Zoot Suit Riots of Los Angeles

Kristeen Irigoyen-Hernandez aka Lady2Soothe

For several days in June 1943, uniformed members of the U.S. armed forces rioted throughout


Sailors, soldiers, and marines with wooden clubs during the Zoot

The L.A. Zoot Suit Riots of 1943 were a targeted attack on Mexican and nonwhite youths

Soldiers display pieces of the zoot suits they tore from Mexican American men during the Zoot Suit Riots in Los Angeles on June 9, 1943.

June 3, 1943
Contrary to popular opinion the “Tacuche” Zoot Suit did not start out in the Mexican community as rebellious acts against society. Friday’s brought an end to long hours toiling at menial jobs and what better way to start the weekend off than by getting cleaned up, stepping into a jazzy ensemble and hanging out with the Eses’. Chicano’s were classy dressers and going to a party or the club was a perfect stage to show off their slick machismo style. The Zoot Suit was the quintessential garment; high waist pants and boxy, roomy coats were flattering, as well as comfortable; the flowing look of the suit was unmistakably flashy on the dance floor giving the appearance of more substance; maybe even help getting some play from the chica’s.

Zoot Suit Riots, Zoot Suits, Los Angeles, Pachucos, Pachucas

However, the humble parents and elder familia weren’t quite as enamored by the ostentatious and flamboyant zoot suit considering them garish and bringing unwanted attention to the many anti-Mexican middle-class White Los Angelino’s. Soldiers and sailors resented zoot suiters due to the numerous yards of fabric it took to tailor them. Those who wore zoot suits were considered wasteful, unpatriotic and committing a criminal act in opposition to the code of rationing. The servicemen justified their racism as expressions of loyalty and allegiance to the war effort, judging the zoot-suited Chicano’s as un-American.

The unwarranted attacks against zoot suiters by servicemen, aided by the manipulation of media generated the impression the majority of crime was committed by zoot-suited gangsters. What originally began as a fashion statement evolved into symbols of defiance, resistance and violence. However what one must remember is the zoot suit wasn’t a Halloween costume, it was an expression of being hip, cool, suave and sophisticated; the zoot suit in and of itself was a form of politicizing independence and the homogenization of American and Mexican culture communicating freedom, confidence and self-determination.

Zoot Suiters Looking Cool


#LetOurVoicesEcho #SleepyLagoon #Incarceration #RacismThe “Sleepy Lagoon Murder” was the name Los Angeles newspapers used to describe the death of José Gallardo Díaz, who was discovered unconscious and dying on a road near a swimming hole (known as the Sleepy Lagoon) in Commerce, California, on the morning of August 2, 1942. Diaz was taken by ambulance to Los Angeles County General Hospital, where he died shortly afterward, without regaining consciousness. The hospital’s autopsy showed he was inebriated from a party the previous night and had a fracture at the base of his skull. This might have been caused by repeated falls or an automobile accident. The cause of his death remains a mystery to this day. However, Los Angeles Police were quick to arrest 17 Mexican-American youths as suspects. Despite insufficient evidence, the young men were held in prison, without bail, on charges of murder. The trial ended on January 13, 1943, under the supervision of Judge Charles W. Fricke. In 30 years on the bench, Judge Charles W. Fricke reputedly sentenced more criminals to death than any of his colleagues and presided over some of the flashiest cases in Los Angeles. Judge Fricke ruled he didn’t think the boys should have their hairstyle changed” since this would “make it difficult for prosecution witnesses to identify them.” It makes me wonder if having a hairstyle, with its association to the zoot suiter’s and lawlessness, was all it took to end up in jail for murder in 1943.

#LetOurVoicesEcho #Racism #SleepyLagoon #JoseDiaz1942

#LetOurVoicesEcho #Racism #SleepyLagoon 3

Mexican Americans arrested after Zoot Suit Riots, 1943

According to White people “They all look alike anyway”, so let’s go back to the beginning; “Mexican’s, who cares, so what”… Within a couple of weeks the Grand Jury was presented with statistics by the sheriff’s dept. According to the report; data gradually increased from a sympathetic angle and escalated to downright racial bias creating a parallel of Latino ancestors crossing the ice bridge from Asia to North America; in essence, drawing the conclusion Mexican’s were cousins to those dirty Japanese who attacked Pearl Harbor. “The Indian, from Alaska to Patagonia, is evidently Oriental in background – at least he shows many of the Oriental characteristics, especially so in his utter disregard for the value of life.”

It’s estimated between 300 and 400 people were arrested but police narrowed their investigation down to 40 members of the 38th Street group. Eighteen were able to retain private representations and acquitted, however, the other 22 defendants were forced to depend on a mere 7 attorney amongst them who weren’t allowed to confer with their clients. Talk about hitting the jackpot…

Nine of the defendants were convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to serve time in San Quentin Prison. The rest of the suspects were charged with lesser offenses and incarcerated in the Los Angeles County Jail. In October 1944, the state Court of Appeals unanimously decided the evidence was not sufficient to sustain a guilty verdict. It reversed the 12 defendants’ convictions in People v Zammora 66 Cal.App.2d 166. The appeals court also criticized the trial judge, Judge Fricke for his bias and mishandling of the case which is considered a precursor to the Zoot Suit Riots of 1943.

#LetOurVoicesEcho #Racism #SleepyLagoon

The Sleepy Lagoon Murder case was built on deliberate bad faith police manipulation; severely beating defendants into giving false confessions, irreparable misidentification by so-called witnesses and the balance of unethical suggestiveness from the prosecutor and sheriff’s dept.

