Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Gordon Hirabayashi Interview V
Narrator: Gordon Hirabayashi
Interviewers: Tom Ikeda (primary), Alice Ito (secondary)
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: May 4, 2000
Densho ID: denshovh-hgordon-05-0015

TI: Now, the question, I guess, as you're talking, that I'm thinking about is, here you have the Supreme Court, as you said, is there to uphold the Constitution, to rule on things dealing with constitutional issues. And your stand has been that as a United States citizen you have certain constitutional rights. And so the highest court of law has ruled against you. That must have shook you, because so much of your stand was based on the U.S. Constitution. How did you grapple with that as an individual after the ruling came down?

GH: Well, it was, it was disappointing. I think we, we have to admit that. It was disappointing, and for a while I thought the Constitution failed me. Then it occurred to me that it wasn't necessarily the Constitution that failed me, it was the people who were placed in the responsibility of upholding the Constitution. People, these are nine people, and for a variety of reasons they came to their decision. And in my view they made an error. They made an error, but, and forty years later my views were upheld. It was reversed. Nothing was changed in, in terms of what happened to us. I mean, and there's no way in which we could rectify that. But injustice took place and the nation said they made an error. There's nothing much you could do beyond that except to take that to heart and try to make sure that it doesn't happen again.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.