Katyal Shows Former Solicitor General Hid Evidence in Order to Intern Japanese Americans

Acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal recently revealed that his predecessor Charles Fahy, an appointee of Franklin Roosevelt, deceived the Supreme Court in order to defend and uphold Roosevelt’s executive order that authorized forced removals of over 110,000 Japanese Americans from “military areas.”  The Solicitor General is the US’s top courtroom attorney, and viewed as the most important and trusted lawyer to appear before the Supreme Court.

Katyal stated last week that Fahy deliberately hid a report from the Office of Naval Intelligence that concluded that Japanese Americans did not pose a military threat. Even though two of the government’s civilian lawyers had told Fahy it would be “suppression of evidence” to keep the naval intelligence report from the high court, Fahy told the court that the government and the military agreed that the roundup of Japanese Americans was required as a “military necessity.” This led to the 1943 decision to unanimously uphold a curfew imposed on Japanese Americans in the case of Gordon Hirabayashi v. United States, and in 1944, the court upheld the removal order imposed on Japanese Americans in Fred Korematsu v. United States.

These World War II rulings have been considered among the worst in the court’s history, but neither the court nor the Justice Department had formally admitted their mistakes until now. Katyal, who is Indian American and the first Asian American Solicitor General, was doing research last summer for immigration cases when he came upon racist comments about Asians in 19th century briefs submitted to the Supreme Court. Chinese immigrants were described as “people not suited to our institutions.” People from India were described as a “subject race.”

Katyal then looked into the history of WWII internment cases — including research done by UCSD professor Peter Irons, who had found reports in government files showing that the US military did not view Japanese Americans as a threat in 1942. Katyal said he had decided “to set the record straight”. Hats off to him for having the integrity to uncover and call out a predecessor who contributed to this ugly chapter in US history. More info here.

Thanks Amanda!

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Friday Fuckery: Happy Birthday Maru!

I generally like to kick off a weekend (or morning, or naptime, or staff meeting) of fuckery with a gratifying cat video. And who stars in the most squeal-inducing videos but none other than everyone’s favorite box-diving, fluffball Japanese kittizen…MARU! AND ITS MARU’s THIRD BIRTHDAY Y’ALL! Check out this video montage of his glorious past year:

Here’s wishing Maru many many more! I’m gonna celebrate by training/stuffing my cat into various boxes lying around the apartment. It’s a Maru movement!

Check out more cuteness to make you wet your chinos at Maru’s blog.

Introduction of Resolutions of Regret for Chinese Exclusion Acts

Judy Chu in May 2010 with members of Nat’l Council of Chinese Americans, who delivered a petition for a resolution.

Just in time for the closeout of APA Heritage Month, a group of elected officials, including Judy Chu (D-Calif and the first Chinese American female to be elected to Congress), U.S. Rep. Judy Biggert (R-Ill.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.), introduced House and Senate Resolutions calling on Congress to formally acknowledge and express regret for the passage of the Chinese Exclusion Laws.

Enacted between 1882 and 1924, the Chinese Exclusion Laws severely restricted the immigration, naturalization, and land ownership (among other things) of people of Chinese descent. The Chinese are the only racial group ever specifically banned from the United States.

The Chinese Exclusion Act was repealed in 1943 after China became a U.S. ally in WWII, and allowed a national quota of 105 Chinese immigrants per year (although a law in California that prohibited  Chinese people from marrying whites was not repealed until 1948). Large-scale Chinese immigration didn’t happen until the passage of the Immigration Act of 1965.

Although the Chinese Exclusion laws have been revoked, Congress has never formally acknowledged or expressed regret for the harm and destruction these discriminatory laws caused in the Asian American community.

I think we can all agree with Tuyet Le, executive director of the Asian American Institute, who said: “Passage of this resolution is long overdue” and  Titi Liu, executive director of the Asian Law Caucus, who added: “Acknowledging the unconstitutionality of these laws is necessary to ensure that other groups in the future are not similarly discriminated against.”

More info here.