When arrests have progressed through the judicial system to the point which the accused is actually brought to trial, the natural inclination is to believe the defendant committed the crime. Why else would they be on trial? So rather than the presumption-of-innocence, the 22 were tried on the presumption-of-guilt.

The premise of this sentence is zoot suiters are the ones who are supposed to be taught in this fight. It implies xenophobic mindset towards the Latinos because even if servicemen lost a battle overseas, the journalists would not describe it as “learn a lesson”.

#LetOurVoicesEcho #ZootSuitRiots 12

Pachucas being arrested during Zoot Suit Riots.

Migrant workers from Mexico were wanted when business was good but were expected to return to Mexico the moment the economy began to falter. The Mexican’s knew if they were willing to work harder, not challenge the political, social, or economic system they could survive in the U.S. although their standard of living would be less than that of the Whites.

The media characterized Mexican’s as simpleminded, gangster delinquents who openly defied US values and customs; the rational being “Mexican Americans had inherited their `naturally violent′ tendencies from the bloodthirsty Aztecs′ of Mexico who were said to have practiced human sacrifice centuries ago” and “would forever retain wild and violent tendencies no matter how much education or training he might receive. What the press neglected to inform the public was between 250,000 and 500,000 Hispanic Americans served in the Armed Forces comprising 2.3% to 4.7% of the Army.

The press having condoned the attacks ignored the fact most of the zoot suit defendants held down ordinary working class jobs and the servicemen who attacked them were deemed heroes both here and abroad. Racial profiling isn’t a new thing nor is the theory of; does it matter who goes to jail as long as we convict someone, anyone…

Interestingly enough, after Japan formally surrendered Sept. 2, 1945 and the US began the recuperation process “Large double breasted baggy suits with high waists, pleated trousers and wide brim hats returned to fashion just as they were in the 1930’s but now with a taste of the zoot in them as well.”

ZOOT SUIT WARS

Mexican-Americans Risked Their Lives Wearing Zoot Suits | History Of | Racked

The Zoot Suit Riots: A Race Issue

How Anti-Mexican Racism in L.A. Caused the Zoot Suit Riots | History

The Zoot Suit Riots

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Kristeen Irigoyen-Hernandez
Human Rights Advocate, Researcher/Chronological Archivist and member in good standing with the Constitution First Amendment Press Association (CFAPA.org)

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White supremacy is not starched white pointed hoods and swastika armbands

By Rudy TwoMoon
Kristeen Irigoyen-Hernandez aka Lady2Soothe

I’m writing this so I have written testimony about what occurred here this morning. June 3, 2018 11:35 am.

The dogs go ballistic while I’m in the shower and I can tell they’re barking at the front and not the side door. They almost never bark at the front due to all the kids using the side. I open the bathroom door and peek outside the curtain… I can see through the front picture window and outside are 2 cops, strapped with fully auto rifles “crouch walking aka hunting” down my driveway. Wtf I think as I turn off the water and quickly wrap a towel around my waist… running out the bathroom, pounding issues from the side door. Through the kitchen and around the corner to the side door I see both cops aiming their rifles directly at my chest… I make a gesture like really dude, I’m standing here in a fucking towel dripping water while you point that shit at me… yelling through the door he demands to know if a boy named Eric is here? My daughter is in the kitchen freaking out… I yell downstairs to Liam my oldest, “is a boy named Eric down there because I have cops pointing their fucking guns at me, so if he’s down there, get his ass up here now!” “No he’s not… we haven’t seen him in 3 weeks”… I relay the message. Just then my youngest leaves the room and I hear Addey yell, go back to your room Kai, there’s armed cops outside. I tell, Kai go back to your room right now! (Kai goes to his room where he sees another armed cop looking through his window) Cops point their weapons down and asks if I’ll come out to talk. I give him that look again, ya know the, can’t you see I’m dripping wet in a fucking towel look. Grabbing my shoes I step out. Again with “have you seen Eric”… I’m like “no, but why are you at my house armed and pointing your weapons at me?” “We were told Eric stayed the night here.”

(The reason the cops came so strapped was because the neighbors have called the cops on us so much for absolutely nothing, we have what looks like a rap sheet a mile long… these neighbors have literally gone door to door demanding other neighbors call the cops on us daily exactly for something like this to occur, and all because we have my kids friends at the house. These kids do not do anything off the property nor are they loud. They don’t speed, bump music nor litter… the problem is a bunch of them have Black and Brown skin… Neighbors Ricky and Dottie have made an actual campaign of calling cops daily just to make us look bad. We have never done a single thing to these sick minded people, nothing.)

So anyway, the other cop is walking up and down the street sweeping her weapon like she’s under attack. Not only that but somehow the dumb bitch racks her rifle and loses all the rounds right in the street. She’s stumbling around picking ‘em up looking like a total idiot. (I haven’t a clue as to how that occurred due to them being in a clip)

Eventually, they leave as my wife Dr. Julie comes home… she’s livid of course and says fuck this we need to make a complaint. So off we go to the police station and guess who’s at the window. Yep, the guy who was just pointing his weapon at me, and he ain’t having any complaints bullshit. But he does ask if we mind if they search the house. “Um no, you may not enter my home” I reply. On his radio we hear “the suspect was seen at our address”… we bolt out of the station because all 3 kids are home with 2 other friends. I immediately call my daughter and tell her lock the doors and make sure no one leaves the house. Turns out the 2 kids had enough and were gonna split. Mind you, one of the kids were Korean and the other is Black… absolutely looking nothing like the redhead boy in question. We return and again and same 3 cops are there… fortunately they’re not all strapped like earlier. One cop goes to my very cool neighbor, shows him a pic of the redhead boy and proceeds to make a bold faced lie saying he committed an armed robbery. (He did not commit armed robbery, she said this in hope my very cool neighbor would freak out I guess. They leave again.)

