave the police and military authorities power to take action in protecting the nation from espionage and sabotage. With these two pieces of legislation Justice Black along with the other five...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document