It is a hard thing to pledge loyalty to a country that is not your own; that is, a country that is not your ancestral or original homeland. This becomes evident with a situation whereby one is required to defend a country in which he/she has acquired citizenship either through birth, registration or neutrality or especially in case of a war outbreak between the two countries; the mother land and the alien land.
This incident was experienced after the World War II, between the Americans and the Nisei people of Japanese origin, where the Japanese living in America was to serve in the American army by defending the country against any form of opposition, both within or without America.
The anti- Americans were forced to sign some loyalty questions to the American government; this was done while they had already been taken to the internee’s camps where they underwent a lot of physical, economical and psychological torture. According to the American chief of the armed forces, for one to be a true American, race and origin was not important but total dedication emanating from the heart and mentality to protect the country’s autonomy and social equality.
It was therefore difficult to the Nisei to decide their position especially on matters pertaining to the two loyalty questions presented to them, a situation that can befall anyone in a foreign country. Considering the fact that the alien country, is where one lives and has accumulated most of her/his wealth, it becomes reasonable to show loyalty to the country though this action can also result into negatives to the people back in the original land and the aliens still in the country.
To the question whether I will be willing to serve in the armed forces of the United states on combat duty wherever ordered, my response will be no, because of the following reasons; firstly, fighting for the American country in order to show loyalty will not be an action enough to save my fellows who are in the camps, especially the innocent young children and women from the torture they undergo.
The same liberty and freedom I will be fighting for will be denied my own people living in the country; this is evident through their denial to the right of shelter, food and clothing. Therefore, it will be with no benefit joining the army as long as I will be treated like a stranger in the country I will be defending.
Secondly, the need of showing loyalty to the country is because I am a citizen, therefore, asking me such a question that a real citizen cannot be asked or cannot be in a position to answer, proofs that am not treated as a true citizen and risking to join the army will of no good to me (Cooper 37).
This question implies that I remain to be an alien besides all my efforts to fight for the country. Furthermore, my people could not be segregated into camps and forced to live their own homes and property which they have accumulated in the country, instead if they were treated like citizens, they could have been allowed to live in their homes and the young and energetic people granted a direct entry into the army just like the Americans are granted. This gives me a good reason to stand firm in my refusal to say yes to such a question.
Thirdly, it is pointless to fight for a country that triggers hatred and fighting among people of the same origin instead of encouraging their solidarity. By answering the question, different feelings shall be aroused because not all people feel the same for their country.
This means that there are those who will be for a yes, others for a no and others will not entertain any attempts to answering the question. This will mean animosity among these different groups. On top of all the hardships my people will undergo, they will be forced to fight amongst themselves thus creating a very hostile condition for their survival.
A country that one has lived and intends to live for the rest of his/her lifetime can be considered to be his/her own and showing loyalty and patriotism is vital. All his/her property is based on this land and therefore protecting it means protecting his/ her own possession. Contrary to this good idea, is the fact that home is home and it is always best. That is why I confirm my no answer to the above question.
On the second question, swearing unskilled allegiance to defend America from any forms of attack and agreeing to obey the Japanese emperor or any other strange authority will be impossible for me. My answer will be no because, in the first place the question is twofold and if my answer is yes then I will be left homeless (Cooper 43).
By accepting to defend the US , then I will be against my own country and by signing allegiance with Japanese emperor, then it means evacuating from America, this will lead to a no place for me and my people. For survival, remaining neutral is the best thing, furthermore those who show loyalty to either of the two sides still suffer as if they had done nothing, therefore it is good when one suffers solely on a neutral ground.
It is also risky to show loyalty to one side, incase the side one supports losses. This question is presented to all even the women, and without their understanding to the question, they will answer it wrongly thus committing themselves to things they cannot accomplish in life. It is therefore important for me who understands the consequences for such a commitment to say no.
In addition to this, the rivalry created among my people and the misfortunes realized by them in the detention camps compels me towards achieving my answer as no. To many, yes would work as showing loyalty to both countries can be advantageous in that they can survive in the one that conquers, but for me, I will choose to die a patriot to my own country whichever the circumstance maybe.
In matters pertaining loyalty and patriotism for one’s own country, it is important to acknowledge the fact that it comes from the heart and mind but not by force. Furthermore the country which one chooses to defend must also acknowledge one’s citizenship. If all is put in place, the all these questions should not be directed to the same people who are taken to be citizens.
The whole idea behind loyalty is to protect human life, therefore showing Allegany to either side, means destruction of the same life that is to be protected. That is why on human ground, I chose to say no to both questions.
Cooper, Michel, L. Fighting for honor: Japanese Americans and World War II. Orlando: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2000. Print.