• At that time it was for national security but became more for discrimination towards the end of the war. Americans are great about discrimination, always have been just look at the American Indians, Polish, Irish, Italians, Mexicans, and Asians even today. Americans wouldn't be happy unless they are bitching about someone somewhere.
  • The internment has been considered to have resulted more from racism than from any security risk.
  • Discrimination is when you judge the value of someone or something based on grouping, classification, or other categorization. Judging people as a security risk based on their ethnic heritage is the textbook example of discrimination. The justification of "this is for national security" is probably honest, in that the people who said that thought it was a proper justification. Some of the Japanese people who were subjected to internment had fled Japan to get away from the totalitarian and discriminatory government there only to face the same problems here.
  • IIMO it was discrimination based on their race. The Germans were certainly our enemies too. However German Americans were white and Japanese Americans were non white. It would be much more fairer if German Amerians were in camps too.
    • bostjan the adequate 🥉
      They were. Sadly, many of the 11 000 German expats who were placed into US prison camps during WWII were Jewish people who fled Germany in order to avoid prison camps.
  • Well, the general wanted to intern German Americans on the east coast. That didn't go over well, so he was transferred to the west coast. At least the guy was consistent in his weird way.
  • It was both, IMHO. The country and the world was a vastly different place back then. In those times, the Japanese still believed that the emperor was also their god, descended from the sun god himself. Many Japanese homes had shrines to the emperor where they lit incense and said prayers. The govt thought it might be unwise to leave them loose in the country while we made war against their god.
    • Linda Joy
      Also very insightful! Thank you!
  • Actually... it was more along the lines of protecting Japanese people living in the West Coast from being the targets of mob violence. (Violence, of course, motivated by discrimination against people originally from an enemy nation, a nation that had ruthlessly attacked the U.S. at Pearl Harbor.) The concern ***of the government*** was civil unrest, not Japanese espionage or sabotage. Proof: Japanese living ELSEwhere in America were NOT relocated, nor were Japanese on the West Coast who were living in more "upscale" neighborhoods. It was a rather high-handed way of protecting these people but it did succeed. Obviously it was a violation of their rights.
  • Yes, it was discriminatory, because many of these people were American citizens. And we didn't intern German-Americans or Italian-Americans. We interned only German and Italian citizens (most of whom had left for their own countries anyway). Our one good excuse was that the Japanese had actually attacked us. The Germans and Italians hadn't, but we were still at war with them.
  • Yes. That is: both. It was also security for those in the concentration camps. *** Why do I say so? It was specifically West Coast Japanese people that were forcibly placed in such camps...and at that, only the people of certain communities. There was a huge anti-Japanese sentiment after Pearl Harbor, and the government had very good reason to expect riots and mob violence against Japanese communities...especially those on the West Coast. *** They should have handled it differently, of course. But they didn't. *** Probably the most famous such detainee is the actor who played Sulu on Star Trek.
    • Linda Joy
      Yes, I can see that as a reason as well. But I didn't know Sulu was detained. Always enjoy your answers!

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