Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The Ethics of Japanese Internment


I do not believe that Japanese internment was an ethical decision made by the U.S. government. Regardless of the perceived danger, I do not believe that people can ever be criminalized on the sole basis of their race or ethnicity.  In fact, Japanese internment bears a striking resemblance to other forms of racialized social control in the United States such as slavery, Jim Crow, or even the racial profiling which occurs today.  All other forms of racialized social control have been justified by stating that it is for the greater good or national security when in fact, there is no concrete evidence to the fact. The only true justifications for these racist actions are the and explicit biases of the people on the top of the American racial caste system.  

Race and Japanese Internment

It is extremely evident that racial prejudice plays an integral role in the government’s treatment of Japanese Americans during World War II.  While it is true that the government intended for the Japanese Internment laws to protect Americans during a time of war, it is completely irrational and innately racist for one to assume that the wrongdoings of a few people in a particular racial group provide sound justification for the incrimination of the entirety of said racial group. Furthermore, the basis for the interment law was “substantially discredited” by experts in the field of correlating actions with a specific race, religion, or ethnicity.  This proves that the law was based mostly off of the commonly misguided fears, suspicions, and biases against Japanese Americans. Further justification of the racism in this law is evident from the actions taken by the U.S. government against disloyal members of German and Italian descent.  Like Japanese people, there was evidence of disloyalties within the German American and Italian American communities, however, no racial bias existed against these ethnic groups so investigations and hearings were held for the Germans and Italians while Japanese Internment was passed for Japanese Americans.  Therefore, racial prejudice was the main reason for Japanese internment during World War II.

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