Minorities in War Home Front Contributions
What group do you think was excluded from this establishment?Why?
WWII & Hispanic Laborers • US negotiated the Bracero program due to labor shortage (1942-64). • Mexican citizens worked in US—about 4 million. • US farmers became dependent upon Bracero laborers. Bracero workers on a California farm (1944)
Braceros • The Braceros converted the agricultural fields of America into the most productive in the planet. • Working conditions for migrant workers were harsh and often unsafe. Their wages were low, and they were often taken advantage of. Encouraged migrant laborers to come to the US
Bracero Program • Labor shortages were most severe in agriculture. • White farmers went to war, blacks took up factory jobs, and Japanese were interned • Agricultural commodities were in greater demand by the military and for the civilian populations of Allies. • The Bracero Program was a diplomatic agreement between the United States and Mexico for the importation of temporary contract laborers from Mexico to the United States.
Zoot Suit Riots • Zoot suits, popular with Latino youth, were seen as unpatriotic during a time when cloth was being rationed. • The riots began in Los Angeles, amidst a period of rising tensions between white sailors and the Los Angeles' Mexican-American community.
How are these images different in their depiction of African Americans?
Double V Campaign • Double V Campaign: Victory over fascism abroad, and victory over discrimination at home. • Large numbers migrated from poor Southern farms to munitions centers. Racial tensions were high in overcrowded cities like Chicago; Detroit and Harlem experienced race riots in 1943.
Executive Order 8802 • Executive Order 8802: said "there shall be no discrimination in the employment of workers in defense industries or government because of race, creed, color, or national origin“ • Signed after A. Philip Randolph's March on Washington Movement, on June 25, 1941 • Created the Fair Employment Practices Commission (FEPC) - Required companies with government contracts not to discriminate on the basis of race or religion. It assisted African Americans in obtaining jobs in industry.
After the start of the war, employers in Detroit turned to a ready pool of African American labor from the South. • June 20, 1943 racially motivated riots broke out in across Detroit. • Eventually, 6,000 federal troops had to be called in to quell the violence. Detroit Race Riot (1943)
Armed homeowner Protecting home Rioters overturn a car
Japanese Internment In 1942 the War Department demanded that all enemy nationals be removed from war zones on the West Coast. The question became how to evacuate the estimated 120,000 people of Japanese citizenship living in California. Why do you think only Japanese were interned?
Japanese Internment • Aerial Photo of Granada Center from the Water Tower - Granada Relocation Center, Amache, Colorado.
The Attack on Pearl Harbor Changed Peoples’ Attitudes Across the Country Japanese Internment
Executive Order 9066 • Executive Order 9066 provided for the removal of enemy nationals from military areas, specifically removing those of Japanese ancestry from the West Coast. • The U.S. government relocated and interned about 110,000 Japanese and Japanese –Americans who lived along the Pacific coast of the United States to camps called "War Relocation Camps," out of fear they would provide aid to Japan. • Of those interned, 62% were American citizens
Japanese arriving on Pacific Electric train at Santa Anita Assembly Center are met with police, soldiers and searches.
Eleanor Roosevelt • In her memoirs, Eleanor Roosevelt recalled being completely floored by her husband’s action. A fierce proponent of civil rights, Eleanor hoped to change Roosevelt’s mind, but when she brought the subject up with him, he interrupted her and told her never to mention it again.
Japanese Internment • Many camps were built quickly by civilian contractors during the summer of 1942 based on designs for military barracks, making the buildings poorly equipped for cramped family living. • Because most internees were evacuated from their West Coast homes on short notice and not told of their assigned destinations, many failed to pack appropriate clothing • Armed guards were posted at the camps, which were all in remote, desolate areas far from population centers. Internees were typically allowed to stay with their families, and were treated well unless they violated the rules.
Korematsu v. US • Fred Korematsu sued the US government, stating that the President and Congress went beyond their war powers by implementing exclusion and restricting the rights of Americans of Japanese descent. • In a 6-3 decision, the Court held that the need to protect against espionage outweighed Korematsu's rights, citing the WWI doctrine of “clear and present danger”. • In 1988, President Reagan signed legislation which apologized for the internment on behalf of the U.S. government. The legislation said that government actions were based on "race prejudice, war hysteria, and a failure of political leadership".The U.S. government eventually disbursed more than $1.6 billion in reparations to Japanese Americans who had been interned and their heirs.
Korematsu v. United States Facts of the Case During World War II, Presidential Executive Order 9066 and congressional statutes gave the military authority to exclude citizens of Japanese ancestry from areas deemed critical to national defense and potentially vulnerable to espionage. Korematsu remained in San Leandro, California and violated Civilian Exclusion Order No. 34 of the U.S. Army. Question Did the President and Congress go beyond their war powers by implementing exclusion and restricting the rights of Americans of Japanese descent? Decision: 6 votes for United States, 3 vote(s) against The Court sided with the government and held that the need to protect against espionage outweighed Korematsu's rights. Justice Black argued that compulsory exclusion, though constitutionally suspect, is justified during circumstances of "emergency and peril."
Executive Power • In times of crisis the government over steps its boundaries and takes away individual liberties Palmer Raids- In fear of a Communist Uprising Sedition/Espionage Acts-WWI Japanese internment- WW2 Hollywood 10- Cold War- In fear of a Communist Spies Patriot Act- September 11th
Eleanor Roosevelt • First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt became the model for all first ladies to come. She was highly involved in her husband’s political career, and was the first First Lady to have an independent personal cause to advocate while in the White House. Each First Lady since then has determined a social cause to dedicate her time to as an extension of her husband’s political power (e.g. Laura Bush’s fight for literacy, Michelle Obama’s advocacy of healthy living). • She wrote a daily newspaper column that explained her beliefs on humanitarian issues (“My Day”), held weekly press conferences for female journalists only, traveled extensively in support of the New Deal, and later on for the war, visiting factories and farms, encouraging Americans that the White House was mindful of their plight.
Eleanor Roosevelt • As much as she was an advocate for her husband’s policies, often Eleanor was a thorn in the president’s side, refusing to let her personal beliefs be overshadowed by political dealings. • She advocated the African-American civil rights movement, flew with the Tuskegee Airmen, and invited Marian Anderson to sing in front of the Lincoln Memorial when she was denied an invitation to the White House, invited the Tuskegee Airmen to the White House, advocated against the internment of Japanese-Americans.
Rosie the Riveter • Rosie the Riveter is a cultural icon of the United States, representing the American women who worked in factories during World War II,many of whom produced munitions and war supplies. • In 1944, unemployment hit an all time low of 1.2% (as opposed to 25% a decade earlier).
Rosie the Riveter • A real-life Rosie brought the character to life. Her name was Rose Will Monroe. The Hollywood star Walter Pidgeon was touring the Ford Motor Company aircraft assembly plant when he met Monroe. On his recommendation, she starred as herself in a government film promoting the war. The famous illustrator Norman Rockwell then created a "Rosie" image to appear on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post, May 29, 1943 — the Memorial Day issue.