.
Remembering Gordon Hirabayashi, Japanese-American civil rights hero
Gordon Hirabayashi fought for the rights of Japanese-Americans, like those in this WWII-era California internment camp.
January 6th, 2012
01:42 PM ET

Remembering Gordon Hirabayashi, Japanese-American civil rights hero

By Stephanie Siek, CNN

(CNN) -  Twelve years before the U.S. Supreme Court decided separate was inherently unequal, and five months after a Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Gordon Hirabayashi took a stand that he believed would validate his rights as a citizen of the United States.

The son of Japanese immigrants, Hirabayashi lent his name to a landmark court case that challenged the U.S. government’s policy of treating anyone of Japanese descent as a potential enemy during World War II. Hirabayashi, 93, died January 2 in Edmonton, Alberta, after suffering from Alzheimer’s disease for several years, according to his son. Hirabayashi’s former wife, Esther, died hours later at a different medical facility in Edmonton. Hirabayashi was cremated, and a Quaker memorial meeting for worship is scheduled for Friday at the Edmonton Japanese Community Association.

"It’s a sad day, but I think all of us in the family are happy to see the recognition Gordon’s getting," said his nephew, Lane Hirabayashi, a UCLA anthropologist who is co-authoring a biography of Hirabayashi with his father, Hirabayashi's brother. "This can also be a time that people reflect on what happened. That’s really important."

Hirabayashi resisted a government policy that treated people of Japanese descent as second-class citizens with fewer rights. He was a 24-year-old student at University of Washington when he defied an executive order from President Franklin Roosevelt that mandated an 8 p.m. curfew for all people of Japanese descent living on the West Coast. The curfew was a precursor to the roundup of 120,000 Japanese-Americans and legal residents for transportation to internment camps.

Hirabayashi, an American citizen, intentionally violated the curfew and turned himself in to the FBI. He was arrested, convicted and sentenced to serve 90 days in a prison camp in Arizona. However, the local government told him that they lacked the money to transport him there from Washington state. Intent on serving his time, Hirabayashi hitchhiked to the facility instead.

He took his 1942 challenge of World War II-era restrictions on Japanese-Americans all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court in the landmark case of Hirabayashi v. United States. But in 1943, the court unanimously ruled that military necessity justified imposing an ethnicity-specific curfew. Hirabayashi served time in prison and in a work camp before being granted a pardon in 1947.

It would take until 1986 for a U.S. district judge to rule that Hirabayashi’s conviction was tainted by the U.S. government’s withholding of evidence that would have proved Japanese-Americans were not a threat. It took until 1987 for his curfew conviction to be overturned.

"He certainly instilled in me a strong belief in the values of integrity, and honesty, and justice," said Jay Hirabayashi, his son. "And sticking up for what you believed in, guiding your life by principles of respect for all kinds of people regardless of race or beliefs or religion, or sexual orientation. He was totally an enlightened man in that way."

In 1944, he married his girlfriend Esther Schmoe, who was white, shortly before serving a one-year prison term for resisting the military draft. A devout Quaker, Hirabayashi had earlier registered as a conscientious objector, citing his pacifist beliefs. But when the military asked him and other draft-eligible Japanese-American men to sign a discriminatory pledge forswearing allegiance to the Japanese emperor - to whom, as U.S. citizens, they had never had allegiance to in the first place - Hirabayashi refused. His twin daughters were born while he was in jail.

After being released, Hirabayashi went on to earn his Ph. D. in sociology at the University of Washington, and taught at American University of Beirut and the American University of Cairo before moving to the University of Alberta in Canada in 1959. He remained there, eventually becoming a department chairman before his retirement in 1983. Much of Hirabayashi’s professional work focused on minorities and their integration as well as social change in the Middle East.

"He was a great lecturer, so whenever I did something wrong, like get in trouble with school – he was a pacifist, so he never used any physical punishment, it was all words," Jay Hirabayashi said. "He'd lecture me, sometimes for hours. In the beginning I'd be sullen and angry, but after a few hours I'd be in total agreement with him."

