Tag Archives: Japanese Americans

Racialicious Crush Of The Week: George Takei

By Andrea Plaid

Courtesy: wikimedia.org

Of course, when I think of this week’s Crush from the standpoint of my childhood, he’s forever Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu, looking calmly into the starry universe and co-steering the USS Enterprise through it on the reruns I’d watch with my mom on Saturday afternoons. In my adult life, he’s the criminally underutilized character, Kaito Nakamura, on Heroes. And a helluva of a social media user and activist, boldly using the former for the latter.

The US government forcibly relocated Takei’s family from their home in Los Angeles to an interment camp in Arkansas in 1942, when he was 5 years old, and then to another internment camp in northern California. After World War II ended, his family moved back to Los Angeles. In junior high school Takei was voted student body president; he was also a Boy Scout at his Buddhist temple. After the jump is an interview in which he recalls his childhood:

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Gordon Hirabayashi, 1918-2012

By Guest Contributor Phil Yu, cross-posted from Angry Asian Man

Received word through social media that civil rights hero Gordon Hirabayashi, best known for being one of the few people to openly defy the government’s unconstitutional internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, has died. He was 93.

Hirabayashi was arrested, convicted and imprisoned, and eventually appealed his case to the Supreme Court (Hirabayashi vs. United States) — the first challenge to Executive Order 9066. The Court ruled against him, 9-0. However, his wartime convictions were successfully overturned forty years later.
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Japanese Americans and Immigration: Where We Fit

by Guest Contributor Kristin Fukushima

When asked what I do as Policy Coordinator for the Japanese American Citizens League, my answer of, “mostly immigration,” surprises folks. I can’t totally blame them, given that mainstream media seems to think the “immigration problem” is rooted squarely at our border down south.

Explaining why I, an Asian American, am involved in the fight for comprehensive immigration reform (CIR) is simple enough. To break it down quickly: 63% of the AAPI community is foreign-born; immigrants from the Asian Pacific region face the longest backlogs (6 of 10 countries with the longest backlogs); 10% of the undocumented population is AAPI, etc, etc. Explaining why I, a yonsei (4th generation Japanese American), do immigrant rights advocacy – that’s a bit harder. My yonsei peers and I are pretty far removed from the immigrant experience, so the relevancy isn’t immediately clear. And why should JAs care about CIR – where do we fit in the debate? Continue reading