In the early 1940's, there was evidence of Japanese-American loyalty and innocence, but the information was not always well known.This, coupled with the factors of war hysteria led to the legal upholding of concentration camps in Korematsu v.
U.S. (1944).The injustice was clouded, most immediately by the war, and indirectly by racism at home.
The sneak attack on Pearl Harbor left a permanent indent on the way Americans viewed the Japanese.Indeed, it was this one act which thrust the isolationist U.S. into the middle of the world's biggest war.
The brutal attack, so close to home, was viewed as sneaky and underhanded.This, added to the fact that the Japanese were rumored to have an amazingly effective spy system on Hawaii and the West Coast, led the Japanese-Americans to become highly suspected individuals.They were even a more immediate threat than communists, since they required an eventual takeover, and Germans, since they were preoccupied by numerous enemies.In addition, the Japanese-Americans were concentrated on the Western Coast and could thus organize better.There is also the chasm of culture; ignorance is the key to racism, and the average American knew very little of the lifestyle and customs of the Far East.
This led to more suspicion. There were also facts going against the Japanese-Americans.According to the Munson Report, 98% of Japanese-Americans were loyal to the U.S.This is an impressive number; however, in times of war, 2% sabotaging on mainland America was a major threat.A more startling fact that tarnished the Japanese-American reputation was the fact that Japan was rumored to have an extremely effective spy system on the West Coast.There were even some conspiracy theorists that rationalized that the sneaky Japanese were merely waiting for the right time to strike, as they did at Pearl Harbor.
The people were scared of the Japanese, and in a democracy, the people have a voice…