In addition to his son and nephew, Gordon Hirabayashi is survived by his wife, Susan Carnahan, daughters Sharon Yuen and Marion Oldenburg, all from his marriage to Esther, brother James, sister Esther, also known as Tosh Furugori, nine grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

In telling his story to researcher Peter Irons, in the book "The Courage of their Convictions: Sixteen Americans Who Fought Their Way to the Supreme Court," Hirabayashi said the 1980s re-trials were a form of vindication.

"When my case was before the Supreme Court in 1943, I fully expected that as a citizen the Constitution would protect me," Hirabayashi said. "Surprisingly, even though I lost, I did not abandon my beliefs and values. And I never look at my case as just my own, or just as a Japanese American case. It is an American case, with principles that affect the fundamental human rights of all Americans."

Posted by
Filed under: Asian in America • Discrimination • Ethnicity • History • Race • Religion • Who we are
soundoff (96 Responses)
  1. Kouiti

    Hi Mantic, thought you might like to see our etaiclrs we've just published a review of NYCs best barbershops and have a similar feature on the classic barbers of London town too. Check out our NYC story here:

    April 17, 2012 at 9:07 am | Report abuse |
  2. jiangw

    See this here is why East Asian countries allow very few immigrants
    Diversity = disunity = weakness

    January 14, 2012 at 5:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      I thought China has 56 different ethnicity groups?

      January 14, 2012 at 9:07 pm | Report abuse |
      • someoneoneone

        they coexist, but they do not work together to what one would call a country.

        January 16, 2012 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
  3. George L.

    RIP, Mr. Hirabayashi.

    January 13, 2012 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
  4. BLKmanNAmerica

    RIP, my brutha. I pray God gives your family members strength during this time. FLY with the angeals.

    January 13, 2012 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
  5. DONTCARE

    WHO?

    January 11, 2012 at 9:09 am | Report abuse |
  6. Patrick

    Why doesn’t this man have his own Holiday?

    The same reason artists become more famous if they have an ‘early death’.

    January 9, 2012 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
    • kyle

      Patrick, Asians don't get noticed much, although the majority of us work very hard, we suffer more (i.e. affirmative action, discrimination). I'm not trying to compare Blacks, but they have an advantage. Affirmative action helps them get into colleges easier. For Asians, it keeps getting harder. But this is how America runs. I guess racism is in essence to how America is run.

      January 13, 2012 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Observer

    Race, class, etc. it's the law of the jungle (trumped by education and imagination). Scientists measured stress hormone
    levels in Baboons. The Alpha male had the least stress, the subordinates had more, all down the line. The Baboons that
    got beaten, beat up lower level "Babs" and their levels of stress went down. Bullying, racism, "class snotty-ism" is
    all the mechanics of the human reliving their stress, albeit in sometimes ugly, mob mentality ways. If one can understand,
    the dynamics, then perhaps they won't feel so downtrodden when a victim of discrimination. Hopefully, they can hold
    their head up in spite of it all, do what they can (organize, be vocal, change laws, etc.) and push on in the game of
    life. Don't let anyone stop you. Cheers.

    January 9, 2012 at 12:33 am | Report abuse |
  8. myka

    Some of the comments on this site are very very sad!!!!

    January 8, 2012 at 7:45 pm | Report abuse |
  9. just me

    it is ironic how europeans were percecuting fellow europeans, and jews in europe. and at the same time, european decents in america were persecuting jews, blacks, asians, and native americans.

    January 8, 2012 at 7:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Patrick

      You should learn a little more about history. “Blacks” and “native Americans” fought among themselves and took slaves long before Europeans got involved. Asians to this day still have a very ridged class system. Jews are known for being insular and not mingling with outsiders. Believing themselves a chosen people. In short no group holds a moral advantage over the other. Some were just better at it. Spear meet gun.

