On February 5, 2003, Congressman Coble (R-NC) stated on a radio call-in show in North Carolina that he supported the internment of Japanese Americans in World War II. During the radio show, Rep. Coble stated, “They [Japanese Americans] were an endangered species. â€¦Some probably were intent on doing harm to us, just as some of the Arab Americans are probably intent on doing harm to us.”
In 1988, the Congress passed the Civil Liberties Act and issued an apology and paid reparations in an attempt to rectify for the internment of the Japanese Americans. For Rep. Coble to suggest that it’s acceptable to forcibly intern 120,000 men, women, and children is reprehensible. “In these critical and difficult times, it is important that our political leaders remember to uphold the values of the Constitution to ensure that everyone is protected. Representative Coble’s remarks clearly illustrate his inability to fulfill this responsibility”, stated Jin Sook Lee, APALA Executive Director and Board Member of NAKASEC. NAKASEC has joined other Asian Pacific American and civil rights organizations in calling on Rep. Coble to apologize for his insensitive remarks, and resign from his current post.