Was the Japanese Internment Camps Right or Wrong?
Debate Rounds (3)
Main source: The American Pageant 14th Edition
Certainly there were spies, but there were likely no more Japanese spies than there were German or Italian spies and we didn't incarcerate them because, as I said previously, it is a lot easier to spot someone Japanese in a sea of white than it is to spot a German or Italian. Also, the number of actual spies would have been quite low considering that 70% of the Japanese Americans were citizens and 2/3 of them had been born in the US. Overall, the probability of these 110,000 internees being spies was so low that the costs to the American government, people, and the internees outweighed any benefits.
Also, while the internees were given monetary compensation, that was over 40 years after the fact at which point only 80,000 of the original 110,000 still survived. Furthermore, property has a lot more than simply monetary value and the property that was lost varied in that as well meaning that in some cases the property lost was more than the $20,000 granted by congress as compensation. In other words, for many of the survivors, the compensation and apology was too little, too late.
Extend the following arguments from my previous round:
These arguments were not countered.
I would also like to point out that in addition to restricting the freedom of the internees, the conditions in which they lived were mediocre at best as outlined by this article from Scholastic.com
"The government called these camps "relocation centers." Surrounded by barbed wire and guarded by armed soldiers, families lived in poorly built, overcrowded barracks . The barracks themselves had no running water and little heat. There was almost no privacy, and everyone had to use public bathrooms."
While many may think of these conditions as fit for a prison for some of the worst criminals, we must also remember that the Japanese interned at these camps had neither been charged with a crime nor tried and could not justifiably be called criminals under the Constitution and the laws under its jurisdiction.
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Vote Placed by Geogeer 2 years ago
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