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Governor Ralph L. Carr - Denver, CO
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Outspoken1
N 39° 45.138 W 104° 59.597
13S E 500575 N 4400265
Quick Description: Colorado Governor Ralph Carr stood up for the civil rights of Japanese Americans duirng WWII when this was a very unpopular stand.
Location: Colorado, United States
Date Posted: 10/6/2012 8:09:33 AM
Waymark Code: WMFEAT
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Ianatlarge
Views: 3

Long Description:

This monument will be found in Sakura Square, a Japanese-American cultural and retail center. The $25,000 bust and monument was dedicated in 1976 - Colorado's Centennial! The monument reads as follows:

RALPH L. CARR Governor of the State of
Colorado 1939 - 1943
In the hysteria of World War II, when
others in authority forgot the noble
principles that make the United States
unique. Colorado's Governor Ralph L.
Carr had the wisdom and courage to
speak out on behalf of the persecuted
Japanese American minority. "They are
loyal Americans," he said, "sharing only
race with the enemy." He welcomed
them to Colorado to take part in the
state's war effort. And such were the
times that this forthright act may
have doomed his political future.
Thousands came, seeking refuge from
the West coast's hostility, made new
homes and remained to contribute
much to Colorado's civic, cultural and
economic life. Those who benefited from
Governor Carr's humanity have built
this monument in grateful memory of
his unflinching Americanism, and as a
lasting reminder that the precious
democratic ideals he espoused must
forever be defended against prejudice
and neglect.
August 21, 1976

The bust appears to be slightly larger than life size. Gov. Carr is clothed in a traditional businessman's suite of the 1940s. The granite plinth is engraved on both sides. I have transcribed the English inscription. I do not know what the Japanese text states.

While Carr's policies were aimed at dismantling the expensive bureaucracy of the New Deal, Carr still supported Roosevelt's foreign policy and favored American entrance into World War II after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. The war with Japan initiated a chain of events that bred discrimination and intolerance toward Japanese-Americans. In 1942 an estimated 120,000 Japanese-Americans were stripped of their property and possessions. These displaced citizens were resettled in land-locked states by the War Relocation Authority so that the supposed "yellow peril" could be contained. The question on many Coloradans' minds was not whether American citizens of Japanese decent should be stripped of their rights and put in internment camps, but where the camps should be. The overwhelming opinion of the populace was typified by a series of highway billboards proclaiming "Japs keep going."

One of the few voices of reason during wartime was Governor Carr, who continued to treat the Japanese-Americans with respect and sought to help them keep their American citizenship. He sacrificed his political career to bravely confront the often dark side of human nature. "If you harm them, you must harm me. I was brought up in a small town where I knew the shame and dishonor of race hatred. I grew to despise it because it threatened the happiness of you and you and you." Carr's selfless devotion to all Americans, while destroying his hopes for a senate seat, did in the end become extolled as, "a small voice but a strong voice." (Read the entire article from the above link.)

It took until 1996 for the Colorado General Assembly to honor Carr with a resolution in appreciation of his “efforts to protect Americans of Japanese descent during World War II.” In 1999 The Denver Post named Governor Carr Colorado’s “Person of the Century” for his humanity and decency. The new Colorado Judicial Center being erected in Denver is named in his honor.

URL of the statue: Not listed

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