Race played a dominant role in World War II for a variety of reasons.Historically, power relationships emerge between the dominant and the domineered.This has occurred throughout history, from slavery in Roman times to slavery in our own South.
It seems there is always a victor and a vanquished, and those weaker must bow to those stronger who dominate them. In World War II, and added tension was added, and author Dower calls this “race hate.”We were not just fighting the Japanese, we were fighting the “Japs,” the “Yellow Bastards” who attacked Pearl Harbor and killed so many of our fighting men in a single morning.They were not only the enemy, they were despicable because of their color and their race, and we hated In Europe, we were fighting the Nazis, the “Krauts,” who murdered millions of Jews and sought to take over all of Europe.In both cases, the threats were quite real, and it is understood why we were fighting a war, but it became more than a war, and turned into a racial war because we hated and feared the things these foreigners had done, and this is common when we fear the vanquisher, and hope not to become the vanquished. On the home front, race hate reared its own ugly head in the way we treated our own black soldiers, who were not allowed to do many of the jobs that whites were allowed to do.
We formed all black regiments, and all black fighter squadrons, but never mingled the two, thus underlining it was not just the enemy we were afraid of, it was anyone with a different color skin.Race played a dominant role in World War II because of fear, and because of ignorance, but that is not to say it could not happen again. Race hate will always be an issue when two dominant nations face off against each other; it seems to be human nature….