An archive of news updates from our home page in 2001:
Update: Thursday, January 4, 2001
Cleveland, Ohio PBS station WVIZ has scheduled us for Thursday, January 18th at 11:00 p.m. WGBH/Boston has scheduled our show to air on Sunday, February 18th on Channel 44, with a preview screening at the station the day before, Feb. 17th from 2 to 4 pm. It includes a discussion sponsored by NewEngland JACL, the Asian American Resource Workshop and WGBH. Thanks to Margie Yamamoto of WGBH. See the complete broadcast schedule for the station nearest you. Your local PBS affiliate may be holding it for later broadcast, in which case please contact them to let them know of your interest. Find your local PBS station here.
Update: Monday, January 22, 2001
We can now share the good news that Heart Mountain resistance leader Frank Emi has finally been released from the hospital after a stay of several weeks due to pains caused by sublexation of his back and neck.
We may not have qualified for the Academy Awards, but our film has just been nominated for the “Oscarz” as Best Feature at the Ohio Independent Film Festival. Mark Dawidziak at The Cleveland Plain Dealer was nice enough to write a preview for our WVIZ broadcast last week, mentioning this honor and my own Cleveland roots. Sharon Maeda at the General Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church just alerted us to a thoughtful review she posted on their Web site last November. And also catching up to the review that filmmaker Greg Pak posted on his AsianAmericanFilm.com site.
Update: Monday, February 12, 2001
We are now accepting on-line credit card orders for our video through the PayPal system made popular by eBay and other e-commerce sites.
For the Day of Remembrance we will be in the Bay Area for several events: a screening and talk with the students at my alma mater, the University of California, Santa Cruz, on Tuesday evening, Feb. 20th, at Stevenson Dining Hall. It’s sponsored by the Japanese American Students Association. We’ll also be at all three screenings in Sacramento, San Francisco, and Marin of John Korty and Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston’s FAREWELL TO MANZANAR for the 25th anniversary cast and crew reunion. It’s apt in that Jeanne was my housing officer at Cowell College when I was studying theater there, years before her book was published, and it was while researching my “JACL leader” part in that film (mostly by reading Prof. Art Hansen’s great article about the Manzanar Riot in Amerasia Journal, and talking with Edison Uno) that I first learned of the anti-JACL feeling inside camp.
Looking ahead, the Singapore Film Festival has accepted CONSCIENCE AND THE CONSTITUTION for its Fringe Festival, from April 11 to 28. We’ve also been invited to screen and speak at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon on March 7th and Washington State University in Pullman on April 10th. Also working with the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles for an August 25th screening and panel with the resisters.
Update: Monday, February 26, 2001
The Big Muddy Film Festival in Carbondale, Illinois has selected CONSCIENCE AND THE CONSTITUTION as a candidate for their John Michaels Memorial Award this coming Wednesday, February 28th, at 7:00pm at the Interfaith Center. The award recognizes films that promote human rights, peace and justice topics or environmental issues.
Update: Monday, March 5, 2001
Thanks for your calls and emails of concern. This production is based in Seattle and yes we survived Wednesday’s earthquake all right. As I told the Pacific Citizen and the Nichibei Times, I was on the 8th floor of a new earthquake-safe building so I dove under my desk and as the shaking continued and grew more violent I just prayed the building would hold together. Our building was designed to flex so it felt like being below decks in a ship tossed at sea, and I momentarily felt seasick. Then I looked down to the street and saw the bricks fallen away from the Fenix Cafe, where Tom Brokaw would later stand to anchor the news, and for a moment thought it was the Big One. I spent the next 3 days on round the clock public information duty for King County. We were lucky.
And this just as I had placed our first newspaper ad for our home video in the March 2nd edition of the Pacific Citizen, which you can see here in a 170 KB Acrobat file, again designed by Robert Kato of San Francisco. Also preparing to screen and speak at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon this Wednesday, at 7:00 p.m at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art Auditorium.
Update: Tuesday, March 13, 2001
Thanks for the orders coming in from our first newspaper ad for our home video in the March 2nd edition of the Pacific Citizen, which you can see here in a 170 KB Acrobat file, again designed by Robert Kato of San Francisco.
