Some Japanese Americans Are Republicans Because of FDR
President Franklin D. Roosevelt was a Democrat
The majority of Japanese Americans who were unjustly incarcerated in camps during World War II were able to move on and live productive lives. They were the younger generation. They became part of the model minority because they proved themselves to be good citizens who were patriotic and law-abiding. They were able to forgive, but they always remembered the hardships which resulted from the mistreatment of being denied their freedom.
The older generation of immigrant Japanese people who were imprisoned in the camps suffered greatly. Some were never able to recover. Many could not regain the economic stature that they had before the war. The younger generation said that they felt most sorry that their parents had to endure such an injustice of being unfairly incarcerated.
After Japan bombed Pearl Harbor in Hawaii on December 7, 1941, the United States entered the war with Japan. President Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) issued Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942. This gave the military commander in certain areas the authority to remove any persons from their homes. The order was a racist move used against people of Japanese heritage living on the West Coast of the United States. It was not used in Hawaii or the inland states.
Many Japanese Americans are Democrats because they are a racial minority. They believe in the ideals of the Democratic Party because they themselves and their families have been oppressed. Although many tend to be conservative and some are wealthy, they are generally concerned with civil rights for all people. Racism has affected them.
There are many Japanese Americans who are Republicans because they believe in the ideals of the Republican Party. There are some who are Republicans mainly due to the fact that President Roosevelt was a Democrat. They feel that he and the Democratic Party were responsible for the huge injustice done against them with the incarceration during World War II. They are unable to forget that unfortunate period of their lives for which they may blame Roosevelt and the Democrats.
During the period of Redress when Japanese Americans sought to obtain an apology from the government for the grave injustice done to them during World War II, a commission was set up to study the issue. The findings of the commission were that the causes of the incarceration were: racism, war hysteria, and a failure of government leadership at that time.
When the Japanese American Redress issue came up before Congress, most Democrats voted in favor and most Republicans voted against it. Democrats were the ones who supported the Japanese Americans in their quest. Traditionally, Democrats have been more favorable to minorities and their issues. Some Japanese Americans are still Republicans because of President Roosevelt and their unfortunate experience during World War II.
There are a variety of reasons for people to choose one political party over another. Many are influenced by the past experiences they have had with government and the people in power. Although it is best to affiliate with a party that is closest to your own ideals, it is difficult to discard your personal experiences.
[ For more information, check out www.thejapaneseamericanstory.com and The Japanese American Story As Told Through A Collection Of Speeches And Articles]