Essay on Race Relations And The Unequal Power Systems

1298 Words Dec 10th, 2015 6 Pages
INTRODUCTION Even though World War II is seen, from an American perspective, as a heroic war in which the United States fought against fascism and for freedom and equality, the race relations in the United States did not reflect these noble goals. In this essay I aim to deconstruct the ways in which race relations in the United States perpetuated systemic racism and the unequal power systems that had been in place for many years. To discuss these points I specifically highlight the cases of Japanese Internment, Native American relations, and Jewish American relations with the United States government.
JAPANESE INTERNMENT Following the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, the United States government began to discuss the potential threat that they believed Japanese-Americans posed to the greater country. These views were completely unfounded, based on false logic such as, “ ‘The Japanese race is an enemy race…’ (Takaki, 344).” Due to these irrational fears based on beliefs that racial attitudes exist and are biological, President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 which called for, indirectly, the mass internment of Japanese Americans. Following the order, Japanese Americans -- both citizens and noncitizens -- were identified and placed into militaristic internment camps in which they were required to salute the American flag and sing American nationalistic songs each day. At the same time, loyalty questionnaires were given to each internee. Two of the questions that…

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