Japanese American Bill Of Rights Analysis

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The treatment of Japanese-Americans during World War II remains a dark shadow in American History. During the 1940s, tensions between the United States and Japan were steadily rising, creating strong anti-Japanese sentiment in the United States. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, many Americans began to suspect all Japanese-Americans of being disloyal and involved in espionage. As a response, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9099, which forced approximately 120,000 Japanese-Americans, two-thirds of whom were American citizens, living in West Coast to relocate to one of seven inland states. When the need for political courage was pressing, only one politician stood up to the challenge: Governor Ralph L. Carr…show more content…
Upon hearing about the forced removal of the Japanese from the West Coast, Carr was appalled. He exclaimed to his staff, "Now that 's wrong! Some of these Japanese are citizens of the United States!" Thus, when the opportunity arose to aid the Japanese-Americans, Carr 's conscience would not allow him to exclude any American citizen from their right to travel freely within the United States. Defying public expectations, Ralph Carr announced that the Japanese would be welcome in Colorado. He stated, "If we do not extend humanity 's kindness and understanding to [the Japanese-Americans], if we deny them the protection of the Bill of Rights, if we say that they must be denied the privilege of living in any of the 48 states without hearing or charge of misconduct, then we are tearing down the whole American system." But Carr didn 't stop there. He informed his constituents that his stance was immutable--he would not tolerate racial hatred. "If you harm [the Japanese], you must first harm me,"…show more content…
In Profiles in Courage, John F. Kennedy defines a courageous leader one who "sacrifice(s) all- including his own career - for the national good" By this standard, Ralph Carr epitomizes a courageous leader. At a time when the public sentiment was overwhelmingly against him, Carr refused to sacrifice the rights of any American to placate the majority. As poet Thomas Hornsby describes him, Ralph Carr was a "one man crusade for freedom" He could have easily taken advantage of the hysteria to advance his career, but he chose to fight for his principles. As a result, Governor Carr has become a "footnote in history" Nevertheless, Carr 's crusade to protect Americans is not forgotten. Indeed, Ralph Carr 's legacy lives on in hearts he touched and the rights that all
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