Nowadays, with the internet, everybody expresses what they think with no accountability for what is said. Their feelings and opinions often overshadow the facts, so it is not a shock to hear “I do not care about Asians because what have they done for the Black community?” By the way, this is not a zero-sum game, but here is your answer.
Copy editor Tamanika Gibson King
Before making a comment, or expressing our opinion, all of us, including myself, must take some responsibility. We can do that by researching and educating ourselves as best as we can on any topic. Except, in the age of clout chasing influencers where everybody now has a soapbox to voice their opinions from, that rarely happens. Although, I will make it easy for us, by providing several Google links/resources, so that we do not live the misinformed “influencer” life.
“The fate of each minority depends on the extent of justice given all other groups”.– Ina Sugihara
A postcard sent by Malcom X to the Kochiyama’s was mailed from Kuwait on Sept. 27, 1964, it read: “Still trying to travel and broaden my scope since I’ve learned what a mess can be made by narrow-minded people. Bro. Malcolm X.”– The New York Times, Yuri Kochiyama, Rights Activist Who Befriended Malcolm X, Dies at 93
Here Are a Few of the Japanese Americans That Contributed To the Civil Rights Movement
This list only includes a few Japanese Americans and does not include all the Asian Americans that contributed to the civil rights movement. Except, I only have to name a few to shut down that remark about Asians and the Black community.
A civil rights activist credited for arming (my dude loved guns) and training the Black Panthers because he grew up and was homies with Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale, the founding members of the Black Panthers (for self defense).
- African American Registry (AAREG) – Richard Aoki, Panther Born.
- NPR – Did Man Who Armed Black Panthers Lead Two Lives?
- Peralta Colleges – Merritt College: Home of the Black Panthers.
- Peralta Colleges – 3 part documentary of (Richard Aoki only) “Merritt College: Home of the Black Panthers.
- SFGATE, by Diane Fujino – Where’s the evidence Aoki was FBI informant?
“No senator fought longer and harder for the rights of people of color, people with disabilities, women and the LGBT community.”– John Nichols, the Nation, “Dan Inouye’s Epic Civil Rights Championship.”
- Comedy Central, December 8th, 2019 – Daniel Inouye Goes from War Hero to Senator (feat. Steven Yuen) – Drunk History.
- Congressional Medal of Honor Society (CMOHS) – World War 2 – U.S. Army, Daniel K. Inouye.
- The Nation, December 18th, 2012 – Dan Inouye’s Epic Civil Rights Championship.
- The National WWII Museum – Oral History: Daniel Inouye (this is such a cool interview, and I have watched it more than once).
- The Obama White House, December 21st, 2012 – Funeral Service for Senator Inouye.
JOSEPH (JOE) B. ISHIKAWA
“Joseph Ishikawa came to Nebraska from a Colorado internment camp during World War II. As a city employee in 1946 he challenged a longstanding policy barring African Americans from the municipal pool.”– history.nebraska.gov
- History.nebraska.gov, David L. Bristow – “I haven’t seen an honestly prejudiced person yet.” Ending segregation at Lincoln’s public swimming pool.
- Densho.org – Working with the African American Community to Fight Segregation.
- Madison, April 14th, 2017 – Obiturary. Olivia Brandhorst Ishikawa (Joe’s wife), obituary.
Her brief friendship with Malcolm X is often cited, but she had been a lifelong activist for African Americans, Asian Americans, Puerto Ricans, Native Americans, and progressive whites. Her causes ranged from black separatism, antiwar, to reparations for Japanese-American internees.
- Densho.org – Meeting Malcolm X.
- Discover Nikkei – Yuri Kochiyama.
- Google Doodle – Yuri Kochiyama 95th Birthday.
- NPR (only a 5-minute listen) – Not Just A ‘Black Thing’: An Asian-American’s Bond With Malcolm X.
- NPR (only a 3-minute listen) – Yuri Kochiyama, Activist And Former World War II Internee, Dies At 93.
- University of Michigan – They have a lounge named after her.
- The New York Times (a really good article, as should be expected since it’s the NYT) – Yuri Kochiyama, Rights Activist Who Befriended Malcolm X, Dies at 93.
- YouTube – Sandra Oh reads Yuri Kochiyama.
- Zinn Education Project – May 19, 1921: Yuri Kochiyama Born.
STEVEN KIYOSHI KUROMIYA
A gay Japanese American involved in queer rights, legalization of marijuana, to an aid to Martin Luther King Jr. (“Kuromiya would become a close confidante of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and during the week of King’s funeral helped to care for the King children.”)– NBC News
- Life Magazine – Hell No We Won’t Go.
- MapInc.org – US PA: Federal Lawsuit Targets Medical Marijuana Use.
- Making Queer History, Jan 13th, Grace Wordsworth – Kiyoshi Kuromiya: Balancing Might with Life.
- NBC News, March 7th, 2015 – Life of Kiyoshi Kuromiya: From Selma Marcher to AIDS Activist.
A fellow Coloradan who was a contributor to the press and built coalitions for civil rights across racial lines (along with being in an interracial marriage with an African American man).Densho.org
- Densho.org – Ina Sugihara Early Life and Activism to Later Life.
- Densho.org, February 17th, 2016 – Intersections of Black and Japanese American History: From Bronzeville to Black Lives Matter.
- PRI.org (the World), February 23, 2016 – Despite history, Japanese Americans and African Americans are working together to claim their rights.
(an Advocate to Japanese Americans)
“Hugh Macbeth was an outstanding wartime defender of Japanese Americans. In speeches, lobbying, investigatory reports, and lawsuits, he challenged official discrimination.”Densho.org
- Blackpast.org – Defending Nikkei: Hugh Macbeth and the Japanese American Internment
- Densho.org – Hugh Macbeth Sr.
- Discover Nikkei, Nov 13th, 2019 – “Japanese Americans and the legacy of Hugh Macbeth“
Smokey the Bear Touted “Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires,” and I Say “Only You Can Prevent More Stupid”
Not every thought or opinion on any given subject matter has to be shared (or blogged about), and like the Dali Lama said (I had to Google the spelling because I almost spelled “Llama,” which would have been hilarious tho) “when you talk, you are only repeating what you already know, but if you listen, you may learn something new.” Unfortunately, on social media, listening does not get you much clout/likes.