Dbq Japanese Internment Essay

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On December 6th, 1941, America was a neutral power in what became known as World War Two. The next day, the Japanese Empire attacked Pearl Harbor, one of America’s major naval strongholds in the Pacific. The attack was by surprise and left around 2,100 Americans dead with an additional 2,000 wounded, and decimated America’s naval capability with 18 ships destroyed. After this, of course, America was no longer neutral—war was declared only a few days later, and her citizens were struck with a sudden sense of both fear and fury, a mixture of emotion that helped lead to the later internment of Japanese-Americans in the West and Midwest United States. With Japan as a primary enemy in the war, Americans made the mistake of viewing even Japanese-American …show more content…

Akiko Kurose, who was 16 and attending a Seattle high school at the time, described when, after the Pearl Harbor attack, “one of the teachers said, ‘You people bombed Pearl Harbor’”, referencing Akiko’s Japanese heritage (Document 1). If, indeed, this was the general feeling of all non-Japanese Americans, than it is easy to see how amassed public hatred could lead to the internment of the hated. The government was even aware of the minimal threat posed by the interned—The Munson Report, delivered to President Roosevelt by his Special Representative of the States Department, Charles Munson, has such a statement as follows, “There is no Japanese ‘problem’ on the Coast. There will be no armed uprising of Japanese” (Document 4). And Mary Tsukamoto, who was an American of Japanese heritage, was forced in 1942 to an internment camp with her husband and child, leaving their strawberry farm behind, described her shock, “We couldn't believe that they would need all of us to quit our work to produce our fruit, food for victory... and then be put away”(Document 3). Evidently, the majority of those detained in internment camps posed no threat to America, but inept persons of power were blinded by prejudice and fear, and thus, the Japanese were interned. The Japanese were interned due to their shared ancestry, which is practically the definition of racism. The Italians and Germans who were put away could also claim the same

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