The daughter of Heart Mountain resister Yosh Kuromiya is organizing a screening at Pacific Oaks College in Pasadena. Miya Kuromiya is planning it for late April or early May. TheSingapore Film Festival has accepted the film for its Fringe Festival, from April 11 to 28. We’ve also been invited to screen and speak at Washington State University in Pullman on April 10th. Also working with the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles for a tentative October 27th screening and panel with the resisters.
Update: Tuesday, March 20, 2001
It was an audibly despondent ITVS staff member who called to inform us of the passing of former ITVS executive director James T. Yee, at the age of 53, after a long bout with cancer. This program would never have made it to PBS, and you would not have seen it, without Jim’s belief in this project and his personal support to provide us with finishing funds to hire our film editor and co-producer. His name does not appear in our broadcast credits because he insisted either all ITVS staff gets named or no one does, including himself. In his honor we are giving Jim the proper credit as our executive producer on our Emmy Award entry form. Read the tributes to him, and leave a message of your own on the ITVS Web site. Our condolences to his family at home and his friends at ITVS and NAATA.
Update: Thursday, March 29, 2001
The Athens International Film & Video Festival is screening us in their upcoming fest April 27 – May 5. Their theme this year: “Film Is Dead, Long Live Film.” It’s a project of the College of Fine Arts, at Ohio University, a “week-long celebration of independent, “outsider” cinema, video, and digital/multi-media.” You can see us listed in the schedule for the Singapore Film Festival in a very international mix of films, our Fringe Festival screening on Sunday, April 8th, at 4:00 p.m. at the Geothe Institute… just in case you’re in the neighborhood. I can’t go.. instead look for Laureen Mar and I to be speaking and screening at Washington State University at Pullman on Tuesday, April 10th, thanks to Alex Kuo.
Update: Monday, April 9, 2001
In Eastern Washington please come to our screening and talk at Washington State University in Pullman, titled “Who Writes History?,” Tuesday, April 10th, 3:00-5:00 p.m. at Todd Hall, Room 130. Our visit is sponsored by the Comparative American Cultures Dept. at the invitation of Prof. Alex Kuo. Then stick around for an evening reading by my wife, Laureen Mar, at 7:30 p.m. in the Bundy Reading Room on campus.
Update: Wednesday, April 18, 2001
New airdates just in…. must be Asian Pacific Heritage Month coming up.
May 6, 2001 12:00:00 PM MT KRMA DENVER CO 018
May 6, 2001 12:00:00 PM MT KRMJ GRAND JUNCTION-MONTROSE CO 186
May 6, 2001 5:00:00 PM PT KCET LOS ANGELES CA 002
May 11, 2001 8:00:00 PM ET WGBX BOSTON MA 006
May 14, 2001 12:00:00 AM ET WGBX BOSTON MA 006
May 25, 2001 11:00:00 PM ET WETA WASHINGTON DC 008
May 25, 2001 11:00:00 PM ET WCVE RICHMOND- PETERSBURG VA 060
May 25, 2001 11:00:00 PM ET WHTJ CHARLOTTESVILLE VA 193
May 27, 2001 10:30:00 PM ET WNED BUFFALO NY 044
June 1, 2001 11:00:00 PM ET WETA WASHINGTON DC 008
If you can help us spread the word in any of these cities, please do so and let us know!
Update: Wednesday, April 25, 2001
I’ll be in Chicago to speak at the 8th Annual Chicago Asian American Film Festival, Thursday April 26th, 7:00 p.m. at Loyola University’s Crown Center Auditorium, Lake Shore Campus, 6525 North Sheridan. I’ll be joined by the always-colorful Heart Mountain resister and retired longshoreman Jack Tono.
The Athens International Film & Video Festival is also screening us in Athens, Ohio at Ridges Auditorium, described as “located on the campus of a now defunct state mental health facility… the perfect place for presenting movies that challenge and inspire.” The date is Saturday, April 28th at 5:00 p.m.
The daughter of Heart Mountain resister Yosh Kuromiya is organizing a screening at Pacific Oaks College in Pasadena. Miya Kuromiya is planning it for May 12.