(All this time my fuckhead neighbors are eating popcorn and totally enjoying the show… laughing, giggling and patting each other on the ass and sharing tug jobs all around.)

Turns out the boy got kicked out of his house 3 days ago. He may have or may not have stolen his stepdad’s firearms… (if so, why wait 3 fucking days to call the cops eh?)

They come back but this time have another patrol car from another township. They want to check the garage because the boy was seen leaving his backpack with the guns there… it wasn’t there of course.

So to make a long story even longer, these same neighbors have started rumors against us when my oldest was in 1st grade. She told all the parents we don’t feed Liam, make him get up on his own and even walk to the bus stop all alone…. funny because I was at the stop with him every fucking morning and picking him up every fucking evening. Also if you know me, you damn well know I have never ever used food as a weapon nor would I ever withhold any from a hungry person let alone my own son. This bitch has also started other rumors against us throughout the years. We have never once called the cops even when their dumb drunk asses were whooping it up past 3 am, nor when their Harley glasspack idiot friend stops by.

To try and make friends, I have gone to their house to try and help when their huge tree fell across their driveway… I also brought them beer and just left it with them. I didn’t stay; I just dropped off beer as a gift. What do we get in return? Lying, bullying, libelous KKK actions. My kids are terrified to do anyfuckingthing! They have filmed my kids as well as guests who come to our house, and all for what? I can’t for the fucking life of me figure out what the fuck anyone in this house has ever done to them. I still remember the 1st week we moved in. Julie and I took a walk around the neighborhood and tried to introduce ourselves. They didn’t want to shake hands and looked at us like we had a disease creeping along our faces. We are going to go to the deputy sheriff and see if we can put a stop to this. Not sure if it will help considering Ricky seems to burn crosses with all the other blue lives matter folks.

U.S. SUPREME COURT 4th AMENDMENT RIGHTS

The U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor ruled on May 29, 2018 police may not search the area around a private home area, or around a house, known as the curtilage which is part of the home itself and cannot be searched without a warrant even when police think they have seen stolen property on the premises; although the court has long ruled a vehicle can be searched without a warrant if an officer sees something in plain sight. However the Supreme Court ruled police officers must generally have warrants to enter a home’s driveway in search of stolen vehicles… The “curtilage” of a house or dwelling is the land immediately surrounding it, including any closely associated buildings and structures, but excluding any associated “open fields beyond”, and also excluding any closely associated buildings, structures, or divisions that contain the separate intimate activities.

1adam12 – 1adam12 – We got Negros and Mexicans – Send back-up
https://letourvoicesecho.wordpress.com/1adam12-1adam12/

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Kristeen Irigoyen-Hernandez
Human Rights Advocate, Researcher/Chronological Archivist and member in good standing with the Constitution First Amendment Press Association (CFAPA.org)

1adam12 – 1adam12 – We got Negros and Mexicans – Send back-up

Kristeen Irigoyen-Hernandez aka Lady2Soothe

Mother’s Day 5-13-18
My son, Rudy TwoMoon and his wife, Dr. Julie TwoMoon have 3 kids. Those 3 kids have friends. So about 8-10 friends were at the house, actually, they pretty much have an open door policy for everyone, kids included. There are 2 signs posted, one on the front window facing out, the other facing in, both at eye level with house rules. They say things like No drugs, No alcohol, No fighting, be respectful of the house and neighbors, No littering, No loud music, No racing cars up and down the street, only park in front of the house etc. My son enforces these laws without question, no exceptions to the rules, period.

Anyway, my son looks out the window and the cops are talking to 2 of the kids, getting their ID. So my son goes out and asks what the problem is and the cop was very nice and said the neighbor called the police claiming she was in fear of her life because there is always kids at the house and she was afraid they were going to come in the middle of the night and rape and kill her.

The cop is kinda rolling his eyes like “wtf”, so my son explains the rules and the cops’ like “cool” then leaves.

My son Rudy goes across the street to talk to the White lady and find out if something happened. The White lady calls the police back and tells them he was threatening her on HER property, so my son talks loud enough so dispatch could hear. “No I’m not threatening her, and because I don’t want police coming here and me getting shot I’m going back across the street till the police get here”

The same officer comes back and this time my son and his wife go out. Dr. Julie asks White lady “What is it we can do to make you feel comfortable and safe” The White lady turns the question back around and says “Well how would you feel, what would make you feel safe in your own home?” Wife tells her “this isn’t about what makes me feel safe, I want to know what we can do to make you feel safe” White lady goes back to her same question avoiding wifes’ question. The cop is rolling his eyes and they walk back across the street in front of my son’s house. The cop asks how long have you lived here. Son “13 years” – “Well how long has she lived here?” – Son “about 6 or 7 months”. The cop rolls his eye again, apologizes, and says “This is ridiculous; unfortunately when someone calls we have to come out.”

That’s the end, but even though it won’t happen again tonight, my son expects she’ll wait until she thinks that cop is off-duty and will try again.

Bet the White lady thought she’d pull off a Becky (is that what we’re calling Ms. Raisin potato salad from the Barbecuing While Black video?) expecting better results. I hope the neighbor is monitoring my son’s FB page.

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Kristeen Irigoyen-Hernandez
Human Rights Advocate, Researcher/Chronological Archivist and member in good standing with the Constitution First Amendment Press Association (CFAPA.org)

First Amendment ~ Freedom of Speech

Kristeen Irigoyen-Hernandez aka Lady2Soothe

THE FIRST AMENDMENT TO THE U.S. CONSTITUTION

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects the freedom of speech, religion and the press. It also protects the right to peaceful protest and to petition the government. The amendment was adopted in 1791 along with nine other amendments which make up the Bill of Rights, a written document protecting civil liberties under U.S. law. The meaning of the First Amendment has been a subject of continuing interpretation and dispute over the years. Landmark Supreme Court cases have dealt with the right of citizens to protest U.S. involvement in foreign wars, flag burning and the publication of classified government documents. The Supreme Court has also written this freedom is “the matrix, the indispensable condition of nearly every other form of freedom.”

Freedom of speech is the right to express any opinions without censorship or restraint. It’s a principle supporting the freedom of an individual or a community to articulate their opinions and ideas without fear of retaliation, censorship, or sanction.

Although the term “freedom of expression” is sometimes used it includes any act of seeking, receiving, and imparting information or ideas, regardless of the medium used. Freedom of expression is recognized as a human right under article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and recognized in international human rights law in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Article 19 of the UDHR states “everyone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference” and “everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice”.

Freedom of speech and expression, therefore, may not be recognized as being absolute, and common limitations to legal systems sometimes recognize certain limits on the freedom of speech, particularly when freedom of speech conflicts with other rights and freedoms, such as in the cases of defamation (including libel and slander), obscenity, pornography, sedition, incitement, fighting words, true threats, solicitations to commit crimes, blackmail, classified information, copyright violation, trade secrets, food labeling, non-disclosure agreements, the right to privacy, the right to be forgotten, public security, and perjury.

FREEDOM OF SPEECH INCLUDES THE RIGHT:

1. Not to speak (specifically, the right not to salute the flag).
2. Of students to wear black armbands to school to protest a war (“Students do not shed their constitutional rights at the schoolhouse gate.”).
3. To use certain offensive words and phrases to convey political messages.
4. To contribute money (under certain circumstances) to political campaigns.
5. To advertise commercial products and professional services (with some restrictions).
6. To engage in symbolic speech, (e.g., burning the flag in protest).

FREEDOM OF SPEECH DOES NOT INCLUDE THE RIGHT:

1. Incite actions which would harm others (Shouting ‘fire’ in a crowded theater)
2. Make or distribute obscene materials.
3. Burn draft cards as an anti-war protest.
4. Advocating illegal drug use
5. Plotting to overthrow the government
6. Lying under oath in a court of law
7. Publish dishonest advertisements
8. As an employee, you have no free-speech rights at your workplace
9. Shows clear intent to discriminate or sexually harass
10. Discussing medical or financial confidential information outside of work

HATE SPEECH VS. FREE SPEECH
Censoring disturbing or even offensive speech, especially in art and literature, often violates not only the intentions or spirit of the speaker, writer or artist but suggests a willful lack of understanding of language itself: the ambiguity of words and images, as well as the role of context in determining meaning.

Random House Unabridged Dictionary

Hate speech is “speech that attacks a person or group on the basis of race, religion, gender or sexual orientation, threatens, incites discrimination, hatred, or maliciously slurs, defames or is likely to promote violence.”

Hate speech is usually treated as protected free speech unless it is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to produce or incite such action. The Supreme Court has protected the rights of Nazis, anti-Semites, cross-burning Klansmen and an anti-gay Baptist sect to openly denigrate others. The only restrictions, to quote from one Supreme Court decision, are for speech “likely to produce a clear and present danger of a serious substantive evil that rises far above public inconvenience, annoyance, or unrest”

IN CLOSING ~ Some people are offended by truth because of its very nature; however, truth is exclusive and it is absolute, not relative. The absolute nature of truth means it does not depend on, nor is it changed by people’s opinions. Of course people are not always going to agree on everything, as humans we’re entitled to a difference of opinion. It’s up to us as individuals to accept this information. We don’t have to agree with it, but we have to accept there is a different perspective. You never know, a point may be made you hadn’t considered and it might even change all or part of your view. This is how we grow and evolve.

Please remember, a right is one thing, but the freedom to exercise it is something entirely different, and just because we have the right to freedom of speech doesn’t mean we should intentionally offend in order to make our own selves heard. Let’s give ourselves permission to communicate in a concise, direct, comprehensible way by clearly articulating our point without acquiescing to adolescent invectives as we all need to be able to freely acquire and interchange information, be the keepers of our own consciences, and speak out when needed, either individually or as part of a group. If we try to be respectful of each other and their opinions, we can have some great discussions.

~ Kristeen Irigoyen-Hernandez

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Kristeen Irigoyen-Hernandez
Human Rights Advocate, Researcher/Chronological Archivist and member in good standing with the Constitution First Amendment Press Association (CFAPA.org)

Examining the historical link between the past and present Japanese Experience

Kristeen Irigoyen- Hernandez aka Lady2Soothe

#PearlHarbor #LetOurVoicesEcho

On December 7, 1941, Japanese planes attacked the United States Naval Base at Pearl Harbor External, Hawaii Territory, killing more than 2,300 Americans. The U.S.S. Arizona was completely destroyed and the U.S.S. Oklahoma capsized. A total of twelve ships sank or were beached in the attack and nine additional vessels were damaged. More than 160 aircraft were destroyed and more than 150 others damaged.

