Throughouthistory, numerous ethnic groups and races have been treated as an outcast,enduring dreadful happenings. In the United States, African Americans, NativeAmericans, immigrants, homosexuals, and the disabled are only some that are areoccurring minority group that have experienced inequality and socialsegregation. During World War II, the United States had been determined toisolate themselves from the world; a neutral country wanting to be unaffectedby the ongoing war. Although, the Pearl Harbor Attack carried out the ImperialJapanese had prompted Roosevelt to take action, and get involved in the war. Over the course of four years, President FranklinD. Roosevelt established Executive Order 9066 that enforced all people ofJapanese ancestry into remote internment camps to reassure the public of their efficiency,causing the ongoing debate between the Japanese Americans the federal governmentthat ultimately, justified racism. Although the government had payedreparations over four decades later and admitted their fallacy, thisunforgivable action is deemed unconstitutional as it does not compensate theviolations and racial discriminations that the Japanese had to undergo after. The Japanese that were relocated tothe camps were mainly American citizens, the second and third generations -Niseiand Sansei- of the original immigrants that had immigrated to the United Statesbefore.
Due to Imperial Japan’s need for conquer and territory in the Eastern-Asiahemisphere, they had initiated the Pearl Harbor Attack on December 7th,1941. President Roosevelt, threatened by the Japanese, was increasinglyencouraged to affiliate in the World War, and end the ongoing conflict. As a result of theunexpected Pearl Harbor Attack, the Japanese[TH1] instantaneously became the enemy of the state, and various conspiracy rumorsspread throughout the U.S.
, stating that all of theJapanese living among them were spies and traitors that would eventually allywith Imperial Japan. As this theory gained numerous supporters and attention,the Japanese Americans were constantly discriminated by the rest of society.Additionally, as this took place during the 1940s, Anglo-Saxon superiority wasa common acceptance and racial segregation was at its peak, only increasingly worseningthe xenophobic behavio. Roosevelt, also known forhis racial background, had also been convinced of the rumors that were sustainedby racism, and sent all of the Japanese Americans to “remote internment” camps,in which where they were supposedly “evacuated” from the aggressive mob. Roosevelt also had to reactto this situation in some way, as he had to duty to show to the public that thegovernment was efficient in responding to surprise attacks. Known as ExecutiveOrder 9066, established on February 19th, 1942, the government atthe time had justified their arrangement by stating that the society would notaccept the Japanese’s presence, and they would likely react in violent ways. Although, in fact, the governmentwas just desperate to satisfy the rest of the Americans with their reassurance thatthe Japanese were taken care of. All immigrants and citizens of Japaneseancestry living along the West Coast, primarily Oregon, Washington, California,Nevada, and Arizona, were quickly forced out of their homes, offices, and lives,for their own “safety”.
 Furthermore, Executive Order9102 was established alongside this Order, stating that the government allowedthe “including the use of Federal troops and other Federal Agencies, withauthority to accept assistance of state and local agencies”. As this process had beeninitialized too suddenly, all of the property and businesses were taken overcontrol by the government, and eventually sold without their consent in orderto fund the internment camps. The Japanese were held in the camps for 4 years,receiving decent education, and surviving in formidable living conditions. After Roosevelt releasedthe Japanese from the camps months after the war ended, they had received moreracism that is still ongoing now. Also, they had also suffered in poverty astheir properties and businesses were taken away by the government and soldwithout their permission. Over four decades later and the imprisonment of theseveral Japanese that opposed the situation, the government had admitted theirpronounced fault, and had payed reparations to most of the Japanese Americansthat were released, as established in the Civil Liberties Act of 1988.
Resistance was evidently present within theinternment camps, as the Japanese held riots that demanded their freedom, andproperty back from the government. From an interview with a Japanese Americansurvivor, Mieko Shintani states from her experience at the Manzanar Camp, which“kids (were) throwing things and hitting everybody because they think they areright”. The conflict between theJapanese and the federal government had increasingly become an issue over the 4years, as the conditions within the internment camps became also another factorthat the Japanese complained about, and showed the government their ruthlessnessAlso, in Jeanne Wakasuki Houston’s autobiography, “Farwell to Manzanar” , her father, a supporterof the Japanese American Citizens League, was arrested for refusing to leavehis home. The story of her father, whom had suffered imprisonment, furthershows the conflict between the[TH2] Japanese and the federal government. This book not only revealed to the worldof the reality of the conditions within the internment camps, but also showedthe brutality and consequences of resistance. Also in Houston’s autobiography,“Farwell to Manzanar”, she specifies of the living conditions that were poorand cramped, diseases were spreading rapidly, and food was either rotten orinedible.The conditions in which the government had allowed to occur resembles their illegitimatebehavior, as they had forced the helpless Japanese to live in those camps underRoosevelt’s fist. After her autobiography was published, and several photos of the life within thecamps were released to the public, many had believed the Japanese should nothave to experience through these unhygienic environments and risking starvationfrom lack of edible food.
This further threatened the government, receiving thisresentment, and also became a factor to the start of the Redress Movement. Several Supreme Court cases haddeclared of this relocation process constitutional, despite how it stripped therights of American citizens and justified racism. Although the resistance tothis relocation was small due to the Japanese’s conventional nature, there wereseveral Supreme Court cases for some that have spoken out for their own rightsthat had been a landmark[TH3] for the United States. The most notable case was Korematsu v. United States, inwhich Fred Korematsu, a native-born American, had been subjected to violatingan exclusion order, as he had refused to leave his home in the wake of therelocation process. Within the first threemonths the exclusion order was issued, FredKorematsu had been one of the few American citizens that have been held incustody as a consequence of his repercussion. The case had concluded with theCourt siding with the government in a 6-3 advantage, as Solicitor GeneralCharles Fahy had been allegedly suspected of suppressing evidence from theNaval Intelligence that the Japanese Americans were not a threat towardsnational security, and the rumors of secret spies were untrue.
