US History Class List

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Korematsu v. United States (1944)

In times of war, governments often must balance the needs of national security with the civil rights of its citizens. In your opinion, did the Japanese internment order find the right balance between these competing values? Explain your reasons.

No, I think the Japanese internment order did not find the right balance between the competing values of the needs of national security and the civil rights of citizens. The Japanese internment order disregarded that Japanese Americans were American citizens, and that they have the same civil rights as any other white American citizen. The order allowed the government to limit and violate the rights of Japanese Americans because they feared disloyalty. Japanese American citizens could be taken by force to internment camps based on the fact that they were some part Japanese and not white. The government did not want to take the chance that a Japanese American was disloyal, so they decided to skip the steps to discover who was loyal to the United States and who was not; moreover, the government went to straight to gathering all those who fit the profile of Japanese to be kept away from the "real" white citizens and to protect the white citizens from them. This order not only did not balance the competing values it was unconstitutional because it caused innocent citizens to be detained by the government and seen as guilty with no proof. This order was not a balance to the conflict between national security and civil rights of citizens because the civil rights of Japanese Americans were violated. 

Do you agree that racial prejudice does not play a role in the government’s treatment of Japanese Americans during World War II? Give reasons to support your answer. 

No, I disagree that racial prejudice does not play a role in the government’s treatment of Japanese Americans during World War II. America was at war with Japan, and at the time Japan was not a good place in American's eyes after they bombed Pearl Harbor. This horrific event caused the government and American citizens to associate all Japanese people, even American citizens, as bad, dangerous people capable of harming Americans and our troops. America was not only at war with Japan, but also Germany and Italy, yet Italians and Germans in America were not placed in internment camps. The government practice racial prejudice towards the Japanese because of their race, as asian, but white Italians and gGermans were not harmed by this prejudice. Pearl Harbor fueled the government’s racial prejudice of Japanese Americans as aliens because they were a reminder of "A Date Which Will Live in Infamy". 

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