Different tension between East Coast and Los Angeles

Transcripts available in the following languages:

Am I resentful for the way I was treated when I was a kid? I was bullied by one guy when I was in 5th and 6th grade. But, you know, several years later, when we were graduating high school, it was just obvious that he was a dick. And everyone knew he was a dick. So am I resentful? No.

Actually, most of the race conflict that I encountered was when I moved to Los Angeles. There’s like this kind of underlying hatred on the east coast between white and black, but in LA it’s everybody. Everybody hates everybody. So at that time… I don’t know because on the other hand, when I was in LA, it’s the gangs and stuff and the associations of the groups that you’re in, they’re not necessarily race-based out there. On the east coast, it’s all ghetto-ized, and there’s white areas and there’s black areas, and it’s very, very clear. Now, there’s Asian and Mexican areas. It’s all very clear. In LA, everyone’s so mixed up.

When I was in high school and I was hanging out with all these gangsters and stuff, the set is defined not by race but by the area that you live in. So I’m Gardena-Hawthorne. So they’re mostly Samoans and Filipinos and some Mexicans and a few Blacks and a few Asians. I guess my resentment was more towards the Japanese Americans than anyone else. I’ve always resented them more than anyone else growing up. I don’t understand it.

Date: September 12, 2003
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Interviewer: Art Nomura
Contributed by: Art Nomura, Finding Home.

discrimination FindingHome identity racism

Get updates

Sign up for email updates

Journal feed
Events feed
Comments feed

Support this project

Discover Nikkei

Discover Nikkei is a place to connect with others and share the Nikkei experience. To continue to sustain and grow this project, we need your help!

Ways to help >>

A project of the Japanese American National Museum

Major support by The Nippon Foundation