      January 9, 2012 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
  10. RACIAL VICTIM

    Whites are the ones that need civil rights leaders now. I have a letter stating my son can not go to some of his classes and he is only allowed to use the nurse's restroom. This is his punishment for reporting that he and other white kids were being targeted for daily threats and assaults due to their race. No one in the state or federal government would help us because we are white. Couldn't get any lawyers or the ACLU interested either.

    January 8, 2012 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • just me

      You're kidding right?

      January 8, 2012 at 6:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • myka

      First of all.....stop acting like attacks on black kids in whites schools is over.....the same thing happened to my younger cousin who is black.....some white kids was picking on him and other black kids in his school and the teachers at the school did the same thing to him.....they were not punishing to him they told him to stay away form certain areas to protect him from getting beat up again until they could resolve the situation.... No one in the state is helping him either......so its not just you! Kids who are different always get picked on race/weight/height and so many other things.....but unlike your son..... my nephew wont be a bitter person! Stop using this as an excuse to hate blacks! Even if your story is true! What kills me is how white people like you only care when it happens to you....would you have had any compassion for someone else prior to this situation.... probably not! So instead of using this as an excuse to scapegoat and be bitter at all black people you should work to get rid of all hate not just so called hate against whites! I
      guess we should go back to the "good old days" ....you know when whites had slaves......yeah I bet you would love that!

      January 8, 2012 at 7:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Patrick

      @ RACIAL VICTIM
      Being one of a very few whites in my area, I had a very similar experience in both middle and high school.

      @ myka
      Nowhere in his statement does he say attacks don’t happen to blacks. So you argument is moot. If you have a disagreement over what he DID say.. please let us know.

      January 9, 2012 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike Moore

      oh please...

      January 14, 2012 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
  11. Rizzo

    I wish the black community would embrace Dr Kings words and heritage and join the American culture rather than use him as some sort of free pass that separates them from the rest of the American Culture .

    January 8, 2012 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Ancient Curse

      I wish the white community would embrace Dr. King's words and heritage and join the American culture rather than use the actions of a few as some sort of free pass to separate blacks from the rest of the American culture.

      January 8, 2012 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • myka

      It sounds like you know "all" black people!!

      January 8, 2012 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rizzo

      Ancient Curse
      a few ? I call it the majority

      January 8, 2012 at 9:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rizzo

      myka
      Black people are like Bee's , not all bee's sting but the majority do

      January 8, 2012 at 9:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • DefyTheGods

      Tell me about it!

      January 13, 2012 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
  12. sorrytoreadthis

    Inherent racism will be the downfall of the US, anyone posting comments that justify the errors of the past need to look in a mirror and examine your motives. Come back to a more tolerant political environment – it was always your strength.

    January 8, 2012 at 9:31 am | Report abuse |
  13. penbooty

    Ahh, the good old days. When America was able to extract it's revenge without PC getting in the way

    January 8, 2012 at 8:11 am | Report abuse |
    • rzzzll

      j@ck@SS

      January 8, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  14. noolibs

    Oh no the terrible US government and what it did in the 40's during a world war...

    January 8, 2012 at 4:53 am | Report abuse |
    • penbooty

      America was never sorry for it, nor should they have been

      January 8, 2012 at 8:12 am | Report abuse |
    • rzzzll

      OMG you guys are pieces of sh/t. Go back to Nazi Germany.

      January 8, 2012 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ancient Curse

      Please don't speak for all Americans. Personally, I'm ashamed of our hypocrisy. We know better.

      January 8, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
  15. mikecorp

    I remember watching him when he appeared as a professional wrestler under the name of Mr. Moto. He was always feared for his sneak attacks. Many people became very upset by his anti-American comments, and thank goodness the late, great Johnny Valentine finally shut him up. The year was 1959 and the location was Island Gardens Arena, West hempstead N.Y., and I was there!!

    January 7, 2012 at 9:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tips

      Thanks for sharing your ignorance, Mike. Why don't you go troll somewhere else and show some respect for a man who made this country a better place to live (unlike yourself).

