In America, we always celebrate the bright points of our history but we tend to talk about the times when we dropped the ball as a country. While there are many examples of this one that sticks out to me is the Japanese internment camps during World War II. During WWII, while the US was at war with Germany and Japan it became a policy of the US government that people of Japanese descent would be put into isolated camps. This policy came after the bombing of Pearl Harbor and President Franklin Roosevelt signed an executive order to put it in motion. These camps were overcrowded and provided horrible living conditions to the people who were put into them. They slept in run-down tarpaper barracks and were given very little food on a daily basis. The camps were finally closed after two and a half years. There were over 100,000 thousand people incarcerated in over ten camps and nearly 2000 people in the years they were opened. Many of these deaths were caused by a combination of diseases encountered by the incarcerated and lack of healthcare provided.
I think this is one of the most uncomfortable things to talk about in US history, mainly because I think it is frequently overlooked and ignored. I think this is because the US is usually viewed as the good guy when it comes to WWII for putting a stop to Hitler’s madness. I think the only way I would explain this to someone asking about it is to say that it was during wartime, so we as a nation were very paranoid about treason within our own country. While we do celebrate our victory of WWII and the good we did for the world, the United States and its citizens certainly should be embarrassed by the way they treated these Japanese Americans during World War II.