Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Koremastu v. United States

Our class was assigned to read the Koremastu case background, decision, and majority and minority opinions. This case involves the Japanese internment camps and how the American-Japanese citizens were moved to these camps after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

We were asked to answer the question: "In times of war, governments often must balance the needs of national security with the civil rights of its citizens. In your opinion, did the Japanese internment order find the right balance between these competing values?" I think that the Japanese internment order did not find the right balance, because the internment camps took away some rights from the Japanese citizens in America. By forcing these citizens to leave their homes to move to internment camps and if these citizen's refused then they would be arrested. These citizens had to sell their homes and belongings even if they didn't want to - the government took away their right to have property and possessions. This executive order was leaning more toward the needs of national security rather than finding a balance between national security needs and the civil rights of the Japanese citizens.

The second question we were asked to answer was: "Do you agree that racial prejudice does not play a role in the government's treatment of Japanese American's during World War II?" I do not agree. I think that racial prejudice does effect the government's treatment of Japanese American citizens during this time. Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, so the American government immediately decided to punish all Japanese citizens living in America. This was a very quick decision that greatly impacted a lot of Japanese American citizens. The government gave these citizens no explanation and made the move to these camps away from the coast line.

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