In early 1941 Europe had been fignting World War II for just under three years but the United States hadn't joined the war yet. When the US stopped supplying oil to Japan in 1941, Japanese military officials planned a massive campaign to seize oil-rich islands in the Pacific while also destroying the fleet at Pearl Harbor. After months of planning, on November 26, 1941, a fleet of 33 warships and auxiliary craft, including 6 aircraft carriers, set sail from Japan. American code-breakers intercepted hundreds of messages regarding the attack, but were unable or unwilling to decode them.
In the early morning of December 7, 1941, Japanese aircraft took off for Pearl Harbor. A radar station detected the planes, however it was still in beta stage and a flight of B-17s was also inbound. 2,000 Americans were killed and a few ships were destroyed.
What conservatives do not want to acknowledge was that Pearl Harbor did not go as badly for the Americans. Only three ships were permanently lost to the US Navy. Several components were salvaged from them, including the Arizona's aft gun turrets. Plus, with the battleships out of action, the navy had no choice but to put faith in aircraft carriers. The dry docks and oil refineries were also undamaged.
Pearl Harbor and Racism
Many conservatives act like it was the worst event in human history, and claim that Japan should pay for what they have done, even though America has already gotten them back pretty good.  In any case the generation responsible for Pearl Harbor are mostly dead, survivors are very old. Japan was a Monarchy and a Dictatorship at the time of Pearl Harbor so ordinary Japanese people weren't responsible for what their government did. Naturally racists ignore reasonable arguments when they want to get at people who aren't like them.