Update: Wednesday, May 2, 2001
Our show will finally air in Los Angeles this coming Sunday, May 6th, at 5:00 p.m. on KCET, and that same day at noon on KRMA in Denver and KRMJ in Grand Junction, Colo. There was no time to mail postcards or do much publicity, so please spread the word. Oh, I see KCET scheduled us in front of Terri de Bono’s film on the 442nd, BEYOND BARBED WIRE. That should be an interesting transition for viewers. In Denver we lead into Loni Ding’s ANCESTORS IN THE AMERICAS.
The Pacific Oaks College screening has been moved back to the college, at 5 Westmoreland Place. The time is still Saturday, May 12th, 1:00 p.m. Miya Kuromiya is organizing this screening, and her father, Heart Mountain resister Yosh Kuromiya will be there for the post-screening discussion. Parking is available at two adjacent churches, but not in front of the Gamble house.
Thanks to Dr. Yvonne Lau for bringing me out to the Chicago Asian American Film Festival at Loyola University Lakeside campus in Chicago last week. We got good reviews in the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Reader. I also taped two half hour interviews with her for her public access cable show called “ConversAsians.” Will post airdates when I get them.
Also, congratulations to William Hohri on the publication of his book on the resisters, called RESISTANCE. We received it in the mail today. Copies can be purchased at two locations:
- AACP, Inc., 83 W. 37th Ave., San Mateo, CA 94403-4404, phone: (650) 357-1088,
e-mail: [email protected]. You can order online throughwww.asianamericanbooks.com but William’s title isn’t listed yet.
- Kinokuniya Bookstore, 123 Astronaut Ellison S. Okizuka St., Los Angeles, CA
90012, phone: (213)687-4480, e-mail: [email protected]
Update: Thursday, May 10, 2001
A Phoenix screening is set for Tuesday, May 29th. The Asian American Journalists Association of Arizona and the Arizona Asian American Bar Association have invited us to speak and screen. it will be at 7:00 p.m. at the Burton Barr Central Library auditorium, 1221 N. Central Avenue in Phoenix. For more details contact Lisa Chiu at the Arizona Republic.
Update: Wednesday, May 16, 2001
We’ve just learned our Japanese premiere will be at the Fukuoka Asian Film Festival from July 7th to the 15th. This is one we are most pleased with since both sides of my family come from Shinbaru; my mother went to Koga High School near Fukuoka, and my father’s brother still lives there.
We’ve also placed the show with a cablecaster in Canada. Historiais “a new French-language specialty television channel that offers a compelling and engaging blend of documentaries and original Canadian programming.” Historia is available to more than 1.8 million Quebec cable homes and nationally by satellite from Star Choice and ExpressVu. Les Chaînes Télé Astral and ALLIANCE ATLANTIS are equal partners in Historia.
Update: Thursday, May 24, 2001
“There are only two questions that Japanese American audiences have going into a screening of the new Disney movie, PEARL HARBOR: Am I going to get punched in the face by kids coming out of the theater looking for revenge? And are Japanese Americans once again going to be blamed for conspiring in the attack?” Read the rest of my review of PEARL HARBOR, and what I have to say about Mako’s thoughtful performance,
And listen to the segment on National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition” from Thursday, May 24th with myself, JACL Executive Director John Tateishi and Karen Narasaki of the National Asian Pacific American Legal Consortium. To hear the report scroll down to the bottom of theirMay 24th page and click on the links [requires the RealAudio Player]. Or simply read the transcript. John worked to fix the script with producer Jerry Bruckheimer as reported in the Los Angeles Times, and Reuters.
Update: Friday, May 25, 2001
Late news: Look for me on a live cable TV interview on ” MSNBC Live,” the day after Memorial Day, Tuesday, May 29th at 10:30 a.m. EDT / 7:30 PDT, and live again at 1:30 p.m EDT / 10:30 a.m PDT, reacting to the Disney PEARL HARBOR movie along with a Pearl Harbor survivor. Read my review of the film. Check MSNBC website to see if your local cable operator carries it.
In Portland, listen for a live phone interview at 8:08 a.m. on KPAM Radio, Saturday morning, May 26th.
Update: Thursday, June 7, 2001
See the Village Voice article on the political implications of Disney’s PEARL HARBOR, for which I provided a quote.