      January 7, 2012 at 10:18 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Texas Coyote

    If anyone asks yet again, why the OCCUPIERS all over the United States are protesting. Listen up!
    “You control our world. You've poisoned the air we breathe, contaminated the water we drink, and copyrighted the food we eat. We fight in your wars, die for your causes, and sacrifice our freedoms to protect you. You've liquidated our savings, destroyed our middle class, and used our tax dollars to bailout your unending greed. We are slaves to your corporations, zombies to your airwaves, servants... to your decadence. You've stolen our elections, assassinated our leaders, and abolished our basic human rights as human beings. You own our property, shipped away our jobs, and shredded our unions. You've profited off of disaster, destabilized our currencies, and raised our cost of living(while lowering our wages). You've monopolized our freedom, stripped away our education, and have almost extinguished our flame. We are hit...we are bleeding... but we ain't got time to bleed. We will bring the giants to their knees and you will witness our revolution! WAKE UP AMERICA! SUPPORT OCCUPY!

    January 7, 2012 at 9:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mimi too

      Amen, Bro!

      January 15, 2012 at 10:59 pm | Report abuse |
  17. dj shi'ite

    Hey everybody we have a music cdz addressing tha divide n conquer america itz love music to unite us ...we all need positive energy so to live

    January 7, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
  18. cbr

    Accept this article as it is written. The man deserves to be remembered for what he did. Gordon Hirabayashi was a hero because he defended his rights as a United States citizen for all to see. He was a citizen as were hundreds of others who were put into the camps. Fear drove the engine which allowed this to happen and FDR gave in to that fear.

    January 7, 2012 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
    • me138

      FDR was a racist plain and simple.

      January 7, 2012 at 6:38 pm | Report abuse |
      • Will

        Practically everyone was a racist back then. The few people who weren't were classified as Communists and blacklisted.

        January 7, 2012 at 8:57 pm | Report abuse |
  19. The anonymous

    Geez some of you need to take a look at your own comments and think about what you've wrote. All of you know which people i'm talking about.

    January 7, 2012 at 8:49 am | Report abuse |
    • jim

      "what you've written", not "what you've wrote"

      January 7, 2012 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
      • Ron

        Sorry Jim but I have to subtract two points: one for your lack of capitalization, and one for your lack of punctuation.

        January 7, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
  20. The anonymous

    Geez some of you need to take a look at your own comments and think about what you've wrote.

    January 7, 2012 at 8:45 am | Report abuse |
  21. MANWILLSTOPONEDAYJOKE(haha)

    MILLIONS TO BE ASSASSINATED FOR THE SAKE OF $$$ LIABILITIES(mk-ultra, chip implants, electroshocks etc. performed on them) AND NEW WORLD ORDER(multiculturalism = terrorism) POLITICAL AGENDA KNOWN AS "YOU ARE NEXT"(financial liabilities are 2 expensive for the government and it is cheaper to get read of you instead) !!! IF YOU WERE TREATED WITH ELECTROSHOCKS OR DRUGS USED FOR WIPING OUT MEMORY(numerous Americans and Europeans were and are) AFTER ENDURING FORCED CHIP IMPLANTS(or to retard individual = how homeless people are produced), YOU ARE SCHEDULED NEXT !!!

    NOW YOU KNOW WHAT ORWELLIAN UNITED STATES CONGRESS(USSR#2) IS SOOO BUSY WHEN PLAYING/CLOWNING(acting) IN FRONT OF CAMERAS ONLY HOW SOMETHING HAVE TO BE DONE(deliberately omitting/delaying facts of genocide as seen on this complain) !!!
    http://myshortbiography.blogspot.com/

    LEARN TRUTH ABOUT UNITED NATIONS, AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL AS WELL AS NEW WORLD ORDER(MULTICULTURALISM = TERRORISM) GOVERNMENTS(Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) !!! NOT THERE TO PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS, BUT TO DENY YOUR RIGHT TO EXISTENCE !!!

