Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Orest Kruhlak Interview
Narrator: Orest Kruhlak
Interviewers: Roger Daniels (primary); Tom Ikeda (secondary)
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: August 3, 2010
Densho ID: denshovh-korest-01-0019

<Begin Segment 19>

TI: I just want to ask about a gentleman, there was a Japanese Canadian during the United States, when redress was first proposed, he came out strongly against redress payments, individual payments, or the whole concept of redress for Japanese Americans, and this was Sam or S.I. Hayakawa. And I was curious, did he ever take a stand about redress or any other issues? Did you have to deal with Mr. Hayakawa?

OK: I never had any knowledge or involvement whatsoever with him in terms of the redress issue. The only involvement or knowledge I had of him was over official languages in Canada, and he was a, he thought that what Canada had done was an absolute travesty. He thought it was one of the stupidest things the government could do was recognizing a second official language. And Keith Spicer, the commissioner, went to California... oh, I'm trying to remember. It was in, I think the mid-'70s. And I think Hayakawa at that time was a senator, or maybe he was still at the University of San Francisco, I can't remember the precise details, but Spicer had, was on a panel with him, and they got into quite a verbal exchange. I think Spicer came out significantly on top, because Hayakawa's position on official languages was just ignorant, just absolutely ignorant. And I must admit, given what I know of his involvement in official languages, his position on Japanese American redress comes as no surprise to me. I've never really... for as learned a man as he was, he could be very ignorant about other issues.

RD: A low, a low ethical threshold as well.

OK: Really?

RD: Oh, yeah. When he was the president of San Francisco State, he was assailed by his faculty and students for all kinds of things. And he resigned in a message sent from an aeroplane about to land at Addis Abba. Hayakawa was chairman of a small committee of the senate of the faculty of San Francisco State trying to find a new president, get a new president, when he was approached by a telephone call from Reagan of would he accept the job, and he took it. Without even, without even mentioning to his colleagues. That's what I call a low ethical standard.

OK: A curious man, a very curious man.

<End Segment 19> - Copyright © 2010 Densho. All Rights Reserved.