Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 33

University of Wisconsin Press

WORTH READING

A Dark Chapter
in Our History

T

Review by Ronald Goldfarb

he 20th century had its share
of dark moments: world wars,
violent civil rights clashes,
McCarthyism, assassinations.
The internment of Japanese
Americans following the bombing
of Pearl Harbor is a shameful
episode in American democracy
and the subject of Setsuko's Secret,
written by former D.C. Bar president Shirley Ann Higuchi.
The history behind the Heart Mountain relocation camp in Wyoming is personal for Higuchi
- her family lived through it. For that reason,
the book offers a unique perspective, augmented by the author's access to archives and
family history. There have been other books on
the camps (I assisted with one that dealt with
the irony of imprisoning some of the detainees
for resisting the draft), but Higuchi's is an
important additional exploration of the subject.
In 1942 the U.S. government, stunned by the
attack on American territory by the Japanese
government, abruptly relocated more than
120,000 American citizens of Japanese descent,
mostly from California, to internment centers.
They were forced to evacuate their homes,
leave their businesses, and resettle in crude,
remote camps. Heart Mountain held more than
14,000 Japanese Americans.
Not until the war ended were the detainees
released. Some Japanese Americans volunteered for duty in the U.S. military, while others
went on to become public servants, such as
former U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman

Mineta, who was incarcerated at Heart
Mountain.
As Higuchi writes, this history demonstrates
a classic clash " between racism and reason. "
Understandable fears of sabotage led the government to blanket-blame some of its own
citizens by executive order, cataclysmically disrupting their lives. Decades later, President Bill
Clinton honored these victims: " Rarely has a
nation been so well served by a people it had
so ill-treated. "
The Heart Mountain camp is now a foundation,
led by Higuchi, that serves as a memorial for
those who endured that painful time. Later
reparations to the survivors were a moral confession, but that time cannot be forgotten
because its lessons are important today.
In cases now deemed shameful, the U.S.
Supreme Court denied claims that the country
had abused these citizens by bowing to hysteria.
Justice Antonin Scalia later said these cases were
some of the worst in the Court's history. " In
times of war, " he wrote, " the laws fall silent. "
I asked a friend who had clerked for Chief Justice
Earl Warren about the role he played during
this sad and sorry time. (Warren, attorney general of California from 1939 to 1943, strongly
supported the incarceration of Japanese
Americans.) " Yes, " my friend told me. " [Warren]
said you had to have been there then to
understand. "
That perspective is honest, if troubling, as we
have seen in recent history that " never again " is
an admirable slogan but not a lesson learned
and followed.

Ronald Goldfarb, an attorney, author, and literary
agent, is of counsel to Redmon, Peyton & Braswell,
LLP in Alexandria, Virginia.

DIVERSITY continued from page 15
changes require consistent action to ensure
that minority attorneys are treated the same as
nonminority attorneys in quality of work, performance evaluations, mentorship, and opportunities for advancement.
Wells, a Fellow of the American College of Trial
Lawyers, says " talent is talent, " and diversity and
inclusion is " the right thing to do. "
Judge Williams believes real progress has been
made over the years in increasing diversity in the
legal profession, but there is still a long way to
go. " I am encouraged by this next generation's
energy and ability to put themselves in other
people's shoes. I see good people working hard
at firms, government agencies, and the judiciary
to increase diversity, " says Williams.
" My colleagues have been great about listening
to my experiences, asking thoughtful questions, and taking action where appropriate.
I have a good relationship with my bailiffs, and
they have been really open and responsive, "
he continues.
" The reward for doing good work is more
work, " Judge Williams says. " So, we have more
work to do. "
Eric S. Steiner is a managing member of Steiner
Law Group, LLC and primarily practices in the
areas of commercial and consumer bankruptcy
and commercial litigation. Reach him at eric@
steinerlawgroup.com.
NOTES

1 Williams, J. C., et al., " You Can't Change What You
Can't See: Interrupting Racial and Gender Bias in
the Legal Profession " (Feb. 13, 2019), americanbar.
org/products/ecd/ebk/358942050.
2 Hunt, V., et al., " Why Diversity Matters, " McKinsey &
Company (Jan. 2015).
3 Randazzo, S., " Law-Firm Clients Demand More
Black Attorneys, " Wall Street Journal (Nov. 2020),
wsj.com/articles/law-firm-clients-demand-moreblack-attorneys-11604313000.
4 Bennett, Judge M. W., " Introduction to Implicit
(Unconscious) Bias, " 89 The Advocate (Texas) 35, 35
(2019).
5 Nalty, K., " Strategies for Confronting Unconscious
Bias, " 45 The Colorado Lawyer at 45 (May 2016).
6 Cummins, Judge J., " Diversity Is Our Advantage, "
Bar Association of Montgomery County, MD,
newsletter (Sept. 2020); see also n.1.
7 Center for WorkLife Law, " Bias Interrupters:
Interrupting Bias in Performance Evaluations,
Tools for Organizations " (2016), biasinterrupters.
org/wp-content/uploads/Interrupting-Bias-inPerformance-Evaluations-for-Organizations.pdf.

MARCH/APRIL 2021

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WASHINGTON LAWYER

33


http://americanbar.org/products/ecd/ebk/358942050 http://americanbar.org/products/ecd/ebk/358942050 http://www.wsj.com/articles/law-firm-clients-demand-more-black-attorneys-11604313000 http://www.wsj.com/articles/law-firm-clients-demand-more-black-attorneys-11604313000

Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021

Digital Extras
From Our President
Calendar of Events
Practice Management
Toward Well-Being
Staying Put in Big Law feature
A Sisterhood of Latina Lawyers Sidebar
Increasing Diversity & Inclusion the the Legal Profession feature
Cultivate Mentorships sidebar
A Tribute to Judge June L. Green feature
Delicate Balance for Black Women Attorneys in Government Feature
Falling Short on Disability Inclusion feature
Elusive Justice in Violence Against Native Women feature
Worth Reading
On Further Review
The Learning Curve
Member Spotlight - Marcia Madsen
Member Spotlight - Simon Zinger
ABA Delegates Corner
Attorney Briefs
Speaking of Ethics
Disciplinary Summaries
The Pro Bono Effecy
A Slice of Wry
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - Cover1
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - Cover2
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 1
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 2
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 3
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - Digital Extras
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 5
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - From Our President
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - Calendar of Events
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - Practice Management
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - Toward Well-Being
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - Staying Put in Big Law feature
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 11
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - A Sisterhood of Latina Lawyers Sidebar
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 13
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - Increasing Diversity & Inclusion the the Legal Profession feature
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 15
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - Cultivate Mentorships sidebar
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 17
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - A Tribute to Judge June L. Green feature
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 19
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 20
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 21
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - Delicate Balance for Black Women Attorneys in Government Feature
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 23
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 24
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 25
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - Falling Short on Disability Inclusion feature
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 27
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 28
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 29
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - Elusive Justice in Violence Against Native Women feature
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 31
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 32
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - Worth Reading
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 34
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 35
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - On Further Review
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - The Learning Curve
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - Member Spotlight - Marcia Madsen
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - Member Spotlight - Simon Zinger
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 40
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 41
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - ABA Delegates Corner
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - Attorney Briefs
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - Speaking of Ethics
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 45
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - Disciplinary Summaries
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 47
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - The Pro Bono Effecy
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 49
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 50
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 51
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - A Slice of Wry
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - Cover3
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - Cover4
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