Our Phoenix screening Tuesday night was one of our best ever. The sound system in the Phoenix Public Library screening room stunned me by its ability to draw THX Dolby Digital Surround Sound out of a Hi-Fi VHS tape. The audience raised some of the most thoughtful questions we’ve heard. Thanks to the Asian American Journalists Association of Arizona, the Arizona Asian American Bar Association, and the Phoenix Public Library for arranging the event at the Burton Barr Central Library.
Update: Tuesday, June 12, 2001
I’ve accepted an invitation to take part in an Educational Forum at the JACL’s Bi-District Conference on Saturday, July 14, 2001, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m, at the Best Western Executive Inn, 200 Taylor Ave. S., Seattle. I will join Heart Mountain resister Mits Koshiyama, JACL historian Bill Hosokawa, and 442nd veteran Fred Shiosaki of Spokane. The video will be screened for JACL delegates on the Thursday and Friday before the forum.
Update: Tuesday, June 19, 2001
I’ll be in Cheyenne, Wyoming June 20-24 to help kick off a 3-day teacher training workshop titled “Protest and Resistance: An American Tradition.” The workshop will train teachers in classroom use of the story of the Fair Play Committee and draft resisters from Heart Mountain. The workshop takes place in the same city where the resisters were tried in U.S. District Court in 1944, and I’ll be looking around for traces of the past there and in Laramie.
See the Los Angeles Times article that mentions the overflow crowd for our screening last November at the Bruggemeyer Memorial Library in Monterey Park.
Update: Sunday, June 24, 2001
Greetings from the Little America Conference Center in Cheyenne. Read the story from Thursday’s Wyoming Tribune-Eagle, and the related sidebar, previewing our successful screening in Cheyenne which kicked off an equally successful 3-day teacher training workshop titled “Protest and Resistance: An American Tradition.”For me the highlight was taking Frank Emi, Yosh Kuromiya, and Mits Koshiyama to the site where they were tried in Federal Court in 1944 (now a bank), and driving Gloria and Grace Kubota to nearby Laramie to search for the Japanese-owned boarding house where they stayed while waiting for Guntaro to come out of prison (now a minimart and gas station). But just being in the same spot was a powerful experience for us, and I’m glad we went.
Update: Monday, July 9, 2001
Look for us at Educational Forum at the JACL’s Bi-District Conference on Saturday, July 14thfrom 9:30 to 11:30 a.m, at the Best Western Executive Inn, 200 Taylor Ave. S., Seattle. I will join Heart Mountain resister Mits Koshiyama, JACL historian Bill Hosokawa, and 442nd veteran Fred Shiosaki of Spokane. The video will be screened for JACL delegates on the Thursday and Friday before the forum.
Update: Monday, July 23, 2001
Boy, I’ve really fallen behind, so here goes. CONSCIENCE AND THE CONSTITUTION was honored last week with the American Scene Award from the Seattle local of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, my old AFTRA local from my radio news days. The award recognizes productions that further advance the cause of diversity in the media. We now compete for a national award.
A number of new screenings are being scheduled, including the Nihonmachi Outreach Committee on Sunday, Sept. 30th; the Sunnyvale Public Library sometime in September; and the Japanese American National Museum on October 27th.
And here’s the Pacific Citizen article on the resisters panel at last weekend’s JACL Bi-District Council meeting here in Seattle, with Mr. Bill Hosokawa, Mits Koshiyama, and myself.
Update: Friday, July 27, 2001
We’ve just learned that CONSCIENCE AND THE CONSTITUTION has been voted the National American Scene Award from the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, to be presented at the AFTRA national convention in St. Paul, Minnesota on August 4th. It was only last week we received the local award from the Seattle AFTRA office, my old AFTRA local from my radio news days. This is a national competition recognizing excellence in the employment and portrayal of women, ethnic minorities, seniors and people with disabilities on television, radio, videotape and new media. See a photo of co-producer Shannon Gee and I wondering what to do with the plaque.
Update: Friday, August 3, 2001
A full house of 1,000 journalists and media managers were present at the Asian American Journalists Association convention as we received a National Journalism Award for Unlimited Subject Matter – Television. The 40-second intro of the doc was played at the awards luncheon at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco in Embarcadero Center. See the full news release. From here we fly to St. Paul, Minnesota tomorrow to accept the National American Scene Award from the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists at their national convention.
