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Title: Joe Yasutake Interview
Narrator: Joe Yasutake
Interviewer: Alice Ito
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: October 9, 2002
Densho ID: denshovh-yjoe-01-0019

<Begin Segment 19>

JY: And I'm, am glad to see that the Japanese American community now has become very vocal, and I'm glad to see the younger people becoming involved in this. And they've had several events in San Jose and San Francisco in the Bay Area where they, they have joined up with Muslim Americans and gone to their mosques and had joint ceremonies and showing their support and so forth. And the, the -- I know that the Muslim community, Muslim American community, has been very grateful for that, because I've heard them say that many times, and I've been to ceremonies where they have expressed that kind of thankfulness and, for the support of the Japanese Americans. And people are seeing the parallels, I think, that exist between what happened then and now. I'm not sure the story is out as much as I'd like to see it or as strong as it perhaps should be. But with people I think like Norm Mineta in the Cabinet, I can't help but feel that, you know, President Bush has to be hearing Mineta from the side, saying, "Don't forget," you know. And although there's, there's things going on that I really don't like, at least there seem to be voices now that are just there to, to provide some kind of balance between what the administration seems to be pressing toward versus, you know, the alternatives that they might be considering. So --

AI: What, what kinds of things are you most concerned about now in that regard? Some of the things that you think are problems that remind you of the past and --

JY: Well, it's the -- I think the main thing is the, the aura that exists. This, you know, the, the -- it's sort of like the McCarthy days when, you know, if you were not against Communism you had to be un-American. And in the same way now, it's sort of like if you're not for the war, for example, on Iraq, then you must be unpatriotic kind of thing, and that kind of thing disturbs me. The fact that people are afraid to -- even the -- it appears to me like, you know, as we sit the Democrats are, are very concerned about saying something about it, even though many of them I know feel that there is something wrong here, because they're afraid of being painted as being unpatriotic or something. And that's the general attitude that I am most concerned about -- that, that people have got to be able to speak up, you know, and feel free to speak up no matter, no matter what, without people accusing them of being a Communist or being undemocratic or what have you. And, and, and I feel that to be very, very important.

<End Segment 19> - Copyright © 2002 Densho. All Rights Reserved.