Japanese Internment Camps in America Essay

2247 Words 9 Pages
Most Americans know the story of Anne Frank. Most of the atrocities I’ve learned of in various history classes concerning World War II sprang from her diary accounts. Just when I thought I knew all about the "enemy" (Nazis) and the heinous crimes that they inflicted on human beings, other sides of the story were brought to my attention. I came about a book called Farewell to Manzanar which introduced a similar treatment of human beings in our very own country. I discovered that an internment policy was placed on the Japanese that was extremely questionable. My emotions were torn because I could not believe America's leadership could be guilty of snatching such inherent liberties and freedoms. I was intrigued to find out more about the topic …show more content…
With this in the back of my mind, my quest for the real reasons that the Japanese were targeted began. I thought of the conflict at Pearl Harbor first, so I set out to find what even incited this original Japanese-American divergence. I first came across an organization dedicated to preserving Japanese dignity throughout history and beyond: The Japanese American Legacy Project (JALP). Its website indicated that they "were frequent targets of prejudice and political attacks for 50 years before World War II" (Densho). This site represents the organization's interests in their entirety, and describes adequate background information, which I found to be helpful. Unemployment and low wages could be equivocated to Japanese infiltration, which soon became the basis for groups to rise up in opposition, thus associations such as the Japanese Exclusion League were born. However, problems really began when businesses actively recruited Asian immigrants for tedious duties. Labor unions fired back with rallies for local elected officials to "remove all individuals of Chinese heritage from California" (Densho). The government reacted to such forceful pressure almost immediately. In 1882, a series of congressional exclusionary acts eliminated, for a period of time, what was known to the west coast as "yellow peril" (Densho). These findings were strangely new to me, so I began to browse other sources for…