During World War II, Gene Akutsu was incarcerated in the Minidoka concentration camp, Idaho. In 1944 he was arrested for resisting the draft and imprisoned at McNeil Island Penitentiary. In this clip, Gene talks about why he thinks it's important to speak up for what you believe.
This clip is an excerpt from Gene Akutsu's Densho oral history interview conducted July 25, 1997. To see the complete interview, visit the Densho Digital Archive (http://www.densho.org/archive).
Densho is a Japanese term meaning "to pass on to the next generation." The legacy we offer is an American story with continuing relevance.
Using digital technology, Densho provides access to personal testimonies, historic photographs and documents, an online encyclopedia, and teacher resources to explore principles of democracy and promote justice. We seek to educate students and inspire them to act in defense of liberty and the highest values of our country.
Densho presents a thorough accounting of what happened to Japanese Americans during a time of war. In doing so, we hope to contribute to current debates about civil liberties during times of national emergency.
We believe that citizens and residents equipped with knowledge of the human costs and consequences of civil rights violations for the few are better equipped to protect the civil rights of all.