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So it's Friday again! It's also the last day of school for my kids. For my daughter that means graduating into middle school. For my son it means graduation from High school. We home school and my son can't handle crowds, so there will be no big ceremony per his request, though there are home school 'Graduations' out there he could be part of if he wanted to. For us it will be a quiet affair. He wanted me to share his last paper with you because he feels very strongly about it. We've been studying World War II for the past few months, so I had him do a paper on one aspect of it rather than me teaching it to him. I'm giving you the paper pre-formal APA citations, just for simplicity's sake. References will be at the bottom.

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Japanese Internment Camps during World War II

Basically, I think the Japanese internment camps were one of the
deepest stains on the United State's honor. People suffered from
discrimination, stress, and even bad medical care, and this should
have never have happened in the first place. What really makes me
frown upon these acts, other than all I just described, is the
fact that this action was only ever put in place because of popular
opinion, there was no evidence to suggest the victims of this crime
were spies, this was just another case of racist paranoia and
discrimination being popular opinion.

Two months after the bombing of pearl harbor, President Franklin D.
Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, forcing all Japanese-
Americans to evacuate the west coast to internment camps just
because of their Japanese ancestry. Despite the lack of evidence
to support the claims of Japanese-Americans remaining loyal to
their ancestral land, many people suspected them to be loyal to it
anyway. Racist paranoia increased due to the large presence in the
west coast. Many accused the Japanese-Americans of being spies for
Japan, however, none had ever shown disloyalty of any kind
to America.

Internees were only given 48 hours to evacuate their homes, and had
only been allowed to bring a few possessions, so they sold many of
their possessions, making them targets of fortune hunters, who
offered an extremely low amount of money for the goods that the
Japanese-Americans couldn't take with them. These camps were
guarded by armed sentries who were ordered to shoot the Japanese-
Americans if they tried to escape. Some internees died from
inadequate medical care and emotional stress. All who were deemed
"Troublesome" and those who did not take a loyalty oath were sent
to Tula Lake camp, which was renamed a segregation center. There
were two questions in particular that were in the loyalty oath:
27) Are you willing to serve in the armed forces?
28) Will you swear your allegiance to the United States and
forswear your allegiance to the emperor of Japan?

As George Takei said in an interview on the subject: "That was a
question that had two ideals. Now, to a Japanese-American who was
born here, that was offensive, because to forswear your loyalty
to the emperor was to assume that, by birth, you were ingrained
with loyalty to the emperor. You cannot forswear something that
doesn't exist. So the government assumed there was an existing
loyalty just because we looked like this. So if you answered no,
meaning 'you don't have a loyalty to the emperor to forswear',
you were also saying 'no' to the first part, swearing loyalty
to the united states. If you answered yes meaning 'I will be loyal'
you were assumed that you had been loyal to the emperor, and the
government was justified to put them in internment camps."

As you can read from George Takei, these questions were written,
on purpose, to discredit Japanese-Americans.

In 1945, the internees were allowed to return to their homes,
but not until March of 1946. In 1988, Congress awarded $20,000
dollars as an apology note to each and every survivor of the camps.

In conclusion, this act of injustice is again, a stain in the honor
of this nation, and these people, the victims, the Japanese-
Americans, taken out of their homes, having their loyalty
questioned, and having such a low, and I do believe it is,
apology as $20,000 per victim, they did not deserve their pain,
and they should have gotten more as an apology. I believe they
should have gotten their property back, a higher sum of money,
like say around $300,000 per victim, and each and every one of them
should have a letter of apology as well signed by each and every
single member of congress and the senate. This act of racism
and injustice should never be committed again.
This should have never happened in the first place, ever.

George Takai
Japanese-American Relocation - World War II -

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