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The Legacy of Japanese Internment

The Legacy of Japanese Internment Examined

UCR Hosts Award Winning Journalist at "Issues and Dialog" Lecture Series

(January 19, 2006)

David Neiwert, one of the nation’s leading journalists on the subject of race, culture and politics, will discuss the legacy of the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II at UC Riverside on Jan. 23, 2006 at 12 p.m. in the Humanities Performance Lab Theatre.

Neiwert is the author of “Strawberry Days: How Internment Destroyed a Japanese American Community,” recently published by Palgrave Macmillan. The book tells the story of the creation and destruction of Bellevue, Wash., a Japanese immigrant town known for its strawberry farms. Through in-depth interviews, newly discovered documents and compelling storytelling, Neiwert unfolds the tragic story of how the town was destroyed by the advent of war and the paranoia that resulted in the imprisonment of thousands of American citizens. He also examines the racist schemes that prevented Japanese Americans from reclaiming their land when the war ended.

His talk, titled “Memory and Meaning: the Continuing Relevance of the Japanese-American Internment,” will focus on how race continues to be a critical subtext of American politics, affecting both domestic and foreign policies. He will also address contemporary questions such as has American democracy has been changed by the “war on terror,” is the American media doing its job of monitoring government actions, and is the expanding role of the executive branch of government threatening civil liberties?

Based in Seattle, Neiwert’s reportage for on domestic terrorism and right-wing extremism won the National Press Club Award for Distinguished Online Journalism in 2004. In that same year his Web log, Orcinus (, won the Koufax Award, the most prestigious award for online Web logs. His articles can also be found at, the Washington Post, MSNBC and other print and broadcast venues. His previous books include “Death on the Fourth of July: The Story of a Killing, a Trial and Hate Crime in America” and “In God’s Country: The Patriot Movement and the Pacific Northwest.”

Neiwert’s appearance is part of KUCR Radio’s “Issues and Dialog” public affairs series presented in association with UCR’s Division of Student Affairs, UCR Performing Arts Presentations and Asian Student Programs.

Louis Vandenberg, general manager of KUCR, says Neiwert was selected for the lecture series because of his commitment to his craft. “He is driven by a deeply felt passion to reveal truths that are overlooked or under seen. “He understands what the mission of journalism should be and practices it on a high level.”

Neiwert’s presentation will last about an hour and be followed by a colloquy with invited UCR faculty members. There will also be a question-and-answer session for audience participation. The event is open to the public but there will be a fee for visitor parking. Bag lunches are welcome.

During his Southern California visit Neiwert will also speak at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles on Jan. 21 and will be the featured guest on Ian Masters’ “Live From the Left Coast” radio program on KPFK 90.7 FM, Los Angeles, on Sunday, Jan. 22 at noon. Later that evening he will speak at the Universalist Unitarian Church in Riverside at 7 p.m.

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

A broadcast studio with fiber cable to the AT&T Hollywood hub is available for live or taped interviews. UCR also has ISDN for radio interviews. To learn more, call (951) UCR-NEWS.

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