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World Change Sprung from the Attacks of Pearl Harbor in WWII

In our history, there have been many conflicts between nations and within nations based upon ethnic and religious background. Entire wars have been fought based upon one race feeling superior to another. But this kind of ethnic persecution and racial conflict is the base factor for why our planet is in such a state of constant conflict. True world peace will never be achieved until we accept each other for who we are.

Two events in recent history seem to stand out when it comes to looking at how people react to different ethnic groups when a conflict arises. The first even was a surprise attack by the Japanese on our naval fleet at Pearl Harbor during World War II. The second is a recent attack on the World Trade Center buildings and the pentagon by Middle-Eastern terrorists who highjacked commercial airliners and then flew them into the targets. These devastating events have brought out harsh feelings towards the ethnic groups that the terrorists and bombers belonged to. It is a judge of our character, as citizens of a powerful nation, how we react to the people in our nation who had nothing to do with these events but physically resemble the attackers.

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After Pearl Harbor, the government and people of the US feared that the current Japanese Americans could be spies and would help Japan in further attacks. Our shock and surprise over the destruction that was rendered at Pearl Harbor drove us temporarily to put aside our constitutional morals and national beliefs. In a quick reaction, President Roosevelt signed an executive order to round up all the Japanese-Americans in the US and intern or relocate, them into detention camps.

These camps were had very poor living conditions and no indoor plumbing or central heating. Many Japanese became ill and some even died. When they came to the camps, the Japanese were usually forced to sell all their possessions at a great loss. I suppose you could compare these camps to the NAZI concentration camps in place across the seas.

In the 1970s, there were several Japanese workers in the congress and among other government positions. These citizens of America now fought to have the country review the injustices that their people had suffered during World War II. In several cases, it was proved that the Constitution had been violated by the executive order issued by Roosevelt. One such case was Endo. Ex Parte (1944), in which Mitsuye Endo, an American citizen, had been granted leave clearance by the War Relocation Authority, but the Western Defense Command would not allow her to re-enter the restricted zone.

When this case reached the Supreme Court, the Court ruled that a loyal American citizen could not be held in a relocation camp against her will. Other similar cases included the United States vs. Hirabayashi and United States vs. Korematsu. Hirabayashi was arrested for failing to report to a WCCA evacuation center and Korematsu was arrested for failing to report to a Japanese assembly center. These cases helped the Japanese American population prove that the government violated the constitution by carrying out the internment of Japanese in WWII. I the late 1980’s, Congress issued an official apology to all Japanese Americans.

Now we are faced with a similar situation to that of Pearl Harbor. People are already reacting to Muslim-Americans. There have been several beatings of Muslims in the last month since the WTC attack. Someone in New Jersey randomly stopped his car in front of a Muslim man walking in the street, stepped out of his car and proceeded to beat the Muslim until he was dead. All around the country, people are associating the faces of Muslim Americans with a terrorist middle easterner. On planes, Muslims are being thrown off if enough passengers consider them a threat solely on appearance. Muslims everywhere are afraid to leave their homes. They have gathered in community centers to speak out about their love for America and their fear of persecution.

Thankfully, we don’t seem to have forgotten our past mistake with the Japanese Americans. The government is not in any way supporting discrimination against Muslims. Senators, Mayors, Congressmen and the President are all speaking out against the persecution of Muslims. All those that violate the rights of these Muslim citizens are being held accountable for violating the rights of a US citizen.

I honestly cannot say that I wouldn’t rather have all the Muslims in the US rounded up into camps so that we did not have to worry about more terrorism. But it would violate the constitution upon which this country was formed. And I’m happy to see that the initial strikes at Muslims have seemed to have stopped and all the citizens of the US, no matter what ethnicity, are joining together to support our country.

It’s a horrible thing that people discriminate and react differently to a variety of ethnic groups. But I think they are all coming together now to be patriots of our country. Perhaps those that have immigrated here from harsher governments, can most appreciate the US and are the largest patriots of us all. All I know is that right now, I’m proud to be an American. Everyone is coming together to support this great nation, that after all, derives it’s own distinctiveness from the many different ethnic groups that have come here to add to the vast variety of cultural diversity that we enjoy and thrive upon today.

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World Change Sprung from the Attacks of Pearl Harbor in WWII. (2021, Feb 19). Retrieved July 9, 2021, from