Racism and Naming Schools

Jason Willick had an op-ed in Friday’s Wall Street Journal that recounted a failed effort to rename a Palo Alto, CA, middle school in honor of an American WWII war hero. That hero was PFC and Silver Star recipient Fred Minoru Yamamoto of the US Army’s 442nd Regimental Combat Team; he was killed in action in 1944 in the Vosges, in eastern France, by German artillery.

Chinese-Americans [sic] raised a huge hue and cry over the proposal—because Isoroku Yamamoto was an admiral of some…fame…in the Japanese navy from 1939-1943.  Fred and Isoroku shared a last name, and even though there was no relationship, familial or otherwise, whatsoever between the two, that similarity of sound in last names was enough, in those Chinese-American minds, to brand Fred with the same evil as Isoroku. No school would be named after Fred as a result of this uproar.

This is an example of identity politics in its full, racist bloom.  It goes further.

“Are we racist?” one Taiwanese-American mother asks incredulously. “Look at the history in Asia,” she adds, while preferring not to be quoted by name. “Taiwan was colonized by Japan for 50 years.”

Yeah. You are racist. The Republic of China [sic—it’s interesting you insist on using your misnomer] was not colonized by anyone related to Fred Yamamoto. Your insistence that all Yamamotos look alike—your refusal to see any difference among them—and your manufacture of hurt feelings over a partial name mark you racist, indeed. No wonder you hide in anonymity.

Do you agree, Madam, with Progressive-Democrat FD Roosevelt’s locking up of Americans with Japanese heritage in “internment” camps solely on the basis of that heritage?  Two of which incarcerated our Yamamoto before his enlistment?  Think about this entry from Fred’s diary, written while he was in the Heart Mountain “internment” camp. He made this entry on the occasion of his decision to enlist in the United States Army:

Because faith to me is a positive thing, I’m putting all my blue chips on the U.S.A. … In short, I’ve volunteered.


Separately, the identity politics obsession of Willick is equally evident: Taiwanese-American? Not American with Taiwanese [RoC] heritage? Really?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *