The following comes from Ken Narasaki and I've been following it
in the Rafu Shimpo.
Remember when Trent Lott made those veiled comments supporting segregation? He went all over the place making apologies and said he would not resign his seat as Senate Majority Leader.
OK, here's a great example of the black test: Rep Coble, on a radio show talk show on February 4th, condoned the internment of Japanese Americans. His so called apology followed, but he doesn't say he was wrong.
I'm super steamed now because in the Rafu I just got tonight, Sam Chu Lin (our reporter friend) interviewed Rep. Mike Honda who called Cole and tried talking sense into him. Cole informed him that he was the one in charge of opposing the redress bill in '87! Honda, Reps Robert Matsui and David Wu wrote a letter on Friday asking for a meeting with Cole. Matsui also called Cole.
Cole just responded saying he didn't have time!
The audacity of this sonuvabitch! Karen Narasaki and John Tateishi, our friend at the JACL, have called for his resignation as head of the committee that decides treatment of Arab Americans vis a vis terrorism.
This guy is hopeless. He's totally unapologetic (and unlike Lott, he's not even denying the significance of what he's saying) and if there's any balls in the Asian American community, we should raise the same kind of ruckus that got Lott fired. We've got to test our mettle. Let's join with the others and create a movement that keeps on growing so the Republicans take us seriously (notice no one from that party's criticized Cole's comments).
There's a Day of Remembrace program in Little Tokyo this Saturday afternoon put on by my old friends in the Nikkei for Civil Rights and Redress (NCRR), with whom I lobbied Congress to pass the redress bill in '87. I think they should make this part of their program and help this movement.
Please tell me what you think and read the below facts. I'd suggest we call the staff people in the offices of Honda (he was a honorary co-chair of our dinner two years ago and is a super nice guy- San Jose), Matsui (the best public speaker I have ever heard in my life- Sacramento) and Wu (Portland)
Let's make a real difference, folks.
Narasaki9@aol.com wrote:Coble refuses to apologize (see below)
For those of you interested in saying something, the time to write is now. Coble's office reports that their email and phone calls are only a little busier than normal...let's change that. His email address is below:
(to contact your own Congressman, go to this website):
Groups call on Coble for apology
By Nick Maheras, STAFF WRITER February 07, 2003
A storm appears to be brewing over remarks made early this week by U.S. Rep.
Howard Coble, R-6th, about Japanese internment during World War II.
The Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), the nation's oldest and
largest Asian Pacific American civil rights organization, demanded an
apology from Coble. In a letter released Wednesday, the group also called on
U.S. House of Representatives leadership to remove him immediately from the
chairmanship of the Judiciary Subcommittee on
Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security.
In an interview on WKZL-FM's "Murphy in the Morning" show Tuesday, Coble
said he agreed with Franklin D. Roosevelt's decision to intern
Japanese-Americans during World War II.
Coble rejected a caller's suggestion that the U.S. put all Arabs in prison
camps, but said he agreed with FDR's internment decision given the time and
circumstances under which it was made.
Not only did FDR have to take national security into account, Coble said,
but he also believes Roosevelt decided on internment for Japanese-Americans'
JACL condemned that reasoning as well.
"Rep. Coble's comments are outrageous and uneducated," said Floyd Mori, JACL
"To suggest that the government locked up 120,000 innocent people for their
own protection is not only patronizing and offensive, but it is patently
Mori noted the U.S. government since has recognized its error and apologized
for it and insisted the congressman do the same. The United States has paid
reparations to interned Japanese-Americans.
Coble said Thursday he intended no offense, but still believes he was right.
"I apologize if I offended anybody," he said. "I certainly did not intend to
"I certainly intended no harm or ill will toward anybody. I still stand by
what I said ... that, in no small part, it (internment) was done to protect
the Japanese-Americans themselves."
Coble said if it is proven to him that was not one of FDR's motivations,
then he will apologize for that remark.
"I can see why he (FDR) made that decision," he said. "Fifty years later,
looking back, maybe you would say: 'Perhaps, he shouldn't have done it.'"
He said he does not believe his comments warrant removal from his recent
appointment as subcommittee chairman.
"I may give a statement (later) further clarifying," he said, "but I don't
think I said anything that calls for an apology."
Jan Scott, community liaison at Coble's Greensboro office, said early
Thursday her office had received only one call about the radio interview and
that was in support of the congressman.
Missy Branson, Coble's chief of staff, said his Washington office has not
been besieged by communications.
"We've gotten a few phone calls and more e-mails than normal," she said.
"Most people who know Howard, especially those folks in the district, know
his personality and know he didn't mean anything discriminatory."
She said Coble was trying to make a point about segregation.
"We weren't as tolerant and understanding of other cultures as we are today.
He was trying to make the point that the internments were as much for the
Japanese-Americans own safety as for national security.
"He didn't mean it in any way discriminatory to Japanese-Americans at all. I
think he's made that clear," Branson said.
Kristine Minami, JACL's Washington representative, said the group
disseminated its letter widely on Capitol Hill.
"We made sure folks on the (House) Judiciary Committee, as well as members
of Congress, know about this," Minami said.
Meanwhile, James Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute, also sent
Coble a letter calling for an apology to Arab Americans as well as Japanese
Zogby said he wanted an apology because Coble had said he believed some
Arabs in the United States are "intent on doing harm to us."
JACL said Coble's subcommittee chairmanship puts him in a particularly
sensitive position that he should no longer be allowed to hold.
"It is astonishing that yet another political leader would publicly embrace
the racist policies of the 1940s," said John Tateishi, JACL national
"We are flabbergasted that a man who supports racial profiling and ethnic
scapegoating chairs the (subcommittee)."