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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-01-0020

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AI: How do you think the students now, since 9/11, when you go to the classroom and talk about things like the constitutional rights and protections and civil rights -- now, of course, you're talking about that today in this atmosphere of fear of war and an atmosphere of government and media officials talking about national security and, as you were just saying, about patriotism or so-called patriotism -- what kind of reactions are you getting from the students in classes?

JY: I'm not sure, because at that point I'm always lecturing to them -- [laughs] -- and perhaps I shouldn't be doing that. But I see kids nodding their heads. I certainly see teachers and, and, you know, the adults nodding their heads when I say things like that. The main thing I'm trying to, that I try to bring across is that, yeah, there are parallels between -- and I always say something like, you know, sometimes people -- and they do. Sometimes people ask, "Well, why don't you just forget this? That was sixty years ago. Why not press on?" Well, because it's very relevant right now, especially right now, and it has been relevant for, you know, since the days of, certainly of Oklahoma and, and things like that. And as I talk about things like that, I see, I see people nodding their head, and sometimes they'll have a comment or two. So, but then I'm sure everybody doesn't agree with me. You know? So I don't know how to respond to your question about that, but all I can do is kind of point out these things and hope that maybe it'll catch in some, some quarters of the audience that perhaps I might be talking to, and maybe it might have some kind of a effect at some point if we do it enough times and to as many people as we can.

It's not that I'm against war, but there's gotta be a reason for it. And, you know, it... for, for me to think that the United States is simply going to attack somebody because they might do something, then who's next? Is Cuba next? And then, you know, is, is China next? I mean, who do we go after? Spain is -- you know, where there's a dictatorship. We don't like dictatorships. Are we going after them? I mean, where do you stop with that kind of thing? It's just totally insane to me, that kind of rationale. And it, and it's amazing to me that it's not insane to more people -- [laughs] -- than just, you know, just a few people that seem to be willing to speak up about it. So I don't know. All I can hope is that as we talk to more and more people that maybe there's a wider realization that this kind of thing is something people ought to think about and, and just even in terms of past history.

<End Segment 20> - Copyright © 2002 Densho. All Rights Reserved.