July 26, 1940, 4 months prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor President Roosevelt, with the intention of continuing to grant licenses froze all Japanese assets and ended trade by prohibiting the exportation of oil products preventing Japan whose dependency on the US for most of their crude oil and refined petroleum were ordered to depart from US harbors without loading or unloading cargo. In a confidential 26 page memo dated December 4, 1941 headlined “Methods of Operation and Points of Attack.” and “Japanese intelligence and propaganda in the United States” FDR chose to dismiss the red flags warning war was imminent. “In anticipation of possible open conflict with this country, Japan is vigorously utilizing every available agency to secure military, naval and commercial information, paying particular attention to the West Coast, the Panama Canal and the Territory of Hawaii”.

Yellow Peril Racism began to envelop the country; where at first the Japanese had been welcomed as cheap labor they now became criminals and terrorists and by Feb. 1942 Americans of Japanese ethnicity suspected of having even one drop of Japanese blood were ordered to Relocation Camps. The little Japanese girl who taught my father to write his name in kindergarten was sent to Manzanar and never seen or heard from again.

Allowed to only take bed linen, a few changes of clothing, a personal set of eating utensils and some toiletry articles, the internees were political prisoners left with little dignity as they were herded into the confines of barbed wire fenced enclosures as armed border agents in elevated towers stood guard. Family dynamics rapidly began to erode as multiple generations were forced into sharing living quarters with strangers in unfinished cold/hot and dusty tarpaper shanties with only straw-filled mattresses, a small stove to heat the room, and a single light bulb hanging from the ceiling. Lacking the basic amenities of running water, cooking and bathrooms facilities internees were subjected to communal un-partitioned showers, open toilets, and in Manzanar the constant threat of black widows spiders creeping out from dark crevices and agitated rattlesnakes coiled in corners ready to strike.

The social location of Japanese families gradually evolved into a new structural system of independence and disconnect from established traditions; Husbands felt shamed by their inability to protect and care for their families; with their patriarchy usurped many fell into the abyss of self-medicating with alcohol to relieve stress and feelings of inadequacy. Community dining hall bells announced meal time which served mystery meat and GI rations and rather than the accustomed family meals it became common for teens and children to eat with friends; Social construct flipped whereas before the Issei were in control, however due to a better command of English the Nisei had the ability to secure better jobs and higher wages becoming the dominant force of family politics.

Women no longer sweated their lives away performing domestic duties giving them more time to socialize, learn hobbies and complete their educations. Students were able to excel without having to compete with White students for coveted scholarly positions and were eligible to participate in a number of programs unavailable to them in secular institutions. Young ladies of marrying age found love and weren’t bound by arranged marriages.

Rafu Shimpo appears to represent a whole generation of people from the elderly to the youngest, from full Japanese to mixed racial heritage; whereas prior to internment traditional Issei parents determined Nisei were only allowed to marry within their own ethnic culture.

Pre-internment workers and business owners were primarily physical laborers yet are now highly educated with degrees from prestigious universities and hold prominent positions in major companies, own multi-million dollar corporations and reside in exclusive residential neighborhoods once reserved for “Whites Only.”

Traditional culture is still practiced within many of the communities to uphold long-established and time-honored celebrations and observances.

#LetOurVoicesEcho 9066

Examining the historical link between the past and present, the Japanese experience provides an inside look into the essence of how systems within communities continue to function successfully by integrating cultural traditions into the parameters of a governed dominate society.

Prior to becoming *The New Enemy* and carted off to internment camps the majority of Japanese American families experienced a moderate level of racism typical for minority groups of that era. Pro-discrimination laws were passed in the early 1900’s denied them the right to become citizens, own land, or marry outside their race. The 1907-1908 *Gentleman’s Agreement* consisting of informal letters between American and Japanese leaders virtually halted all Japanese contract labor to America and forbid the Japanese from buying homes in certain areas and barring them from jobs in various industries. By 1913 The California Alien Land Law prohibited Japanese as “aliens ineligible for citizenship” from owning agricultural land or possessing long-term farming leases. But for the most part the Japanese lived a peaceful life akin to other American families; owning or working in small businesses, children attending segregated public schools, men who voluntary joined the military and wives carrying out domestic duties.

fam 3

In 1915, the courthouse in Riverside CA. recorded the deed of the house at 3356 Lemon Street in the names of Mine, Sumi, and Yoshizo Harada, the three minor American-born children of Jukichi and Ken Harada, Japanese immigrants living in Riverside. The deed was in the name of the children because the Alien Land Law of 1913 prevented the parents, aliens ineligible from citizenship, from owning property. Jukichi Harada was charged with violating the law. The People of the State of California v. Jukichi Harada became a test case and the state Supreme Court ruled the children could own the house. The Harada House was declared a National Landmark in 1990.

#LetOurVoicesEcho #JapaneseInternment_30

By 1924 immigration was completely blocked. In the early 1930’s the visiting Captain of a cargo freighter docked in Santa Barbara was given a tour of the city while admiring the hillside scenery he lost his balance falling backward into a bed of cactus. People burst out laughing; not understanding American sense of humor, the Captain felt he was being ridiculed and lost face, he vowed to get revenge on Americans and on Santa Barbara. On Feb. 23, 1942, approximately 6 weeks after the bombing of Pearl Harbor the freighter Captain, who subsequently joined the Japanese navy as a submarine commander surfaced his submarine near an oil field pier just north of Santa Barbara and shelled the pier. Furthering the fear of *Japs*.

