Chaz Morantz October, 2001
The Effects of Pearl Harbor and the WTC Attack
In our history, there have been many conflicts between nations and within nations based upon ethnic and religious background. Entire wars have been fought based upon one race feeling superior to another. But this kind of ethnic persecution and racial conflict is the base factor for why our planet is in such a state of constant conflicts. True world peace will never be achieved until we accept each other for who we are.
Two events in recent history seem to stand out when it comes to looking at how people react to different ethnic groups when a conflict arises. Thefirst even was a surprise attack by the Japanese on our naval fleet at Pearl Harbor during World War II. The second is a recent attack on the World Trade Center buildings and the pentagon by Middle-Eastern terrorists who highjacked commercial airliners and then flew them into the targets. These devastating events have brought out harsh feelings towards the ethnic groups that the terrorists and bombers belonged to. It is a judge of our character, as citizens of a powerful nation, how we react to the people in our nation who had nothing to do with these events, but physically resemble the attackers.
After Pearl Harbor, the government and people of the US feared that the current Japanese Americans could be spies and would help Japan in further attacks. Our shock and surprise over the destruction that was rendered at Pearl Harbor drove us temporarily to put aside our constitutional morals and national beliefs. In a quick reaction, President Roosevelt signed and executive order to round up all the Japanese-Americans in the US and intern, or relocate, them into detention camps. These camps were had very poor living conditions and no indoor plumbing or central heating. Many Japanese became ill and some even died. When they came to the camps, the Japanese were usually forced t…