A | More | Perfect | Union --  Japanese Americans and the U.S. Constitution
The Japanese American ExperienceReflectionsCollection SearchResourcesCredits

Post a Response
Name

E-mail Address (optional)

 
 
 
By contributing your comments, you agree that the Smithsonian may make use of them for educational, research and museum purposes, including publication. A selection of comments may be posted on our Web site at the discretion of the curatorial staff after review. Please see the Smithsonian's privacy policy.
 
 

 
 
 
Search for keywords in all of the reflections and responses.
 

Reflections
Never Again? found 30 stories, showing stories 1-5

Sarah Williams
I don't under why people are racist becaus we are all the same. People don't get the picture that we all came from the same place and it don't really madder what color you are it's about what's inside that counts nots whats on the outside that counts.

Theo Warfield
It is kind of ironic that we are told how horrible Germany was because of their concentration camps, yet the United States government had similar programs that were active during World War II. The fact that these inhumane acts even took place in any nation at any time in history is a testament to the cruelty of humanity. The imprisoning of the Japanese people is easily blamed on revenge, but I do believe racism was a key element to the decisions made. Germany was the main Axis power during World War II, yet we didnít imprison any German Americans in fear that they were treacherous. We also saw a horrible reign in Russia and Italy, yet these people were not oppressed in the United States. The discrimination was based on the differences in appearance between people of European descent and of Japanese descent. The people were angry that the nation had been attacked and they needed something to place the blame on. The government knew that it would be easy to ostracize the Japanese people because of the obvious differences in appearance. Granted, the Japanese government did set up and execute the attack and Japanese soldiers were the ones who attacked, but racism is still a deeply rooted problem that had an affect on their decision.

When September 11th happened, there was a built up hostility and fear pointed towards people who were Middle Eastern or of Middle Eastern descent. This shows that racism continues to this day and has a negative effect on how people handle situations with other nations. Whether or not internment will ever happen again, we can never be sure. It is a shame that racial prejudice occurs because a few individuals decide to make bad decisions.

Dave Holder
The United States was going through a hard time back in the 1940ís. The issue of internment to the Japanese was a big one. Although the US deemed this issue ok it really wasnít. They thought that Japanese Americans were spies over here from Japan. Now I can see where the US was coming from because some of the Japanese were indeed spies. Now the US didnít want to take the chance of having any other spies out there. So I can see why they did what they did, but I just do not think it was the right way let alone the right thing. I do believe that the US did not do their best to handle the situation in the right way. They were very mad at the Japanese because they had just bombed us, so they had put a stereotype on all Japanese. They were all bad and they were all killers. This was and is a typical reaction to being mad, so I can see were the US was coming from. Now I am not justifying the treatment of the Japanese but try to put yourself in both pairs of shoes.
I do not think this could happen again, as a matter of fact I know it would not happen again. Look at the Arabs, they caused a lot of devastation in this country and they are freely walking around the United States today. I have nothing against Arabs and I do not think that internment is the answer. I also think that the US realizes that it is not the answer and that is why they are maturely handling the situation now.

Travis Lowe
Never Again???

Now every time I hear about what we Americans did to other Americans during World War two makes my stomach ache. We were all the same citizens of the same country but we couldnít trust them because they had Japanese decent? You would think that if they came to live in the United States that they are not taking part of what ever Japan was doing. They had became American citizens as soon as they could and why would anybody want to get rid of that for any reason? As you may already be able to tell that I think that is was very wrong for them to do that to the Japanese Americans of the nineteen forties. To tell you the truth I donít really know if it could happen again? I bet before the Hitler era nobody thought that this sort of thing would have happened but it did. We as a whole today think the same but I bet that it will change in the near future. There are so many people out there today with crazy ideas and I bet that there are still people who believe in what Adolf Hitler did. Now in the United States I donít think that it could ever happen again. After the government did that to the Japanese-Americans and it was all said and done a lot of people didnít agree with the government and what they were trying to do. So I donít think that it could ever happen in the United States but I do think that it could in other third world countries though. All I can say is we have to keep a close eye on what certain groups are doing to certain people cause it will probably happen again in the future.

Jennifer H.
Perhaps it is too simplistic to say it was racism and revenge, but since we now have access to archives and materials that prove that there was never a case of Japanese espionage proven during WWII from anyone living in the U.S. of Japanese ancestry, and since we do know that General DeWitt thought that the internment of Japanese & Japanese Americans was justified because of what "they" did to "us" at Pearl Harbor (of course he was forgetting that the "they" was the Japanese Govt and the "us" was the people of the U.S., which is what the people of Japanese ancestry & Japanese Americans were), then at its most basic level, it was, indeed, racism and revenge. In times of fear and anxiety, it's easy to have a convenient scapegoat, and Japanese/Japanese Americans were much more racially visible and hence easier to target than German or Italian Americans. And lets remember, although there were German and Italian American leaders who were detained and interned, no comprable response was ever formed on the East Coast to conduct a massive internment of entire families of German or Italian Americans due fear of espionage.

   Result Pages 1 2 3 4 5 6 7    Next Page>>
Smithsonian - National Museum of American History - Behring Center