The Dec. 7th bombing of Pearl Harbor was quickly followed on Dec. 8, 1941 when FDR froze US citizen Isai assets and ordered the FBI to follow community leaders by imposing curfews and raiding homes for anything advocating a connection to Japan.

#LetOurVoicesEcho #JapaneseExperience_11 #DortheaLange

Dorothea Lange’s censored photographs of the Japanese-American Internment

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#LetOurVoicesEcho Japs 3

#LetOurVoicesEcho Japs 1

Yellow Peril Racism

#LetOurVoicesEcho Japs 2

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Relocation 4

Relocation 1

#LetOurVoicesEcho Japanese Internment Instructions

Relocation 2

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#LetOurVoicesEcho #JapaneseRelocationCampEvacuees #Farmer 1942

#LetOurVoicesEcho #JapaneseRelocationCampEvacuees #SanFrancisco 1942_3

#LetOurVoicesEcho #JapaneseInternment_12

They had about one week to dispose of what they owned, except what could be packed and carried for their departure by bus and were allowed only to take bed linen, a few changes of clothing, a personal set of eating utensils and some toiletry articles, the internees were political prisoners left with little dignity as they were herded into the confines of barbed wire fenced enclosures as armed border agents in elevated towers stood guard.

#LetOurVoicesEcho #JapaneseRelocationCampEvacuees

#Toyo Miyatake #JapaneseInternment #Manzanar #LetOurVoicesEcho

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#LetOurVoicesEcho #JapaneseExperience_5

#LetOurVoicesEcho #JapaneseExperience_15

#LetOurVoicesEcho #JapaneseRelocationCampEvacuees #SanFrancisco 1942

#LetOurVoicesEcho #JapaneseRelocationCampEvacuees #SanFrancisco 1942_2

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#LetOurVoicesEcho #Japanese #PostonAZRelocationCenter 1945

#LetOurVoicesEcho #JapaneseRelocationCampEvacuees #Poston AZ 1942_

#LetOurVoicesEcho #JapaneseRelocationCampEvacuees #Seattle 1942_

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May 9, 1942 Centerville CA Farm Families waiting to board the train

#LetOurVoicesEcho J Lady & Baby

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#LetOurVoicesEcho #JapaneseInternment_11

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First evacuees arrival at Granada Internment Camp

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Manzanar

The most notorious camp was Manzanar, built at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountain range 230 miles northeast of Los Angeles. At its peak, over 10,000 people were interned in the 500-acre camp, enclosed by barbed wire, guard towers and armed military police.

Conditions at the camp were unforgiving. Daytime temperatures could reach 110 degrees, while nights could be freezing. Dust and wind were constant, and the crude barracks provided poor shelter. Within these barracks, each family was allotted a 20-by-25-foot cloth partition.

Most of the internees resolved to make the best of their situation, by attempting to create some semblance of normalcy for their indefinite detention. Some built all the facilities and trappings necessary to maintain a community of 10,000.

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#LetOurVoicesEcho Camp

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Relocation 8

Relocation 3

#LetOurVoicesEcho Cattle Truck

Relocation 7

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Japanese waiting for registration at the Santa Anita Reception Center (Photo by Russell Lee)#LetOurVoicesEcho #JanpaneseIntermentCamp_34

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Some letters arriving from Japanese-American Internment Camps during WWll were very specific asking for a certain kind of bath powder, cold cream or cough drops.

#LetOurVoicesEcho #AnselAdams #ManzanarInternmentCamp

Family dynamics rapidly began to erode as multiple generations were forced into sharing living quarters with strangers in unfinished cold/hot and dusty tarpaper shanties with only straw-filled mattresses, a small stove to heat the room, and a single light bulb hanging from the ceiling.

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#LetOurVoicesEcho #JapaneseRelocationCampEvacuees #Vaccination

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Amache Japanese Internment Camp

#LetOurVoicesEcho #JapaneseExperience_7 #AnselAdams

Looking back on Ansel Adams photographs of Japanese Interment Camp

#LetOurVoicesEcho Internment 5

#LetOurVoicesEcho #Manzanar #OrphanedChildren

Orphaned infants incarcerated at the Manzanar Children’s Village, some with as little as 1/8th Japanese ancestry were ripped from orphanages.

Lacking the basic amenities of running water, cooking and bathrooms facilities internees were subjected to communal un-partitioned showers, open toilets, and in Manzanar the constant threat of black widows spiders creeping out from dark crevices and agitated rattlesnakes coiled in corners ready to strike.

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The social location of Japanese families gradually evolved into a new structural system of independence and disconnect from established traditions; Husbands felt shamed by their inability to protect and care for their families; with their patriarchy usurped many fell into the abyss of self-medicating with alcohol to relieve stress and feelings of inadequacy.

#LetOurVoicesEcho #JapaneseInternment_6

Community dining hall bells announced meal time which served mystery meat and GI rations, and rather than the accustomed family meals it became common for teens and children to eat with friends.

Relocation 6

Relocation 5

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Manzanar teen getting ready to have breakfast

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A life Beyond Limits

#LetOurVoicesEcho #JapaneseRelocationCamp #TuleLake1942 Children

#LetOurVoicesEcho #SacramentoCA #TuleLake 1942

#LetOurVoicesEcho #ManzanarJapaneseStudents

#LetOurVoicesEcho #JapaneseRelocationCampMazanar #Graduation

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Potato Field shows people working against the vast backdrop of the High Sierra’s

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#LetOurVoicesEcho #ManzanarJapanese_5

#LetOurVoicesEcho #TuleLake #Japanese 1945

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#LetOurVoicesEcho Interment 3

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Social construct flipped whereas before the Issei were in control, however due to a better command of English the Nisei had the ability to secure better jobs and higher wages thus becoming the dominant force of family politics.

