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The American Shame The internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II is a shameful era in the history of the United States They were banished to detention centers not for their protection but due to prejudices After the bombing of Pearl Harbor thousands of American citizens were sent away for the sole reason of their Japanese inheritance Although some people protested this it still occurred on the basis of wild speculation amongst high-ranking officials The government called the Japanese-Americans evacuees but in reality they were prisoners in concentration camps Over 110000 Americans were forced to live in the horrible conditions at these camps Even so many remained loyal to the United States throughout this period The United States did not maintain a perfect reputation during World War II is apparent when looking at the concentration camps in America First of all the camps were not for the protection of the Japanese-Americans rather because of prejudices President Franklin D Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 on February 19 1942 citing the relocation of Japanese-Americans to protect against espionage and sabotage Brimner 42 However many government officials had different reasons Army officer John D DeWitt was one of the most outspoken advocates for the removal of the Japanese DeWitts statements indicated an irrational fear and hatred of all Japanese He claimed The Japanese are an enemy race We must worry about the Japanese all the time until they are wiped off the map he commented A Japs a Jap Theyre a dangerous element whether loyal or not Fremon 29 There are numerous documented prejudice comments said by DeWitt against the Japanese His insistence played a large factor in influencing the deportment of the Japanese-Americans Also his ramblings had no basis on reality They simply added to the hysteria and building prejudices Many other officials expressed their discriminatory views Nels Smith insisted that all Japanese should be kept in concentration camps not the reception centers
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