He burned sensitive files while working for a foreign government. He said that he was not willing to fight for the United States and would not give up his allegiance to a foreign power during a time of war. He renounced his American citizenship. Who was this enemy of the United States?
He was my grandfather on my dad’s side. Having died before I was born, he was and has always been an enigma to me. My Aunt doesn’t remember her father being anti-American. To her, he was a true patriot. Any suggestion otherwise doesn’t fit in with how she chooses to remember him.
Based on his actions though, most would call him a traitor. I want to believe, like my Aunt, that he was a “good” American and that he was forced to make decisions that only made him look disloyal.
Over the last six years, I have been doing research on my grandfather. Recently, a wonderful National Archives researcher helped me “find” his FBI file. In the documents, my grandfather finally had a chance to tell me what happened and why he made the decisions that he did. In this five-part series, I will use primary documents and my grandfather’s words as much as possible. Where needed, I will add historical context to help understand the story. In the end, I believe my Grandfather’s World War II experience is the All-American story of what happens when you “look” like the enemy.
My grandfather’s name was Takaichi Sakai. He was born on August 10, 1903 in Pahala, Hawaii. His father had immigrated from Japan during the late 1880s, making him a Nisei, or second generation Japanese American. He worked as a clerk for the Japanese consulate’s office until December 6, 1941.
The FBI Intelligence report I found in the National Archives in my grandmother’s file (Sato Sakai) laid out the case against my grandfather: more…
Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about Barack Obama, Donald Trump… and Christopher Abreu.
OK, Trump and Obama you probably know about. But who’s Christopher Abreu? He’s a senior at the University of Pennsylvania, about to graduate this spring with honors. But last week, he wrote an op-ed in the Daily Pennsylvanian newspaper in which he made disturbing allegations about a late night incident on the West Philadelphia campus.
“I was heading home at 2 a.m.,” he wrote, “which meant that students were stumbling out of bars and making their way back home as well.”
He says a drunk student asked, “Where can I get some fried chicken?… You look like someone who knows where you can get fried chicken.”
Abreu writes that he suggested they “try Wawa if you’re hungry.”
The white student yelled out to his friends, “I’m gonna go get some fried chicken! This n—– just told me where it’s at!”
If those words weren’t chilling enough, they remind me of something that one of the school’s most famous alumni, billionaire Donald Trump, who received an undergraduate degree from Penn’s Wharton School in 1968, also said this spring. Read the rest of this entry
This is pretty disturbing so watch the video!
Flo’s time in Los Angeles has been documented as part of a series of shorts called ‘Letters From America’.
Her LA adventure sees Flo catching some rays by the pool and driving through the sunny Californian streets.
Directed by Tabitha Denholm, the three-part series also shows Flo in New York and New Orleans.
Take a look at Florence’s Letters From America LA segment here.