Japanese American Internment
The Japanese American internment was ingrained anti-Asian racism, nativist and economic pressures from groups in California that had long wanted the Japanese gone, and the panic of wartime hysteria. The decisions to relocate and detain Japanese Americans were race prejudice, war hysteria, and a failure of political leadership. Ultimately, 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry: including tens of thousands of U.S. citizens were taken from their homes without charges or hearings, were excluded from the entire coastal region, and detained in desolate camps for years after any threat of a Japanese assault on the U.S. mainland had evaporated. The financial costs to Japanese Americans were enormous; estimates run well above $150 million for property loss alone, and that does not include loss of income or opportunity. Neither, of course, does it reflect the life changing emotional losses Japanese Americans suffered through stigmatization and incarceration. Surely a handful of diplomatic messages cannot support the infliction of this amount of suffering.
On the morning of December 7, 1941, Japanese Americans had learned the news that Japan had attacked Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. The American Japanese and children that were American citizens by birth in the United States feared retaliation. The Federal Bureau of Investigation had already begun rounding up suspected “enemy aliens” in Hawaii and the West Coast: which to me is considered racial profiling. The reasoning for the Japanese Internment during WWII was the product of war time hysteria and reflected a long time history of anti-Japanese hostility fueled by economic competition and racial stereotypes. The attack on Pearl Harbor fueled the fire of anti-Japanese sentiment. In California, Congressman Leland Ford, Mayor Fletcher Bowron of Los Angeles, Governor Culbert Olsen, and California Attorney General Earl Warren demanded that Washington take action to...