Discussion in 'WWII Today' started by Mehar, Mar 20, 2014.
Each time this is brought up I like to think of how much I admire a man who lives not far from here who won the medal of honor and served in WWII and the Korean Conflict. Parts of his family experienced the incarceration, yet he chose to serve distinguishing himself with his service. Horoshi Miyamura of Gallup New Mexico. God Bless him and his family.
I just read a couple articles on this new exhibit. Never ceases to amaze me the fear that swept across the country and the horrific reaction of the US government. This is a time in US history that needs to be remembered. Thank you for sharing as well Victor.
We too have our heroes, some folks just make you feel small .Masajiro Miyazaki is one of those.
The rounding up of and detaining of Japanese-Americans early in the war served also as a large scale "protective custody" of sorts. There's no telling how many lives were saved from retribution attacks that no doubt would have occurred after US casualties would start piling up after we took the offensive in the PTO.
I am sure there were other ways to protect Japanese Americans from retribution than interment camps. That was a glossy coating on an awful decree.
Actually A-58 has a good point. Times have changed, and maybe not that much, but 70 years ago attitudes towards others was much more overt and accepted. The divisions between the Ethnic differences in this country could very well have led to vigilante groups directing their outrage at the Japanese/Americans. If I'm not mistaken I believe this did happen. No one is saying that the imprisonment was justified, only that there are always two or three sides to a story.
The Newspapers of the time had entirely too much power and influence on the actions of Government and many decisions made were directly in line with Editorials written by big money Political donors. Same as today. The camps were instituted less out of fear and more out of bigoted insolence. Think the KKK influencing through media, the treatment of Blacks in the early 1900's.
Some interesting reading ;
I agree that most vigilante justice was perhaps curtailed as a result of the relocation of Japanese Americans. But of course, in hindsight in the 21st century, it is realized that labeling a whole culture on the West Coast as perhaps a "danger" to our nation's stability is an impossible sell in this day of age. That was my soul point in response, comparing the generations. Thank goodness we have come quite a ways in our behavior towards other cultures (ie race, religion, culture, etc). Of course, not as far as we would like. I feel nowadays much of the PC is window dressing by those politicians you mentioned.
"The camps were instituted less out of fear and more out of bigoted insolence." I think that's the quote of the day and it illustrates the point perfectly. Nicely stated.
Like what happened to German Americans?
First and foremost; the Germans didn't bomb Pearl Harbor. There was no fierce hatred for them and no burning desire to kick the ever lovin' sh1t out of them. German and Italian nationals were detained, and German-American Nazi's were detained. But by and large there were no large scale detaining of German-American citizens ever attempted. There were far too many of them. I've read in the past where the anti-Japanese sentiment was strong in California and along the Pacific coast areas where they lived. There was no oposition when the rounding up process began. A little known tenet of the relocations was that if any of the Japanese-Americans could find a place to relocate on their on in other parts of the country, they would be free to do so. Very few took advantage of the offer. I guess that they didn't think that the relocations would come about. It was a terrible time, and drastic efforts were undertaken. Sad but true.
To piggyback off that statement, in regards to the Nazi ideology, it was a completely different animal. The rise of Hitler and the Nazi party was highly publicized in the years leading up to the Munich Agreement and the invasion of Poland. Media outlets in the US were consistently focused on the goings on in Europe at the time. However, it was thousands of miles away on a completely different continent. It was none of our business, especially for those that did not have family on the European continent. Pearl Harbor was a sudden, horrendous act and was ripe with emotion which, as A-58 pointed out, fueled American distrust.
I beleive the internment act did indeed use safety of the Japanese Americans as one of the rationals for its inactment so it is not just a latter day rational. Furthermore it's been pointed out on these pages I believe that the internment camps were volentary on the part of Japanese Americans although not on the part of Japanese citizens. On the other hand the alternatives for many were pretty slim.
It should also be pointed out that there were acts against Germans in WWI and indeed against those of Japanese ancestory prior to the act being implemented in WWII.
Another factor was that ill will had been building vs the Japanese for some time in the US. The attacks on US gunboats and the Japanese actions in China were widely reported and well before the war started there was a pretty strong public opinion that something would have to be done about Japanese aggression.
On the other hand when one looks at how well the problem was handled in Hawaii one has to feel we could have done better.
When people candy coat what happened to the Japanese in the interment camps and act like it was beneficial in certain ways thinking such views and actions towards minoritys is something in the past...... I always like to remind of the recent past when JT Ready in Arizona was allowed to go around rounding up what he assumed would be illegal aliens to help the authorities place them in custody of the INS.......he was clearly a vigilante with his Nazi roots and no one bothered to prevent his activities in the least. So long as we have recent activities so flagrant, yet accepted by our Media and government authorities, as well as a witnessing public......... we are remiss to assume our past behavors are "only in the past". You should read about the "Border Guard" he led with the blessings of several politicians of Arizona. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._T._Ready
Nobody is candy coating what happened to the Japanese-American and Japanese Nationals being detained. It's easy to look back 70+ years and say that they did it wrong and it was a mistake. It was tried in Hawaii, but with so many people there of Japanese descent it was un-manageable. The economy would collapse in that territory. The Japanese Nationals were detained, but that was the same with the citizens of all the other nations we were at war with at the time. One thing for sure though, there were no cases of fifth column activity reported after all the relocation's on the mainland.
The same thing happened to Italian-Americans in WW2. It was not one of the finer periods in American history. http://www.italianhistorical.org/page19a.html
Thanks for posting that Lou, I never heard of any of that business before. I agree that panic and racial hatred played a big part in the US going overboard with it, but the part about the Italian sailors being detained when war was declared is just one of those things. I'm sure our people who were in the Axis nations were detained and interned after 7 Dec 41 as well.
The internment was not just foreign nationals. I don't see anthing wrong with that. My problem is that many Americans of foreign desent were rounded up just because they were "different". That bothers me.
Germans suffered a little in Australia...no interments. It was difficult in Australia because so many Australians are decended from Germans, they settled all over especially in South Australia...We even had a "German Town" (name changed during ww2)...Plus they dont look any different to the average Australian (back then)...so werent easy to identify anyway. I (we) love our Australian germans here in Oz...have contributed everywhere...
Yes, it was dreadful business all the way around. Nothing good about those proceedings at all.
It's one of those dark days in US history where students of today need to be educated about.