Politics: Lockyer's Comments on Nakano

I was shocked to read state Sen. Bill Lockyer's comments regarding Torrance City Councilman George Nakano's campaign for the Senate against incumbent candidate Ralph C. Dills, as noted in the "Political Notebook" column (May 5).

Sen. Lockyer, in commending Sen. Dills for his then-unpopular opposition to Japanese internment camps during World War II, suggests that Councilman Nakano, as a Japanese American, should not run against Dills in deference to the senator's longtime alliance with the Japanese American community. I strongly disagree.

For too long, Japanese Americans have taken a back seat in the political arena, somehow escaping true empowerment as legislators. And Lockyer, who may have had only good intentions in making his statement, demonstrates an attitude that only helps perpetuate this lack of leadership in our community. Must we always be subservient, making way for others to speak out on our behalf? I think not.

Sen. Dills is a good man. He has been an exceptional leader, and he has been a good friend to the Japanese American community. But Councilman Nakano has every right to challenge him in the Democratic primary, and in doing so, helps to illustrate the principles of equality upon which our government is based. Sen. Dills spoke out during World War II to protect and uphold those rights. Councilman Nakano is exercising them in 1994.

MAS FUKAI Gardena city councilman

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