Japanese Internment Video Comparisons by Kayla L

In the first video, it seems as though it is made to signify that what the government did to the Japanese individuals was benefiting both the US and the Japanese and protecting them.  The way the video speaks, they are stating that the US is attempting to justify the actions of what was done.  Based on what we know about WWII, I do not believe that this video depicts what accurately happened during that time in history.  For example, they state that many of the Japanese individuals were volunteering to leave their homes and jobs behind.  Over ⅔ of these individuals were American citizens, why would they voluntarily leave what they had a right to? The government claims that they gave real consideration to these individuals when asking them to leave their lives behind.  When the camps were built, the government stated that they provided nourishing food to the Japanese housed in those camps.  Why would the government feel the need to provide an emphasis on the type of food being provided to them?  The video also states that the government put a strong emphasis on the health and well-being of the children housed in these camps.  I think that the statement regarding the standard set for the future to determine which individuals are loyal to the United States was an attempt to convince the citizens that this was acceptable and necessary for the protection of all.  

In the second video, the picture of what the Japanese went through is much different than that of what the government stated.  I think that this video was attempting to show the difficulties that these individuals faced and the realization of what life was like after the camps closed and the Japanese were able to go back to their homes.  I also think that this video provides a much more accurate depiction of what happened during that time.  For example, the video states that these individuals were sent to these relocation camps, in which they were provided a small 1 bedroom apartment, and 1 small heating unit.  The camps were surrounded by barbed wire and lookout towers.  Many of these individuals were forced to sell their homes and businesses for small sums of money.  The view of the Japanese ethnicity was grossly looked down upon by the other Americans.  Many of which did not want them to return back to their homes after the war.  It took 3 years to shut down the camps.  That is 3 years in which these individuals were placed in camps and not allowed to go back to their homes or belongings.  Even considering their sacrifices, over 33 thousand Japanese served in the US military during WWII, and many of them became decorated veterans.  Once the camps were closed, the government provided no assistance in getting these individuals back on their feet.  It would take 40 years before Ronald Reagan would pass the bill that would serve as justice for the wrongs made by the US government to its Japanese citizens.  

After reviewing both videos, I think that the second video portrays a more accurate accounting of what happened during WWII.  The second video provides much more details and doesn’t provide what could be viewed as an excuse for behavior.  The second video states the hardships that were experienced, whereas the first video glosses over those hardships and makes it sound like these individuals were enjoying the time they had to spend in these camps.  Overall, the second video is more believable considering what the United States was experiencing, and how the American citizens were reacting to the war. 


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Dominic Salvucci

Teacher, Father, Husband, Poet/Philosopher, Life Long Learner.

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