Rotary Club of Pismo Beach / Five Cities
Jeff Mooney, Third Place
Grade 11, High School Division
Mrs. Hoover, AGHS

A wise man once said, “stick to your guns”. Although this phrase can mean many different things, I believe that it has a universal meaning, that is, don’t ever let any situation make you forget your morals. The 4-Way Test is so similar to the quote, that I couldn’t believe I was going to have the chance to write about something I have such a passion for.

If only the government had known about the 4-Way Test during WWII. In school, we are learning about the camps that the Japanese Americans were sent to. The government assumed that many of the Japanese Americans were spies. They were taken from their homes, and only allowed one bag for their possessions. Many people became sick in the camps because of the horrifically terrible living conditions.

The 4-Way Test would not have been a good prevention plan, but a perfect one. Is it the truth? No, none of the Japanese Americans that were thought to be spies were ever proven to be. Is it fair to all concerned? Once again, the answer is no. It is completely immoral and unjust to pull someone from their home and send them to a camp. In many cases, the Japanese Americans lost all of their possessions, including their homes, even when they were let out of the camps. The third question of the 4-Way Test, “will it build good will and better friendships?” The decision to put the alleged spies in camps did not cause good will or create better friendships. The only thing it did, in the form of relationships, was stir up racist feelings from both Americans and Japanese Americans. The last question, “will it be beneficial to all concerned?” No, absolutely nothing was solved by putting innocent people in prison camps.

It is such a sad thing, because if the government had only applied the 4-Way Test, the whole situation could have been avoided. I know that I will be more careful with my decision making in the future and be sure to always keep the 4-Way Test in mind.

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