    ABDUCTIONS / FORCED BRAIN CHIP IMPLANTS / BLACKLISTING / FORCEFUL UNEMPLOYMENT / MK-ULTRA BRAINWASHING AGAINST WHITE(under "NAZI" lie) CIVILIAN POPULATION TODAY IN 2011/2012 ACROSS THE EUROPE AND NORTHERN AMERICA !!!

    http://myshortbiography.blogspot.com/

    WHY TO ACCEPT LIABILITIES FOR CRIMES COMMITTED WHEN WE CAN SIMPLY ASSASSINATE OUR VICTIMS(YOU) THANKS TO HUMAN RIGHTS ORGANIZATIONS AND FREE PRESS/MEDIA(most severe censorship of genocide ever !!!)!!

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_xGfYOAydjw&w=640&h=360]
    OR
    http://www.youtube.com/user/BostjanAvsec OBAMA'S HEALTH CARE RECORDED LIVE IN 2009 !!! These are hard facts about lunatic Obama/Bush's twilight zone administrations(HORROR) or genocide against whites per ZIONIST Washington DC and in complete agreement with communist Moscow !!!

    EXILING WHITES(US citizens) WITH EXTREME PREJUDICE AND IMPORTING NON WHITES IMMIGRATION REQUIREMENTS FREE !!!

    January 7, 2012 at 7:50 am | Report abuse |
    • sbp

      Please take your meds.

      January 7, 2012 at 8:21 am | Report abuse |
    • jim

      Hurry! The mother ship is coming for you in three days!

      January 7, 2012 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Ron

      They make pills for this type of disorder...

      January 7, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ancient Curse

      Look, I know that hearing people tell you that you might have a problem will only reenforce the belief that everyone else is brainwashed, but please, please consider just for a moment that you might need help. This level of paranoia isn't healthy, my friend. Please step away from the computer and talk to someone about how you're feeling. You don't have to live this way anymore.

      January 8, 2012 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • just me

      congraduations..you're a psycho.

      January 8, 2012 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Farias

    This is a good story and all, but let's not forget they did bomb Pearl Harbor

    January 7, 2012 at 7:32 am | Report abuse |
    • downinfront

      He was an American, and no, Americans did NOT bomb Pearl Harbor.

      January 7, 2012 at 7:45 am | Report abuse |
    • SP

      You are an IDIOT! Saying that he had something to do with Pearl Harbor is like saying White Americans had something to do with the HOLOCAUST.

      January 7, 2012 at 8:12 am | Report abuse |
    • sbp

      Yeah, and therefore, all Germans should have been locked up as well. Let's not forget the Germans started WWII. Unconsitutional denial of equal protection, and the Supreme Court just ignored that out of fear.

      January 7, 2012 at 8:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Clever

      It never ceases to amaze me how ignorant people are. Statistically, the largest ethnicity in the US is of German variation. Therefore all the Germans of the diaspora are Nazis and tried to exterminate Jews. Most likely you are of some German heritage. How ignorant!

      January 7, 2012 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
      • Patrick

        Why not? If you are 'white' then you were a slave owner..right? Funny how it's all PC untill the shoe is on the other foot. That said, the man was an American and I do not agree with putting Americans into camps and thier own country.

        January 9, 2012 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
    • gbailey

      if i may be so bold as to correct you. he did not bomb pearl harbor. his rights were violated and he was correct to take issue with that fact.

      January 7, 2012 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
  23. erin andrews perky breasts

    RIP

    January 7, 2012 at 5:38 am | Report abuse |
  24. Philip Chen

    The passing of this American hero shines a bright light into one of America's darkest corners; the persistent racism against Americans of Asian heritage. Dr. Hirabayashi took his heroic stand in 1942, and yet discrimination against persons of Asian heritage continue to this day in 2012. The recent deaths of Army private Danny Chen (no relation) and Marine Lance Corporal Harry Lew which apparently resulted from racist harassment bear sad testament that this stain on our country's honor remains. Never forget that this country has a codified history of discriminating against members of the yellow race. It was not until 1965 that the last laws specifically targeting Chinese from immigrating to the United States were lifted, They were called the Yellow Peril laws,

    January 7, 2012 at 5:26 am | Report abuse |
  25. jew zeus

    I remember him...his story was very inspiring. It realy made me focus on what we all should be able to focus on.

