Tag Archives: Carolyn Classen

Blog for Arizona: New Features!

Blog for ArizonaBlog for Arizona readers don’t come here for flash. You come here for wide-ranging political content that is not driven by advertising revenue.

Today, we made a few upgrades to the site to facilitate finding the years worth of blog posts that reside here.

At multiple events around town, activists sing the praises of Blog for Arizona‘s Community Calendar, which is maintained by Carolyn Classen, and of the AZ Blue Meanie’s Sunday morning Political Calendar.

To make the Community Calendar more visible, we have added a list of upcoming events to the home page. The full Community Calendar still can be found by clicking on the calendar tab at the top of the home page. Additional Community stories can be found by clicking “Community” in the word cloud. Clicking “Political Calendar” in the word cloud, will take you to the AZ Blue Meanie’s Sunday posts.

We also have added a Blog Post Calendar widget to the home page. This handy item helps readers find blog posts from a specific day– for example the popular political cartoons, also posted on Sunday mornings by the AZ Blue Meanie, or perhaps you want to see blog posts from election day, just click on the date.

The VOTE! section has been updated, with links to the Arizona Legislature, Arizona House Membership, Arizona Senate Membership, Capitol TV Video feed and archives, and bill tracking. Now it’s easier to keep an eye on what’s happening in Phoenix.

Last but not least, we welcome blogger Larry Bodine to Blog for Arizona. He has already written some block buster posts about the political races and the Koch Brothers Freedom School at the UA. He and education activist Linda Lyon are the two newest bloggers at BfAZ.

Former U.S. Senate Aide Carolyn Sugiyama Classen: Creation of National Commission which investigated the wrong done to WWII Japanese Americans

This is a recap of most of my remarks at a recent Feb. 18, 2017 Day of Remembrance event at the Tucson Desert Art Museum, where there are currently 3 ongoing art & history exhibits on the WWII internment camps. About 120,000 Japanese Americans civilians (2/3 were U.S. Citizens, ½ were children) were rounded up by the US Government and incarcerated into 10 large relocation centers in desolate parts of America (including two camps in Arizona).  It is fitting to publish these remarks today, February 19, 2017, on the 75th anniversary of the signing by President Franklin D. Roosevelt of Executive Order 9066 which caused this unjust relocation & internment.

Carolyn Sugiyama Classen speaking at Day of Remembrance, courtesy of atty. Robin Blackwood. Panelists Professors Min Yanagihashi & Kathryn Nakagawa in background.

“I am Sansei (3rd generation) from Hawaii, as my grandparents Hyakuji and Tai Sugiyama left Hiroshima and arrived in June, 1892 to the Kingdom of Hawaii before it fell in 1893.  They became impoverished, indentured servants on sugar plantations in Hawaii. My grandparents had 8 children and my father Sueo was the last and youngest.

My father was the 1st in his family to go to college (University of Hawaii at Manoa) and was unfortunately in Los Angeles at USC Dental School when Pearl Harbor was bombed on December 7, 1941. He was summarily expelled from USC due to his race, along with other Japanese American students. My father nicknamed Francis (a U.S. Citizen) did not return home to Hawaii, but stayed in Los Angeles, later obtained a “voluntary” pass from Western Defense Command General John DeWitt and fled to Chicago. He left his belongings with a Jewish woman in L.A. and she subsequently shipped them to him. He stayed in Chicago, took classes at Loyola University, then got re-admitted to Dental School at the U. of Maryland, finishing in 1946.  (I found out later that about 5,000 others also got passes and voluntarily left the West Coast for inland states.)

Fast forward to me as a young attorney practicing law on the island of Kauai, when I decided to go to Washington D.C. to work for U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye. How did I know the Senator? He had always been in our family discussions (“Cousin Dan”), as he was married to first cousin Maggie, the 2nd of 6 daughters of Aunty Omitsu Sugiyama Awamura of Honolulu.  Aunty was my father’s 2nd oldest sister of the 8 children of my immigrant grandparents. My father had been the last born of the 8 children, and was more then 20 years younger than the oldest siblings.

Dan Inouye and cousin Maggie were married before I was even born.  Inouye was a decorated combat veteran of the 442nd Regimental Combat Battalion, lost his right arm in the war, had been elected as Hawaii’s first Congressman in 1959 (when Hawaii became a state).  He became a U.S. Senator in 1963, and attended by older brother’s high school graduation when I was 16 (when I first met him).

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Day of Remembrance (75th anniversary of E.O. 9066 interning Japanese Americans during WWII) at Tucson Desert Art Museum

Executive Order 9066 Day of Remembrance at Tucson Desert Art Museum, 7000 E. Tanque Verde Rd. Tucson (west of Sabino Canyon Rd.)

February 18, 2017 11:00 am-2:00 pm
“Join us to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Executive Order 9066, which authorized the incarceration of over 100,000 Japanese Americans following the bombing of Pearl Harbor. War hysteria and racial prejudice allowed the government to institute a mass detention program based on “military justification.” Speakers include academic experts in history and politics from UA and ASU who have researched or have intimate knowledge of the camps.”

11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Academic Panel discussion on Japanese American Internment during WWII featuring:
Carolyn Sugiyama Classen, former Legislative Aide to U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye
Prof. Kathryn Nakagawa, ASU Associate Professor in Asian Pacific American Studies, School of Social Transformation, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Prof.Min Yanagihashi, UA (retired), East Asian Studies Dept.

“Acts of Translation” to be read by poet Heather Nagami at 12:30 p.m. whose work has been on display there since Nov.5, 2016. Heather’s family was interned at several of the camps.

1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Discussion on “Gambatte! Legacy of an Enduring Spirit: Triumphing over Adversity. Japanese American WWII Incarceration Reflections, Then and Now” featuring:
Paul Kitagaki, Jr., Photographer with Susie and Terry Matsunaga relating perspectives on incarceration from personal and family experiences.

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My 2nd Year Anniversary at Blog for Arizona

Well, another political year has passed and a big one is upon us, with the Presidential Election of 2016. To date, 2 Democrats Clinton & Sanders are seeking this seat and still 7  Republicans – Bush, Carson, Cruz, Gilmore, Kasich, Rubio, Trump. Interestingly enough, Cruz and Rubio are half Hispanic.

Stay tuned for lots of action there with all the primaries coming up as we head into the summer national conventions to select the Democrat and Republican who want to be U.S. President. And this year there may even be an Independent Candidate.

Don’t forget to vote in the Arizona Presidential Preference Election on March 22, 2016, so you can have your say in national politics.

I’ve been online here now for 2 years, having spent over four and half years blogging at the Tucsoncitizen.com (shut down suddenly by Gannett Publishing on Jan. 31, 2014).
Please check out our Blog for Arizona  Calendar for lots of progressive events, which has become primarily my responsibility.  I’ll also be on the local campaign trail as the Pima County offices are up for election, as are State House and  Senate seats.
Welcome to our new education blogger Linda Lyon. Read her bio here:
Let’s keep on blogging…in 2016 and beyond.