Update: Monday, August 6, 2001
It’s been quite a week as the nations television and radio performers and the Asian American Journalists Association separately announced top honors for CONSCIENCE AND THE CONSTITUTION. On Saturday the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) presented its national American Scene Award to us at its biennial convention at the Radisson Riverfront in St. Paul, Minnesota. The award recognizes excellence in the employment and portrayal of ethnic minorities and seniors, among others, on television, radio, videotape and new media. The documentary shared the first place award in television with KRON-TV of San Francisco, which was recognized for the overall diversity in its news programming. The crystal obelisk was presented to us by San Francisco broadcast veteran Belva Davis, who praised our program as a “landmark film.”
In San Francisco on Thursday, judges at the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) gave CONSCIENCE AND THE CONSTITUTION their National Journalism Award for Unlimited Subject Matter in Television. A short clip of the program was played before a full house of nearly 1,000 journalists and media managers at a luncheon at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco. See the news release on both awards.
The AAJA award follows by more than a decade the presentation of its first Lifetime Achievement Award to James Omura, the prewar editor of the San Francisco Nisei magazineCurrent Life and the wartime editor of the Rocky Shimpo newspaper. Omura was indicted but later acquitted for publishing news reports about the Nisei draft resisters at the camp at Heart Mountain, Wyoming, and writing columns that offered them support and editorial guidance. I actually got the inspiration for doing the documentary after seeing the reception Jimmie received at the AAJA convention in 1989. I remember it showed me what a responsibility we had to go out there and tell authentic stories about the Japanese American experience for national TV audiences, because if we didnt, who would?
We won top honors at several film festivals and competitions when the doc was first released last fall, but these are the first to come from national organizations.
Update: Thursday, August 9, 2001
AFTRA has posted its own news release on the American Scene Award, with a photo from the ceremony.
Update: Tuesday, September 4, 2001
A number of new screenings are being scheduled, including theNihonmachi Outreach Committee on Sunday, Sept. 30th; the Sunnyvale Public Library on Monday, October 1st at 7:00 p.m., and the Japanese American National Museum on October 27th.
Update: Tuesday, September 11, 2001
Well, they say today is another day that will live in infamy. Today’s terrorist attack on the World Trade Center evoked memories of Pearl Harbor, but unlike 1942 at least one public official came out hard against any thought of retaliation against local residents based on their ethnicity. Nothing yet has happened here in Seattle, but we received some worried phone calls about the possibility. I happen to work for King County Executive Ron Sims, and took pains to put his comments online. You can read his comments here, or see a RealPlayer video clip.
EXECUTIVE SIMS: “We made calls this morning to the various mosques that are here asking them what their concerns would be. Our position will be that anybody who attempts in this county to retaliate against a person because of their faith, we will go after them aggressively. We will arrest them. Threats are inappropriate here because of one’s belief.
“These were terrorists. People here of Islamic faith are not terrorists. They go to work here, they’re our neighbors, they’re friends and they’re citizens, and we will not tolerate in any way, anyone, at any time, retaliating against a person because of their faith or their perceived ethnic or cultural background. It’s unacceptable to us.
“A person who does that is no better than the person who flew those planes into those towers this morning. They’re no better. We don’t want anyone to stoop to that level. This is a grand region with people who strive to get along with their neighbors, to respect the faith and cultural background of their neighbors, and that’s what we’re going to ask for.
“We’re not going to ask for people to engage in stereotypes and demagoguery. It’s inappropriate here. It makes us uncivilized. We are a civilized democratic nation, and we’re going to ask the citizens here to live up to that high creed. We’re an extraordinary place to live, and we want to remain an extraordinary place to live.
“So if anyone decides to retaliate against a person because they’re Islamic, I can assure you that the resources of this government will be used to find them and track them down, arrest them and prosecute them.”
