A letter from James M. Omura to Professor Roger Daniels, April 12, 1983
In honor of the 30th anniversary of the Civil Liberties Act of 1988 we present an excerpt from our forthcoming book Nisei Naysayer: The Memoir of Militant Japanese American Journalist Jimmie Omura. The Civil Liberties Act granted long overdue amends to Japanese Americans who had been incarcerated by the U.S. government in WWII. Omura, a vehement and dauntless opponent of the incarceration, was among the first to seek governmental redress and reparations for wartime violations of civil liberties and human rights. This excerpt, a letter from James M. Omura to the historian Roger Daniels, exemplifies both his conviction and his commitment to justice.
Dear Prof. Daniels:
I did not return to Denver until evening of March 26th, having been routed to Seattle for a two-day meeting on request and remaining a full week for additional research.
Now that I have caught up with the most pressing portion of three weeks of neglected mail and have put my annual tax duties to bed, I shall endeavor to respond to the question you posed.
It would seem to me that the appearance I made before the Tolan Committee in San Francisco in 1942 has received greater recognition than it ordinarily should deserve. Of course, it cannot be said that I am not flattered by the attention it has received in the literature of the Evacuation. I thought then and I believe today that this was a monumental tragedy that was unnecessary to the security of the Pacific Coast and the action violated our fundamental concepts of constitutional government.