Harry Truman Racial Prejudice Analysis

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3. Racial Prejudice
3.1 Result of Pearl Harbour
Evidence suggests racial prejudices played a part in Truman’s decision as well. The event of Pearl Harbour on December 7th, 1941, had led many Americans to be bloodthirsty and bitter for revenge. The Japanese were not viewed as human compared to the white race as a result of racial prejudice, and many Americans agreed with these thoughts.
Although in American society there were references to Germans as “krauts,” and Italians as “tonies” or “spaghettis,” during the Second World War, the majority of ridicule was directed at Germany and Italy’s political leadership. Hitler and the Nazis, alongside Mussolini were routinely caricatured, but the German and Italian people were not. In contrast, racism
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Uncle Will (Young, the Confederate veteran) says that the Lord made a white man of dust, a nigger from mud, then threw up what was left and it came down a Chinaman. He does hate Chinese and Japs. So do I. It is a race prejudice I guess. But I am strongly of the opinion that negroes ought to be in Africa, yellow man in Asia, and white men in Europe and America.

The above quotation clearly states young Harry Truman’s thoughts and opinions towards asian and black cultures. It shows the roots of his racism towards the Japanese people, making him willing to use such a weapon of mass destruction against them. He even demonstrates self-awareness of his own prejudice. Truman’s decision to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima was influenced by his racism. Furthermore, Truman describes the enemy in his private papers as “Japs, savages, ruthless, merciless and fanatic” This quotation displays Truman’s perspective of the Japanese people in a short statement. By referencing them in such a way, it shows that Truman still held racial prejudice against the people of Japan. The Japanese were often referred to as “yellow monkeys,” dehumanized by American society. The media displayed the Japanese in such a fashion in order to justify killing them in masses. Truman’s
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Samuel Walker claims the bomb was used as a means to resist Soviet control of Eastern Europe and elsewhere. Truman complained in a letter to his wife Bess, about Russia and Poland having taken a huge part of Germany and wanting America and Britain to agree. Truman’s letter to his wife displays Truman’s anger at Soviet expansionism after the defeat of Germany. Russia had taken a large amount of Germany and it was likely the Soviets wanted more land through post-war claims. Truman’s decision to drop the atomic bomb as a show of power would be beneficial to America in order to establish America’s authority over the dealing of post-war possessions with the Soviet Union. The use of the atomic bomb would allow America to take full credit for the ending of the Pacific war, letting Truman deny any Russian post-war concessions in Asia and Eastern Europe. Consequently, America would decrease Soviet and communist

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