The Japanese-American internment camps.
What do you often think of when you hear the word Genocide? Do you think of the holocaust? Do you think of millions of people dying for the success of another race or nationality? An entire web site dedicated to genocide defines genocide as "Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;". But to me, it is just a fancy word for stupidity and carelessness. It is an action that comes from fear or from foolish individuals who have made it high in rank and are abusing the power. It has no real reason to be there, but yet, it is still here, ready to be awakened once again by some careless and selfish individual.
I consider the Japanese-American internment to be a Mental Genocide, deliberately degrading the lives of the Japanese-Americans. Actually making them believe that they were the weaker "race". Making them think as if they are responsible for the actions of their ancestry. America was careless and stupid enough to think that this would not have an effect on the Japanese Americans. I consider this genocide for these reasons.
In 1940 there was the annual census report. The census reported 126,947 Japanese-Americans; 62.7% of them were American citizens by birth. On November 26, 1941, Roosevelt ordered that a list of the full names and addresses of each American born and foreign-born Japanese listed by locality within each state. America made this list in apparent fear that Japan might attack the country.
On December 7th, 1941, Japan bombed Pearl Harbor. The FBI had a warrant to arrest a number of "dangerous enemy aliens" off of the list of Japanese-Americans in the United States that the Americans had prepared in case of this happening. By the end of the day, 747 Japanese-Americans had been arrested. The next day the United States entered World War 2.
On December 22nd, 1941, the agriculture committee of the LA Chamber of Commerce recommended that all Japanese in the United States area be put under "absolute federal control". On December 29, 1941 all enemy aliens in Utah, California, Oregon, Washington, Montana, Idaho and Nevada, were forced to surrender their contraband that they thought may be used for espionage (This must have been one blast of a Christmas for the Japanese-Americans?).
On January 28th, 1942, The California State personnel Board voted to terminate all descendants of natives with whom the United States is at war with from all civil service positions. However, this was only enforced against the Japanese Americans.
On February 4th 1942, 12 areas were considered "restricted areas", any Japanese American within one of those areas had to obey a curfew and were only allowed to travel to and from work and could not go to a work that was over 5 miles away from their home. The curfew allowed Japanese Americans to be out from 9 am too 6 pm, if they did not obey this, they would be arrested.
On February 19th, 1942, Franklin D. Roosevelt signed executive order 9066. This was an order that would change the lives for 110,000 Japanese Americans in the United States. At the very beginning of the order, it states:
"The successful prosecution of the war requires every possible protection against espionage and against sabotage to national-defense material, national-defense premises, and national-defense utilities."
I can see where this comes from; however, but you must have more faith and trust in your citizens then this! I know I would feel betrayed and not trusted by the government if I saw this passed if I was them.
On March 12th, 1942, The Secretary of Treasury handed over Japanese American property to the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. While Farm Security Administration was given control of Japanese American farms and the equipment. The Japanese Americans were told: "No Japanese need sacrifice any personal property of value. If he cannot dispose of it at a fair price, he will have opportunity to store it prior to the time he is forced to evacuate by Exclusion Order. Persons who attempt to take advantage of Japanese evacuees by trying to obtain property at sacrifice prices are un-American, unfair, and are deserving only of the severest censure."
On March 18th, 1942, President Roosevelt set up the WRA (War Relocation Authority). Which was in charge of "finding a way to remove the enemies from restricted areas". Milton Eisenhower was put in charge of this job.
On March 21st, 1942, Manzanar, the first concentration camp was opened. The origins of its prisoners were from Los Angeles, San Fernando Valley, San Joaquin County, and Bainbridge Island.
Living conditions at Manzanar:
Manzanar held 10,000 people and was the first out of 10 concentration camps in the United States. There were barracks that suited evacuees, the barracks were 120x20 feet and were split up into six one-room apartments. For a block of 15 barracks, there was a laundry room, bathrooms. The mattresses were filled with straw that was very uncomfortable to sleep on. The unfinished Barracks offered very little shelter for the hot or cold conditions and offered little or no shelter for dust storms and rain.
June 7th, 1942, over 100,000 Japanese Americans had been removed from "restricted areas". This awful action was actually CELEBRATED across America.
Many Japanese wanted to prove their loyalty to the country throughout all of this, even though they had been moved from their homes and some had been separated from their families. That time came on February 3rd 1943, when 10,000 Japanese Americans volunteered for the Army from Hawaii and 1200 Japanese Americans from inland volunteered. In 1945, the war was over and the horrors of these camps were over.
Yet to think, that after all of this, that the Japanese-Americans are still loyal the United States while knowing what we have done to them. It?s unreal and is amazing that they are even on good terms with us. President George Bush realized this and in 1990 he wrote a formal apology to the Japanese American evacuees:
A monetary sum and words alone cannot restore lost years or erase painful memories; neither can they fully convey our Nation's resolve to rectify injustice and to uphold the rights of individuals. We can never fully right the wrongs of the past. But we can take a clear stand for justice and recognize that serious injustices were done to Japanese Americans during World War II.
In enacting a law calling for restitution and offering a sincere apology, your fellow Americans have, in a very real sense, renewed their traditional commitment to the ideals of freedom, equality and justice. You and your family have our best wishes for the future.
What brings man to believe that it is ok to destroy entire races or seel them off from the rest of the world? If it was America?s motto for everyone to be equal, why could they do such an awful thing? It goes to show that America does not trust their citizens in a time of crisis. So I am now wondering, does America really consider their citizens the number one priority as individuals and free people? Why do we try and hide it from the youth of our nation? Why do we focus on the holocaust yet try to pass this up as if it never happened? Is it because of the fear that the children won?t accept us if they know what we can really be like? They are learning that the country is one of perfect history. They're living a lie.