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The Macksey Journal

Abstract

This research project aims to explore the internment of Japanese Americans during World War Two through the lens of intersecting pressures from both the American federal government, headed by the War Relocation Authority, and public opinion through media and pop culture. The paper illustrates how these factors culminated in the dissolution and seizure of personal freedoms and constitutional rights of a minority for the sake of national security. Through the discussion of pre-existing scholarship and primary sources ranging from government documents and newspapers to letters and memoirs, my research re-evaluates the causes of American paranoia at the time, as well as how foreign relations and domestic policy influence and directly relate to each other. Although the internment of Japanese Americans happened almost eighty years ago, echoes of the same rhetoric, stereotypes, and misconstrued information remain in our society today through the idea of "false news" and xenophobic perceptions of the other. The presentation will show how the internment of Japanese Americans can be used as an example of fear and paranoia taking precedence over the truth, as well as what can happen when democracy is revoked.

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