    January 7, 2012 at 4:57 am | Report abuse |
  26. weeknow

    michael..you need to leave MLK.,, out of this with your little brain at least MLK went thought the exact same White racist thing. the Moral of the the subject is Mr.Gordon Hirabayashi is a Civil Right's Hero,God Bless you ,name a White Civil Rights Hero or Leader?

    January 7, 2012 at 3:14 am | Report abuse |
  27. Chrism

    God bless him for his courage, patience, perseverance and teaching many including me. Thanks CNN for this beautiful story.

    January 7, 2012 at 3:03 am | Report abuse |
  28. darkguardian1314

    An amazing individual. Who would do what he did and hitchhike to a prison to serve his time? The Supreme Court ruled that it was justified in 1943. The court run by humans with all the trappings that goes with being humans including racial bias. It would take decades before they would correct the errors and admit fault.for the interment. R.I.P.

    January 7, 2012 at 1:22 am | Report abuse |
    • xnay

      FDR was behind it. Whether you like it or not

      January 7, 2012 at 2:57 am | Report abuse |
  29. nl20051405

    Is this an introspection about the World War II? No war, no peace!

    January 7, 2012 at 12:48 am | Report abuse |
  30. Fading Memory

    Hirabayashi wasn't the only American that made a lonely stand during that war. Colorado Gov. Ralph Lawrence Carr was the only Governor to apologize for the internment and tried to urge others to see them as American citizens. He lost his
    re-election because of it.

    January 7, 2012 at 12:15 am | Report abuse |
  31. annebeth

    I am thankful for people who had the courage like Gordon Hirabayashi, who stood up for all Americans, regardless of race. It amazes me that the USA & Nazi Germany were both rounding up people who were deemed to the an "enemy of the state" and placing them in concentration camps. I hope that we as a nation will never forget the wrongs of the past. RIP Mr. Hirabayashi.

    January 6, 2012 at 11:32 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Helene

    They need to make a movie about this!

    January 6, 2012 at 11:32 pm | Report abuse |
  33. Art Morath

    a true patriot... R.I.P.

    January 6, 2012 at 11:23 pm | Report abuse |
  34. Stephen

    You two lily white boys are disgusting.
    To Michael-I suspect you never heard of Mr. Hirabayashi until his passing. For you to choose this forum to disparage Martin Luther king shows you to be a lily white boy who thinks he's being clever.
    l-–y4all-You've not read the racist writings of your Mr. Paul, have you? Do a quick google search. Read them. Then offer up your apologies. Naw- just get together with michael and have a chuckle about how clever you two white boys think you are.

    January 6, 2012 at 10:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • RON PAUL 2012

      I'm asian and I support Ron Paul. He is not a racist, you are simply insisting upon something that he has categorically denied, and shows evidence of not being.

      Libertarians can fundamentally NOT be racists.

      January 6, 2012 at 10:57 pm | Report abuse |
      • ﺶCHEﺶ

        Nope! You can't be an Asian ....... period!
        No Real Asian call themselves asian with a small "a".
        You're a racist hiding as Asian.

        January 7, 2012 at 1:49 am | Report abuse |
      • AdmrlAckbar

        Gotta agree with ﺶCHEﺶ

        January 7, 2012 at 1:55 am | Report abuse |
      • Csiko

        Right, it's not racist because nowadays you wouldn't actually have to make federal laws so that states can't treat blacks like animals.

        Or would you?

        January 7, 2012 at 2:05 am | Report abuse |
      • Stephen

        @ RON PAUL-lol-White guy here that went through the 60's and 70's Civil Rights movement. It dismays me to read people from this generation defending racism. In this case I called two lily white boys...lily white boys. You're barking up the wrong tree.
        @guilty of being white-get over yourself. Your moniker "GOBW" reveals far more about you than you realize.