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The first grave at Manzanar Center Cemetery

#LetOurVoicesEcho #Japanese #LamarCO #TopazRelocationCenter 1942 Funeral

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Mr. Watanabe’s signature carved into a low bordering wall

Japanese School MenHigh schooler’s attend a science lecture

Women no longer sweated their lives away performing domestic duties giving them more time to socialize, learn hobbies and complete their educations. Students were able to excel without having to compete with White students for coveted scholarly positions and were eligible to participate in a number of programs unavailable to them in secular institutions. Young ladies of marrying age found love and weren’t bound by arranged marriages.

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Dorthea Lange

#LetOurVoicesEcho #DortheaLange #Manzanar 1944

Japanese American internees making camouflage netting at Manzanar. Photo Dorthea Lange July 1, 1944

#LetOurVoicesEcho #ManzanarJapaneseRelocationCamp #Dressmaking

Mrs. Dennis Shimizu.

Mrs. Dennis Shimizu

Japanese SchoolKiyo Yoshida, Lillian Wakatsuki and Yoshiko Yamasaki attend a high school biology class.

#LetOurVoicesEcho #JapaneseSumo #SantaAnitaCA

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The Manzanar Fishing Club.

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Minidota MN Family

#LetOurVoicesEcho #ManzanarJapanese #ArtistCTHibino

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#LetOurVoicesEcho #JapaneseInternment_21May 11, 1942 A 23 yr old soldier and his mother in a strawberry field near Florin CA – The soldier had volunteered for the Army on July 10, 1941, and was stationed at Camp Leonard Wood, Missouri. He was furloughed to help his mother and family prepare for their evacuation. He is the youngest of six children, two of them volunteers in United States Army. The mother, age 53, came from Japan 37 years before. Her husband had passed away 21 years prior leaving her to raise six children. She worked in a strawberry basket factory until 1945(?) when her children leased three acres of strawberries “so she wouldn’t have to work for somebody else.

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#LetOurVoicesEcho #JanpaneseIntermentCampGardenA Japanese Pleasure Garden built by Internees

#LetOurVoicesEcho #FrancesStewart #Manzanar Dec. 31, 1942

Dec. 31, 1942 photo by Frances Stewart#LetOurVoicesEcho #Racism #DortheaLange

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Nakamura with her two daughters “Joyce Yuki” and “Louise Tami” walking under a Japanese Style Pavillion. Manzanar Relocation Camp, Owens Valley California
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Manzanar, Calif.–Grandfather and grandson of Japanese ancestry at this War Relocation

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Joe Blamey Editor Manzanar Free Press #LetOurVoicesEcho #JapaneseInternment_20Ben Kuroki, the son of Japanese immigrants who was raised on a Hershey NB farm, is seen in this updated Army Corps file photo. The only known Japanese-American known to have flown over Japan during WWll

#LetOurVoicesEcho #Japanese #LamarCO #GranadaRelocationCenter 1942

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#LetOurVoicesEcho Relocation Explaination

The Rafu Shimpo Newspaper appears to represent a whole generation of people from the elderly to the youngest, from full Japanese to mixed racial heritage; whereas prior to internment traditional Issei parents determined Nisei were only allowed to marry within their own ethnic culture.

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#LetOurVoicesEcho J man

Mary “Mollie” Oyama Mittwer as *Deirde* (1907–1994) was a Nisei journalist whose writing reflected many of the issues her generation faced during World War II. A leading writer of her generation, *Deirde* dispensed wisdom and controversy through various advice columns and articles, giving Nisei women and men a chance to voice opinions and receive feedback regarding the do’s and don’t’s of delicate topics such as dating and marriage, racism and integration and fielding questions mainly centering on the private lives of people concerned with arranged marriage vs voluntarily marrying for love, interracial and interethnic dating, fashion advice, incorporating Japanese traditions into modern day society while continuing to maintain the cultural standards their parents and grandparents expected.

The internment of Japanese Americans in the United States during World War II was the forced relocation and incarceration in camps in the interior of the country of between 110,000 and 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry who had lived on the Pacific coast. Sixty-two percent of the internees were United States citizens.

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Ansel Adams took this picture of fellow photographer Toyo Miyatake, who was interned at Manzanar. Ansel Adams/Courtesy Photographic Traveling Exhibitions

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The majority of photographs on this page were taken by Mr. Miyatake.

Before World War II, Miyatake had a photo studio in Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo. When he learned he would be interned at Manzanar, he asked a carpenter to build him a wooden box with a hole carved out at one end to accommodate a lens. He turned this box into a makeshift camera that he snuck around the camp, as his grandson Alan Miyatake explains in the video below, which is featured in the exhibit.

#LetOurVoicesEcho #ToyoMiyatake #Manzanar

Fearful of being discovered, Miyatake at first only took pictures at dusk or dawn, usually without people in them. Camp director Merritt eventually caught Miyatake, but instead of punishing him, allowed him to take pictures openly. Miyatake later became the camp’s official photographer, however, he could only set up the camera, and set up the shot, but a White person had to snap the shutter.

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His photos convey an intimacy with camp life absent in the pictures that Adams and Lange took. He captured laughter at a picnic and men delivering vegetables to the mess hall.

His photos also had moments of silent protest. In one picture three boys peer through the camp’s barbed wire fence to the outside world. And in another, Miyatake’s son, Archie, holds a pair of clippers against the fence, “to show,” that at some point, the barbed wire has to come down.”

