Media Room

Minoru Yasui and the Fight for Justice Premiere

March 28, 2017

Thank you, Jim.
And good evening.
I am happy to be with you today to celebrate Minoru Yasui.
I have had the great honor to share his story with Oregonians many times over the past few months. I’m inspired not by just his actions, but the story of his entire family’s, as you’ll learn more about this evening. 
Many in Oregon and around the country have much in common with the Yasui family. They immigrated to America and made Oregon their home. They put their faith in the American way of life and their entire community prospered as a result. The Yasui family, through sheer size and a deep love for their community, became an integral part of Hood River.
Then, as we know, after 37 years of putting roots down in Oregon, their lives came to a sudden halt when bombs fell on Pearl Harbor and fear swept the country.
When Minoru sacrificed his personal liberty to take a stand for civil rights 75 years ago, he could have never envisioned how relevant his story and his bravery have become today.
My pride and gratitude for Minoru is tinged with a solemn understanding that the progress that we have made through sacrifices like his is fragile -- and under attack.
As the current administration flirts with reliving our shameful history of discrimination based on ancestry and race, I am reminded that we must stay vigilant. Under our watch, Oregon must not and cannot resort to dehumanizing our community members based on fear and hate.  I will do everything in my power as Governor to keep our state and our country a safe place for all.  I hope you  all  will join me in efforts to keep our state a welcoming and inclusive place for all who call Oregon home.

In short, we must always remember the words of Mr. Yasui, who said, “If we believe in America, if we believe in equality and democracy, if we believe in law and justice, then each of us, when we see or believe errors are being made, has an obligation to make every effort to correct them.”
I want to thank our Oregon legislators  for creating this time of observance.  To Rep Brian Clem, thank you for your leadership on this issue.
 It has turned out to be even more meaningful and important today than we could have known when the Min Yasui Day bill passed last year.
May tonight renew our commitment to work together to protect all Oregonians, regardless of the color of their skin, the language they speak, the religion they follow, or where they were born.
Enjoy the film.