Update: Thursday, September 27, 2001
Please join us this Sunday in San Jose and Monday in Sunnyvale, CA, to see our film and talk about the changes in our world and the parallels between Pearl Harbor in 1941 and the terrorist attacks of September 11th. I was sanguine about the idea that an Arab American/Islamic internment would not and could not happen here for a number of reasons:
It was politicians and the press that helped push us into camp in 1942, but this time, with only isolated exceptions, I see our local and national leaders doing the right thing. They are wrapping the protection of law enforcement and their own bully pulpit around our friends and neighbors of Arab-American descent and Islamic faith. That is opposite of what happened a week after Pearl Harbor, afyer Navy Secretary Frank Knox surveyed the catastrophe and made the unfounded statement that the most effective Fifth Column work of the war had been done in Hawaii. The President was silent on Japanese Americans up until the time the Army decided it wanted to accept Japanese American volunteers into a segregated unit in January 1943. Then and only then was FDR persuaded to issue his statement that “Americanism is and has always been a matter of the mind and heart, never one of race or ancestry.” But of course by then he had us in camps for more than a half year.
The fact that everyone is now talking about the Japanese American internment — there were seven stories in the New York Times that mentioned it in just the past week — shows that our campaign to win redress from the government for the camps, and all our videos, books and workshops, worked. Everyone seems to know that it happeend. President Bush knows about the precedent. The President’s own father made the first redress payments to Japanese Americans in 1990, so he personally knows that this government is committed not to do such a thing.
Plus, we now have so many Asian American journalists in the industry who clearly see the parallels, and who have the clout to deter any media demagoguery of the kind that put us into camp in 1942.
The country was ready for war back then, the draft was already more than one year old, everyone expected war, so that Nisei like Dave Kawamoto and Ben Kuroki could rush down to their recruiting office and try to sign up the day after. This terror attack came as a surprise. And the mood now is “America returns to normal,” as if returning to our routines were a patriotic act of defiance.
But those feelings that it won’t happen again changed after a number of friends emailed the Siena College Research Institute poll that claims one third of New Yorkers favor establishing internment camps for “individuals who authorities identify as being sympathetic to terrorist causes,” and the Fox/Opinion Dynamics poll that contends one in three Americans favors more severe measures such as putting Arabs living in this country under special surveillance, or allowing the U.S. government to take legal immigrants from unfriendly countries to internment camps.
And I’ve been interviewed by two reporters about racial profiling of Arab-appearing people. More on that to come.
Update: Friday, October 5, 2001
I forgot to post notice of a repeat screening of CONSCIENCE at the Bruggemeyer Memorial Library in Monterey Park, CA this coming Saturday, Oct. 6th, at 1:00 p.m. Resisters Frank Emi and Yosh Kuromiya will answer questions after the showing, and William Hohri, who declined the credit he was due as a historical consultant on the film, will promote his new book, RESISTANCE. See the news release.
Then next week we begin our fall outreach to secondary school teachers with two teacher training workshops funded by the Washington Civil Liberties Public Education Program. In back to back presentations to Washington State library media specialists and social studies teachers, KCTS Curriculum Developer Ti Locke and Producer/Director Frank Abe will preview excerpts from the award-winning documentary CONSCIENCE AND THE CONSTITUTION, and show how teachers can use a new Classroom Guide along with photographs and primary documents on PBS Online to teach the untold story of organized resistance to wartime incarceration as another useful example of civil disobedience in the American twentieth century. We met yesterday to begin updating the Classroom Guide to include a teaching unit relating the new suspicion of Arab Americans with the wartime exclusion of Japanese Americans. We are looking for secondary school and college instructors to test the entire classroom unit. Please contact us if interested.
Update: Wednesday, October 17, 2001
Heading to St. Louis to present a panel Friday morning at 8:30 a.m. for the Oral History Association with Alice Ito of the Densho: Japanese American Legacy Project. Our workshop is entitled, “We Hereby Refuse: Recovering and Presenting Stories of Japanese American Resistance During WWII, Using Media and Digital Technology.” See the conference schedule.
Then join us at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles on Saturday, October 27th at 1:30 p.m., for a screening and panel with resisters Frank Emi, Yosh Kuromiya, and Tak Hoshizaki, and Prof. Eric Muller, author of the newly published, “Free to Die for their Country: The Story of the Japanese American Draft Resisters in World War II” (University of Chicago Press, August 2001). Read a sample chapter. Eric and I will be signing our respective works.