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The Left Coast Parties Right

This Sunday join AzN, King Most, Props Radio and Brooklyn Circus for a party… on a boat. That’s right. On a boat. Also enjoy food by The Attic Restaurant and maybe you’ll get a free issue of Wax Poetics from the sponsors. Or if you don’t have your sea legs ready to sail, come out to the afterparty: sfnyconnect.com.


Ken Jeong Stands Up to Cancer

This past Mother’s Day, comedian and actor Ken Jeong wrote a tear-jerking tribute to his wife Tran, who courageously battled breast cancer after the birth of their twin girls. But he didn’t stop there. Ken is also dedicating himself to an awareness and fund-raising campaign called “Stand Up To Cancer” (with a dash of wonderfully bad British accent thrown in for good measure).

So even if you take issue with some of Ken’s past roles (um, The Hangover?), at least he’s using his growing celebrity and nekkid ass nekkidness for a good cause! Learn more about the organization Ken is supporting here and join the movement to stand up to cancer, which unfortunately affects too many of our lives.

via Slant Eye for the Round Eye

BCB Profilin’: Cynthia Lin

This edition of BCB Profilin’ features singer-songwriter (and fellow member of the “All-Cindy Girl Gang”)…Cynthia Lin! A recent transplant to San Francisco via New York via Chicago, this lady’s got some silky-smoov pipes and can do a heartfelt “Time After Time” cover that will make you both sing along and cry into your whiskey. I know I did!

photo by Jason Colston

Cynthia also has a new album out called Microsope, and wasted no time assembling a band in the Bay Area. Be sure to check them out at an upcoming show. And ask Cynthia to show you pictures of her über-fluffy cat Tani afterwards, I guarantee it’ll make your week.

Greetings, I am…

Cynthia Lin

I’ve been known to bitch about…

Flight attendants who try to keep me from bringing my guitar on board.

My influences are…

Stories, moods, textures, wordplay.
Joni Mitchell, Ella Fitzgerald, Shakespeare, Sondheim…

…and of course, my cat.

On a Saturday night you can find me….

Performing or sharing good food with close friends.

On a Tuesday night you can find me…

Cooking dinner and watching documentaries and/or indulgent tv (faves: True Blood, Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Gossip Girl) with my boyfriend and cat.

My usual drink/poison is….

Pre-show:  Coca-Cola
Post-show: champagne.  I like the bubbly.

If I was a superhero my name would be…

The Destroyer (no reason, just came to mind.  rawr).

The last song/album I listened to is…

“I Got My” by my friends Magnetic North & Taiyo Na.  Look for me in their awesome new video that features so many inspirational figures in the AA community.

Also crazy obsessed with “Ghost Town” by Kurt Vile.

I have a borderline unhealthy obsession with…

Drop7, an iPhone numbers game.  Total math nerd. I had one of the all-time highest scores on hardcore for a while but my rank is slipping.

Favorite thing to do in The Bay Area….

Hiking from Mount Tam down to Stinson Beach – gorgeous, one of the main reasons for moving here from NYC.

Free Association time! First word I think of after “Asian America”:

Artist.

My weapon of choice is….

A knee to the groin.

Be sure to check out my…

New album Microscope and my new Bay Area band, the Blue Moon All Stars!  We have a full band CD release show at Hotel Utah in San Francisco on Saturday June 11th.  Hope to see you there.

Thanks C! I’m working on those matching CGG jackets!

Takei Pride!

Gays aren’t going anywhere, even if Repubes in states like Tennessee try to pass legislation that prohibits discussing homosexuality or bisexuality in the classroom (“Don’t Say Gay” Bill).

Everyone’s favorite Star Trek actor and wished-for uncle — George Muthaflippin’ Takei — is once against speaking out (with his silky smooth voice) and taking action against homophobic fuckery:

Takei Pride Forever! Visit www.itsoktobetakei.com to order your T-shirts and mugs now, you big bunch of Takeis and Takei-lovers!

For another campaign battling the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, visit FCKH8.

Thanks Nelson!