During World War II, many groups of Americans, including Mexican Americans, African Americans, and Japanese Americans were mistreated during the war. During the war, in the Zoot Suit Riots, some elements of the California press had been portraying Mexican Americans as unwelcome foreigners. Bands of hundreds of sailors, marines, and soldiers went through Hispanic neighborhoods in Los Angeles, looking for Mexican American young men in zoot suits to beat them and arrest them. Many African Americans joined the army only to find that it was "a place impregnated with suppression and racial prejudice." The Japanese Americans were shipped off to interment camps because apparently they were capable of "a wave of organized sabotage." In response to the internment of the Japanese, Attorney General Earl Warren stated, ".in time of war every citizen must give up some of his normal rights," which suggests that these acts of aggression were only due to the wartime atmosphere, but events like the race riots after World War I, treatment of the Chinese and Irish, and the oppression of women all support the idea that this behavior was part of American culture.
The race riots after World War I is an example of discrimination during a non-wartime atmosphere. In fact, these riots took place after World War I. A wave of African Americans workers from the South moved to northern cities due to the wartime economy. Veterans returning from war found it hard to find jobs as factories cut back or shut down. These economic hardships brought back old prejudices and discrimination against African Americans by whites. The Ku Klux Klan experienced a revival and lynch mobs terrorized black populations everywhere.
The treatment of the Chinese and Irish immigrants is another example of mistreatment and discrimination during a non-wartime atmosphere. The majority of immigrants worked in industrial jobs. Most immigrants were desperate for work, and most employers were happy to have a cheap source of labor.