Japanese American Redress

Upon watching the video, witness testify and urge to push the commission through for the Japanese Americans who have experienced internment after the war. Congressman Norman Mineta is one who explains how wrongly the Japanese Americans have been treated since the start. He addresses how a numerous of Americans have indured internment just because of their Japanese ancestry. American citizens being denied their human right, is how Mineta puts it into words. I thought this was a powerful sentence, because it puts into perspective just how unfairly Japanese Americans were treated. One thing that I noticed from Mineta speaking is how he mentions that no one in Congress is personally responsible for the Japanese Americans ending up in internment camps but they are responsible for making the right decisions to do what they can to make it up to the internees, as leaders. As Mineta puts it into words, he defines that the internees were targeted on a base of race, especially as these were Americans. Since they indured so much, there is nothing that can remotely have them forgive the United States for so much that has happened. I believe that is why Mineta puts pressure on wanting the Commission to go through, after 44 years, he mentions how this should have been done such a while ago. Especially when he mentions how so many internees are no longer alive, there is kind of a running clock when it comes to making an apology. Especially one that will impact the entire nation as a large population was affected. Something needed to be done to make a postive impact on these affected individuals just how their lives were drastically impacted once they had been taken to the internment camps. Mineta said a statement towards the end of his testimony that I believe made a huge factor just for the personalization and how his family was affected.

Another testimony goes on by the second congressmen Metsui, he goes on to urge the chairmen to adopt the legislation based on what a 10 year old child had to go through. One who had no responsibilities had to be jailed, as put in his words. The fact that he mentioned that goes on to show the realities of how being taken to internment camps atlers the rest of your life. Between the time a Japanese American was taken to the camp to the time they got release (if they survived), is a an entire portion of their life. Working and being jailed and mistreated especially by the government, takes an impact and ruins lives. Therefore, going into the redress and determining how this cannot even remotely be a good apology for everything that has gone on in the past represents just why this should pass even more. And when Metsui questions the government, he asks them if this is a priority for how they see their citizens. How they treat them and what they do to take care of them, I believe this was the best perspective to instill onto the Chairmen.

A third witness goes on and he mentions how he grew up in a small town of American citizens of German ancestry. He mentions how living in this small town he didn’t experience any discrimination just for being German as the Japanese would. How race shouldn’t have been a driving factor for internment camps. I like how this was an American citizen that did not have ties to Japanese ancestry because this is coming from an outside perspective. The fact that he had German ancestry, could have placed him on the same level as Japanese Americans, but there was a defining factor that did not allow this. The result of internment camps was specfically placed on race against Japanese. His point of view couldve represented a number of Americans who had not directly been involved with internment camps or Japanese relations but perhaps their neighbors who saw it happening and did nothing or couldnt have done anything.

Many of these testimonies go into saying how this was something that happened about 44 years ago, so why are we now even talking about a redress? Why is it even in question, is the main debate. The proposed legislation was for a public apology towards Japanese Americans and for a sum of compensation that was meant to be given to living internees. I remember it being mentioned how the money that was proposed to be giving to each internee isn’t even a fraction of what their economy had lost. Along with emotional trauma, and altering their lives forever since that moment. Going into convincing the government to agree to the redress questions their view among all races. Especially when put into question whether they view this as a priority for their people, then they must make an effort to do what they can to ensure the American population are in their minds when making impacting decisions.

2 thoughts on “Japanese American Redress

  1. I also think it was interesting that financial compensation was a large part of the opposition. Of course, the government rarely wants to spend money (although they have no problem spending it on national defense), likely in part to help their reelection, as constituents typically do not want high taxes. Still, though, I think $20,000, as you mentioned, is hardly anything, and certainly not enough, to cover all lost property losses and emotional trauma caused as a result of internment. Furthermore, people who were interned were dying by the day. I think it is distasteful that the government cared more about money than the well-being of Japanese Americans.

  2. I think your point about Mineta saying it was nobody in the room’s fault that internment occurred was a rather interesting and intelligent persuasion tactic. He used both pathos and ethos to emphasize the struggles Japanese Americas went through during World War 2. Your point about the clock running out regarding compensation was also rather clever, as he elevated the status of the issue from important to urgent.

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