        January 7, 2012 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
      • Guilty_Of_Being_White

        Really Stephen? Do tell. What does my moniker reveal?

        January 7, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • asda

      Time to get the Anola Gay out of the Smithsonian and fire it up for another run.

      January 6, 2012 at 11:00 pm | Report abuse |
      • jimbo

        Yep and drop a bomb on FDR's grave.

        January 6, 2012 at 11:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Guilty_Of_Being_White

      Stephen,

      I'm white ( you'd probably call me lilly white), and from what I'm reading in that article, Gordon was a man of unusual integrity. I admire how he lived his life. I never heard of him until now, and I doubt most people reading this article have either. Please take a long look in the mirror. With your "lilly white" and "white boy" comments that flow out of you quite easily, you are most definitely a racist, regardless of anything Michael and l-–y4all said to incite you. I hope you grow up and out of that way of thinking.

      January 6, 2012 at 11:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • xnay

      Most of the time it is blacks treating other black like animals.

      January 7, 2012 at 2:59 am | Report abuse |
      • ﺶCHEﺶ

        Do your realized you have your brains turned backwards?
        Check the brain surgeon in the town. Pres. Obama have your ASS covered.

        January 7, 2012 at 8:50 am | Report abuse |
  35. Michael

    At least this civil rights hero is better than the other ones that we hail. MLK was an adulterous man who stole from his church.

    January 6, 2012 at 8:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ken Andrews

      Michael: Obviously you were not alive when King accomplished the amazing changes he did against staggering odds and vicious hatred. As a young white man at the time I must admit I was as ignorant then as you are now, but I had an excuse. There is no reason for anyone to be as backward as you are after what we have learned about the sacrifice that MLK made. Shame on you.

      January 6, 2012 at 10:50 pm | Report abuse |
      • Nah

        Don't feed the trolls. They eventually leave.

        January 7, 2012 at 12:50 am | Report abuse |
    • ﺶCHEﺶ

      Michael, you have the brain of a 2-yr. old. Need not say more!

      January 7, 2012 at 1:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Eh

      Michael, they may have been from different minorities, but they both fought for the same thing – justice and human rights. In that, these civil rights leaders deserve our respect. They forced the government to establish the precedent that all minorities should be treated like any other American citizen and not as second-class citizens.

      January 7, 2012 at 4:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Leif

      Could you be more obtuse? Give it a try. I am sure that you are capable of it.

      January 7, 2012 at 4:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Leif

      History passed you by, and you are trying to hitch a ride without a thumb.

      January 7, 2012 at 4:56 am | Report abuse |
  36. Liberty4All

    I find it interesting that CNN remembers a fallen civil rights leader yet ignores the ones that are still alive. i.e. Ron Paul

    January 6, 2012 at 8:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris Genovese

      My reaction to "Liberty4All"'s post: "..."

      January 6, 2012 at 8:47 pm | Report abuse |
      • ﺶCHEﺶ

        Thank You!
        You speak for the silent masses!

        January 7, 2012 at 1:42 am | Report abuse |
    • AdmrlAckbar

      You sir have honed your troll baiting skills!

      January 7, 2012 at 1:53 am | Report abuse |
    • The Questioner

      Ron Paul is on record as saying that the civil rights movement was unnecessary. And he has published viciously white supremacist newsletters in the past. Are you really that ignorant of his history?

      January 7, 2012 at 1:56 am | Report abuse |
      • jimbo

        He is definitely not a racist.

        January 7, 2012 at 3:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Leif

      I like Ron Paul, and even I have to say that you are more ignorant than GOP supporters of ilk like Bachmann and Perry, and that is saying something.

      January 7, 2012 at 4:52 am | Report abuse |
    • woodrow

      LOL. Ron Paul is against the Civil Rights Act of 1964. He believes if he job market is racist, it should stay racist. He who has the money rules the people.

      January 7, 2012 at 8:57 am | Report abuse |