Thanks to the 46 library media specialists and social studies instructors who came to our two teacher training workshops funded by the Washington Civil Liberties Public Education Program. KCTS Curriculum Developer Ti Locke and I really appreciated your enthusiasm for using CONSCIENCE AND THE CONSTITUTION in the classroom, to teach as an example of civil disobedience in the American 20th century. Several of you said the video will fit right in with the Constitutional unit you are about to teach in November, and the topic of balancing national security with civil liberties couldn’t be more timely, could it? As we said, Ti and I are happy to answer your questions about how to use the video and the newly-updated Classroom Guide (download the 328 KB Word document now), and please share your experience in using the resources in the classroom with us.
Update: Wednesday, October 24, 2001
A new screening has been added for March 14, 2002 at the Bellevue Art Musuem, east of Seattle.
Update: Friday, November 2, 2001
If on the East Coast, please join us in Philadelphia for a screening/lecture at Swarthmore College, on November 15th at 4:30 p.m. in the Kohlberg Building, Scheuer Room. Resister Tak Hoshizaki and Producer/Director Frank Abe will screen the film and speak on how what happened in 1942 should inform the actions we take today to secure our nation while protecting our civil liberties. See theevent listing. We will then join the Swarthmore Asian Organization for an informal dinner dialogue session.
Update: Tuesday, November 13, 2001
A new Seattle-area magazine, Colors NW, interviewed us for an issue devoted to a look “Behind the Backlash” against Arab Americans. The article I am quoted in, on the parallels between December 7th and September 11th, is not online, but the cover story is, with a photo of me shot in David Ishii’s bookstore.
This Thursday in Seattle make a point to go hear Professor Eric Muller speak at Elliott Bay Book Company on Free to Die for their Country: The Story of the Japanese American Draft Resisters in World War II (University of Chicago Press). I guarantee he will tell you two amazing stories you’ve never heard before about the trials of the resisters from Tule Lake and Minidoka, that is, not if you haven’t yet read his book or his sample chapter. Read Elliott Bay’ssynopsis.
Update: Friday, November 16, 2001
Resister Tak Hoshizaki and I thoroughly enjoyed talking with students at Swarthmore College near Philadelphia last night, looking for ways we can learn from WW2 camp history in light of today’s war on terrorism. We met some remarkably focused people, and their company at the dinner dialogue at the Intercultural Center was a pleasure. Thanks to Meghna Baghat, Sheila Gonzales, and Cathy Ta of the Asian Students Union for their hospitality and support. Concern was raised over President Bush’s signing this week of a new Executive Order calling for military tribunals, and not criminal trials, for aliens accused of terrorism. Military tribunals may infringe on Constitutional protections for non-citizens, but they still represent a form of due process, one that was denied us in WW2. Japanese Americans and the JACL sought individual trials or hearings boards in 1942, and lack of due process was one reason the camps were unconstitutional.
Update: Friday, December 7, 2001
Before redress, today was a day that Japanese Americans went into hiding. Now, it’s a time when the news media comes for a quote. Read “Pearl Harbor parallels haunt new era,” by Kie Relyea in the Bellingham Herald. (The link is outdated now but we are trying to get an update).
Update: Wednesday, December 26, 2001
So where did the year go? We’ve been through Pearl Harbor the movie in May, what was called the “second Pearl Harbor” on September 11th, and the real Pearl Harbor 60th anniversary. Had enough of that.
The year 2002 should be about the JACL and the resisters apology. Sorry we’ve missed so many updates: we missed the JACL announcing a public ceremony for February 10th to present its formal apology for suppressing wartime resistance. Now comes word that due to lack of funding the ceremony must be postponed to later in the spring. Read the message from ceremony co-chair Andy Noguchi. They need to raise money, and Resisters.com is supporting the event at the Silver level. Now a number of veterans groups have just lined up to attack JACL. Japanese America remains an interesting place to live.
Thanks to Lynn Whitehouse for inviting us to screen and speak on March 3rd in San Diego, related to the “Locked In, Locked Out” high school art and essay contest they are co-sponsoring with the National Japanese American Historical Society and the ACLU of Northern California.
The Pacific Citizen Holiday Issue is out so here is our review of “Tales of Tule Lake”by Barney Shallit, the first publication in the Michi Nishiura and Walter Weglyn Multicultural Publication Series from Prof. Art Hansen and the Oral History Program at California State University, Fullerton.