Asian American Loyalty Throughout War

Essay by siperwrxCollege, UndergraduateB+, November 2007

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History 106B Midterm

11 - 2 - 07

Asian American Loyalty Throughout War

The United States during wartime has consistently proven that its citizens and government need a group, race, or country to blame for causing conflict. In addition to this, they must also be blamed for political, economic, and social consequences that result from such conlicts. Even during the current war, American citizens have heightened security measures in order to target a specific race. Citizens of Middle Eastern descent constantly try to prove their loyalty to the United States. Through every American war in the 20th century, immigrants have had to prove their support for this country while facing various forms of persecution. Two groups that have been victims of this persecution are Japanese Americans during World War II and Chinese Americans during the Korean War and into the Cold War. The effort to prove their loyalty during war time targeting was necessary in order to avoid further incarceration, deportation, or other detrimental actions towards themselves or their families.

What becomes quite clear is that the government used force in order to obtain claims of loyalty. Invasive measures were imposed upon both races in order to extract confessions of devotion to the United States which created turmoil within their respective communities. Although under different circumstances, Japanese and Chinese Americans experienced similar "forced opportunities" to demonstrate their loyalty to the United States.

Japanese Americans were the first and only group of immigrants ever to be incarcerated simply for having ancestral ties to an enemy of the United States during war. Japanese American loyalty was immediately questioned following the attack on Pearl Harbor. Military officials had concerns about Japanese Americans on the west coast, and assumed the whole race to be a security risk. In reality, this assumption derived more from...