In today’s American studies class, our professor lectured about World War 2 and the German fascist machine versus the American democracy machine. Both of these are, unfortunately but strikingly, similar to one another. The way it tied to the main prospect of the course was but a small fact: the segregated units and the fight for integration of the military bases and the integration of the U.S. army. Apparently the African American soldiers were assigned into segregated units with white male officers as their superiors. On one side there is the party/army led by Adolf Hitler-the man who believed, and to a certain extent, executed his belief, that the ‘Aryan race’ must cleanse Europe of the Jews, he then extended that belief to the entire world. The U.S. fought the Germans, but there is much doubt as to whether the war between U.S. and Germany was a battle of ideology or that of race. Further from that, we have the whole U.S.- Japan thing going on simultaneously. The ‘Japs’ (that is actually a racial slur, I implore you to NEVER use such language against any person of Japanese descent) bombed Pearl Harbour, the Americans got all “oh no, you didn’t”, and went on to, in ASCENDING order of brutality/damage/death dealt: 1)detonate 2 atomic bombs over the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the 2 cities that had NEVER been touched before during the war. 2)Engaged in fire bombings of over 64 cities, starting with Tokyo. The U.S. B29 bombers bombed 16 square miles of Tokyo’s urban, highly populated areas. Yes, the firebombing campaign was MUCH more deadly than the atom bombs. In fact it is the deadliest act in a war in history, apparently. People burnt to death, even those who tried to hide in basements died due to the quick loss of oxygen to the SUPER HIGH temperature of the bomb flashes, and even slower burning. The U.S. did this to 64 Japanese cities, burning about 1/3rd of Japan’s urban land area. Large numbers propaganda posters sponsored by the U.S. government showed the Japanese as yellow, hideous monsters who were robbing America (represented as a naked white woman most of the time). Yes, excessive racism. Almost as if the U.S. was fighting the ‘Japanese race’ and not the Japanese Empire or the Japanese army in the war; A very morally wrong thing; Exactly as morally wrong as they decried the Holocaust and how it ended millions of Jewish lives. The Holocaust is estimated to have killed about 1/3rd of the ENTIRE Jewish population in Europe. Of course the Holocaust was on a significantly larger scale than the American campaign against the Japanese, but the way the Americans reacted towards the Japanese was in no way reflected in their attitude towards the Jews. They didn’t speak much against the whole Nazism thing outrightly, as much as they did use ideology and propaganda to destroy Japanese people.
That was some interesting stuff I learned in class today. See you tomorrow.