Elaine Black Yoneda
Elaine Black Yoneda was the wife of Karl "Hama" Yoneda. Unlike her husband she was not of Japanese decent. After the attack on Pearl Harbor Karl and her two year old son, Tommy, were to be interned along with other Japanese Americans. Elaine was not officially included in the relocation order because she was white, but she insisted on accompanying her husband and child into the Manzanar internment camp.
Rights that was violated
"About 7:45am on December 8, 1941, three FBI agents came looking for Karl. I let them in without inquiring whether they had a search warrant, something I would have demanded if Japan's military attack on United States had not taken Place."
"...Though we were aware the imprending "evacuation" was a violation of constitutional and human rights, we also knew that if it suited the ruling, U.S. leaders, they would us the Armed Services and their guns without hesitation to round up all the Japanese descent..."
"The barren barracks with unpaned windows, lack of toilet facilities and the harsh gravelly dust storms all would have bad effects on Tommy."
"When the latrines were opened, the consisted of five toilet bowls in a row with another five back to back-no partitions or doors. One conner was to have some shower heads installed and another corner had five was basins."
"Tommy's boust with severe asthma and other illnesses caused many visits and confinements to and from the came hospital."
"On July 31 I had to take what became a seventeen day leave from work because of a painful rash and swollen arm due to the dyes used in the net strips. About sixteen others also had reactions. "
"James Oda active union member and outspoken antifascist was their first known beating victim...Complaints were lodged with the administration staff, but they did nothing...In fact, Ned Campbell assistant camp manager told Karl:'"Your are all Japanese and will have to live together."'
"Tommy's asthma grew worse and his attacks more frequent"
"Testing showed his high fevers and stomach disorders were the results of consuming food that caused internal hives to form"
"The question is often asked were there any psychological affects? Yes Tommy had nightmares, waking up crying...he came running home and asked:"'Will I have to go into another concentration camp because my other grandparents came from Russia?'"
On December 5, 1942 Japanese American Citizen League leader Fred Tayama was severely beaten. Tayama later identified many of his attackers, who were taken into custody. The next day crowds assembled to protest the jailing of the accused, which led to intervention by the military police who sprayed tear gas and began firing live ammunition into the crowd. Yoneda's testimony was written for the Los Angelos hearings held by the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians in 1981. Elaine and her husband was well known activist and was an active supporter for Redress-Reparations for Japanese Americans.
Elaine Yoneda had witnessed and experienced many situation of rights being violated and ignored. However she took it as her responsibility to help these people and make her story heard through peaceful protest. Through this she had help regain rights for Japanese Americans and herself.
All information on this page found from, Only What We Could Carry, by Lawson Fusao Inada