by Fred Yamashita (whose family was interned at Heart Mt. Internment Camp in Wyoming)
A time to be or not to be
To reiterate my show of loyalty
My love of life and land
Is like that of any other man
Then why should we be denied?
We can’t trust the “slanty eyed”
This can’t be real, this tale of fiction
Still I salute the contradiction
That waves so bold red, white and blue
It stands for freedom and justice, for who?
A time to see or not to see
What has happened to my family
To my people so strong, so proud
The tears they shed aren’t heard aloud
But anger and confusion seeps through the soul
And what we want America to know
Is that we will endure despite and within
The laws you have forged to fence us in
We will fight for you
Unlock these yellow hands
And with our blood, prove to be
Fred Yamashita is the Southern Az Director of UFCW 99, United Food & Commercial Workers Union Local 99, in Tucson, Arizona. He recited this heartfelt poem at the SAJCC tour of the Gila River Internment Camp/Relocation Center memorial in Gila River, Arizona on January 24, 2015.