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Toyo Miyatake as Grand Marshal

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Toyo Miyatake 1977#LetOurVoicesEcho #ManzanarJapanese_6

1977 Two Views of Manzanar – Co-Curator Patrick Nagatani ~ Photography by Graham Howe

Fred KOREMATSU

Fred Korematsu decided to test the government relocation action in the courts. He found little sympathy there. In KOREMATSU VS. THE UNITED STATES, the Supreme Court justified the executive order as a wartime necessity. When the order was repealed, many found they could not return to their hometowns. Hostility against Japanese Americans remained high across the West Coast into the postwar years as many villages displayed signs demanding that the evacuees never return. As a result, the interns scattered across the country.

In 1988, Congress attempted to apologize for the action by awarding each surviving intern $20,000. While the American concentration camps never reached the levels of Nazi death camps as far as atrocities are concerned, they remain a dark mark on the nation’s record of respecting civil liberties and cultural differences.

First, second, third, fourth and fifth generation of immigrants
Issei (一世 born in Japan immigrated to North America.
Nisei (二世 (second generation) children born in North America whose parents were immigrants from Japan.
Sansei (三世 (third generation) grandchildren of the Issei
Yonsei (四世 fourth generation
Gosei (五省 fifth generation
Obāsan お婆さん aunt or older woman generally referring to the grandmother of a Sansei
Ojiisan おじいさん general term for older men but generally referring to the grandfather of a Sansei
Nikkei (日系) was coined by a multinational group of sociologists and encompasses all of the world’s Japanese immigrants across generations. The collective memory of the Issei and older Nisei was an image of Meiji Japan from 1870 through 1911, which contrasted sharply with the Japan that newer immigrants had more recently left. These differing attitudes, social values and associations with Japan were often incompatible with each other. In this context, the significant differences in post-war experiences and opportunities did nothing to mitigate the gaps which separated generational perspectives.

#LetOurVoicesEcho #JapaneseExperience_9

1943 Manzanar Relocation Center taken by Ansel Adams – L to R – Mrs. Kay Kageyama, Toyo Miyatake (photographer), Miss Tetsuko Murakam, Mori Nakashima, Joyce Yuki Nakamura (eldest daughter), Corporal Jimmy Shohara, Aiko Hamaguchi (Nurse), Yoshio Muramoto, (electrician).

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#LetOurVoicesEcho #FredKorematsu #ManzanarInternment
In 1942 Fred Korematsu refused to follow orders to be incarcerated along with 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry living on the West coast of the United States. In 1944, his case reached the Supreme Court. Justice Roberts, in dissent of the opinion of the court, wrote:

“The indisputable facts exhibit a clear violation of constitutional rights… It is a case of convicting a citizen as punishment for not submitting to imprisonment in a concentration camp, based on his ancestry, and solely because of his ancestry, without evidence or inquiry concerning his loyalty and good disposition toward the United States.”

In 1983, when U.S. District Court Judge Marilyn Hall Patel vacated Korematsu’s conviction, she said the case is a “caution that in times of distress the shield of military necessity and national security must not be used to protect governmental actions from close scrutiny and accountability.”

Fred Korematsu himself feared, “As long as my record stands in federal court, any American citizen can be held in prison or concentration camps without a trial or a hearing.”



ADDITIONAL READING
Life after Manzanar
Life after Manzanar
https://heydaybooks.com/book/life-after-manzanar/#

It Can Happen Here: The 75th Anniversary Of The Japanese Internment (Part I)
by Edward H. Levi Distinguished Service Professor of Law, The University of Chicago
Tracing the history of one of the most unconscionable tragedies in American history.

FAMILY STRUGGLES TO SAVE PIECE OF JAPANESE AMERICAN HISTORY
Four Japanese-American sisters are weeks away from losing a home that’s been in their family for nearly a century. The Yuge family has lived in the gardener’s cottage on the former Scripps estate in Altadena since the 1920s, when the late patriarch Takeo Yuge became a caretaker for the property. Although the Yuge family was sent away to a Japanese Internment Camp during WWII, all of their belongings were kept safe in the main house. CONTINUE READING
https://www.pasadenastarnews.com/2015/05/10/family-struggles-to-save-piece-of-japanese-american-history/

#LetOurVoicesEcho #JapaneseFarms #WWll
Wintersburg Village — as the property was originally known — once contained churches, residential homes, farmland, and goldfish ponds used to grow fish that were sold to drugstore pet departments. It was also one of few sites owned by Japanese Americans before the California Alien Land Law of 1913, which prohibited people of Japanese descent from owning property. Today, six buildings still stand intact.
CONTINUE READING https://www.nbcnews.com/news/asian-america/activists-seek-preserve-historic-japanese-american-site-involved-possible-sale-n858676

Citations:
5 Attacks on U.S. Soil During World War
http://www.history.com/news/history-lists/5-attacks-on-u-s-soil-during-world-war-ii
Second Generation Japanese Americans (Nisei) before WWII
http://picturethis.museumca.org/timeline/depression-era-1930s/second-generation-japanese-americans-nisei-wwii/info
When the Japanese Attacked Santa Barbara (1940s)
http://picturethis.museumca.org/timeline/depression-era-1930s/second-generation-japanese-americans-nisei-wwii/info
Remembering The Manzanar Riot
https://densho.org/remembering-manzanar-riot/

press
 
 
Kristeen Irigoyen-Hernandez
Human Rights Advocate, Researcher/Chronological Archivist and member in good standing with the Constitution First Amendment Press Association (CFAPA.org)