 This had been a significantturning point for the Supreme Court, as it had upheld racism and was in supportof restricting the liberal rights of an American citizen. Both Americancitizens Minoru Yasui and Gordon Hirabayashi had been convicted for violatingcurfew, and had lost to the Supreme Court and were both sent to jail. In theSupreme Court cases Minoru Yasui v. United States and Hirabayashi v. UnitedStates, not only had the government had violated the basic citizenshiprights as stated in the Bill of Rightsbut also demonstrated to the public that they were expressing xenophobicbehavior, and By establishing Executive Order 9066and 9102, the federal government had violated the Bill of Rights, causing someJapanese to retaliate, declaring it highly unconstitutional. In the 1stamendment, it states of Congress making a law that abridges free speech, andthe President Roosevelt had taken away the freedom for the Japanese to have asay in response to this Order.
The Japanese had novoice; they were sent to the camps without their accord and all complaints andobjections were suppressed through the War relocation Authority. Many have beensubjected[TH4] to imprisonment as a consequence of speaking out and refusing to leave theirhome for the relocation camps. Their attempts at exercising their traditionalreligion and citizenship rights were suppressed also, violating the 1stamendment.
The 4th and 5th amendments were also ignoredby the government; the FBI had confiscated any material that were seemingly suspecting,and many of the Japanese that were taken by the FBI were denied access of alegal representative, and a proper trial, defiling the Bill of Rights. ThisExecutive Order also violates the 14th amendment, as JapaneseAmerican citizens had been held against their will and their basic citizenship.Most of the Japanese that were taken to the camps were Nisei and Sansei, thesecond and third generation of the Japanese in the United States, all obtainingAmerican citizenship.
The government had attempted to justify theirarrangement, establishing Executive Order 9102 shortly after the first, inwhich states that they have the ability to create the War Relocation Authority, furthering causing theJapanese to form a resistance in order to retrieve their freedom andcitizenship rights. The relocation camps were existentin other places such as Canada and Hawaii, and they both had also agreed theJapanese were a threat and needed to be controlled. In the internment campslocated in Canada, living conditions were still inadequate, but better than thecamps in America.
Pat Adachi, a Japanese Canadian, states in her interviewregarding her experience at the Canadian internment camps, that although theliving conditions were poor, after viewing images and hearing about the oppressivehappenings that had been occurring in the American camps, she had[TH5] been “mortified” to hear this. This not only further resembles the extent ofthe horrible conditions in the American camps compared to the ones in othercountries, but also how the freedom of the Japanese were suppressedinternationally, all subjected to the camps for their “safety” and“protection”. Although, ironically, in Hawaii, as the third of the populationhas of Japanese ancestry, not all Japanese Americans were “relocated”, as itwould be logically impossible, and lead to a severe decline in the economy. Onlyvery few internment camps were present in the islands, and the few hundred thatwere grouped were mainly the leaders of the Japanese community.
Similar to America’s camps, Canada and Hawaiialso targeted the Germans and Italians as they were of the Axis Powers,although many got away and were not as strict upon them as the Japanese hadbeen their main victims. Over four decades after the JapaneseAmericans were released, the remaining survivors were each provided with$20,000 as a formal government apology. Civil Liberties Act of 1988 passed byCongress was mainly moved by the Redress Movement, led by the Japanese AmericanCitizens League. Modeled after the Civil Rights Movement, the Redress[TH6] Movement launched in 1978, had demanded the United States government for aformal apology, and reparations for the survivors of the people released fromthe relocation camps. The majority of the movement consisted of the younggenerations, aiming for vengeance fortheir parents and grandparents. President Ronald Reagan had ultimately signedthe Civil Liberties Act in 1988, and then another Civil Liberties ActAmendments of 1992 to ensure that all survivors were payed reparations. Thefederal government had finally acknowledged their fault, stating that theirmotivations were based on “race prejudice, war hysteria, and a failure ofpolitical leadership.
” They further announced tothe public through the Act that their actions were justified based on unconstitutionalactions, including forcing the Japanese into unsanitary environments, violatingseveral fundamental citizenship rights to strip them of freedom, and unjustlyimprisoning people whom had resisted their oppression. Despite the money given to the JapaneseAmericans, it wasn’t enough to retrieve for the property that the governmenthad taken away and sold to fund the camps. Many of the Japanese Americansliving in the United States now are still traumatized of what happened in thepast, but are continuing to accept and move forward. The racial discrimination stillis present as a result of the actions as exhibited during the World War II era,but lessens every day. After numerous photos, newspapers, and survivor’s commentaryon the internment camps were released, the people had begun to realize theatrocities of the government had done, and the segregation of the Japanese werereduced. The majority of the Japanese feel that “it would be good that they actually apologized to me and recognizedthat what they did was wrong, but giving me money it wouldn’t give me back whatthey took away from me” Fromthe establishment of Executive Order 9066, taught a lesson to the federalgovernment and to the globe; of how the Constitution can be challenged and theSupreme Court’s ability to contravene laws.
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