Rep. Duncan Hunter To Plead Guilty, San Diego Climate Experts At COP25, Cyber Monday Bigger Than Black Friday, And The Story Of A Man Who Said No To Japanese Internment
KPBS Midday Edition / December 2, 2019
San Diego Congressman Duncan Hunter is changing his not guilty plea to federal campaign finance charges. For months, the Congressman has been calling the charges politically motivated and labeling them a “witch hunt.” David Victor, a climate policy expert at UC San Diego is headed to the 2019 UN Climate Change Conference known as COP25 in Madrid and talks about the conference’s main priorities. Plus, Cyber Monday is becoming a bigger shopping holiday than Black Friday. Also, scientists are hoping to use oysters as canaries in the ocean to monitor the health of local estuaries. And, a man who stood up against Japanese internment is celebrated in a play at the San Diego Repertory Theatre.
Speaker 1: 00:00 Congressman Duncan Hunter is changing his not guilty plea to federal campaign finance charges and a notice on the court docket today. A change of plea hearing is scheduled for tomorrow. Hunter and his wife in a separate court proceeding are charged with spending nearly $200,000 of campaign funds for personal use for months. The Congressman has been calling the charges politically motivated and labeling them a witch hunt. KPBS reporter Prius Sharifa spoke with one of Hunter's attorneys about his changing plea and Priya, welcome. Thanks for having me. So is Congressman Hunter going to plead guilty to charges of campaign finance embezzlement? He will be
Speaker 2: 00:40 pleading guilty to one charge of misuse of his own campaign funds. It's important to remember that he was charged with 60 criminal counts, but his wife Margaret back in June also pled guilty to one charge. So he's essentially doing the same thing that she did and will likely be facing the same sentencing that she will also be facing in April. And that's up to five years in prison.
Speaker 1: 01:04 Do we know what prompted the change of plea?
Speaker 2: 01:06 Well, you know, I got a chance to listen to the interview that he did with Kay USI, um, earlier today. And he essentially said that the three reasons he did this were his three children and that obviously they've been in the public spotlight because he is a public figure, but he didn't want to put them through kind of the agony of going through a trial
Speaker 1: 01:25 and the agony of going through a trial might have something to do with the kinds of evidence that might have come out at that trial that could have upset his family. Tell us about that.
Speaker 2: 01:35 Right. So this all goes back to what we saw in the indictment, which was that the couple allegedly used more than $200,000 in campaign donations on family expenses. And there was a lot of details about what those expenses were. Some of them were as simple as, you know, gas, groceries, school lunches and things like that. But others, uh, you know, they were allegedly tied to him spending money on, uh, fairs and mistresses and buying a ticket for his pet rabbit to go from the West coast to the East coast. So I think just having all of that come out in the media again was something that he didn't want to put his children through
Speaker 1: 02:13 kind of sentence that Hunter faces if the court accepts this plea deal is why
Speaker 2: 02:17 is up to five years. And you know, he also mentioned in the interview that he's essentially hoping that the judge will sort of take pity on his wife and that she won't face any jail time and she can stay home with the three kids. So he said he's willing to, you know, accept responsibility for what he did wrong here and he understands that, you know, the buck stops at him when it comes to how his campaign money was used. And so he's hoping that he can be the one who, you know, is actually sentenced to serving time and not his wife.
Speaker 1: 02:47 We have a quote from Congressman Hunter speaking with K U S I news about the effect of his guilty plea on the 50th district race. And we're going to pass it off to whoever takes the seat next and we'll make sure that
Speaker 3: 03:00 that's a seamless Trent transition. Last year, uh, I was the only Republican to be elected to Congress in orange County and San Diego. I think it's important to keep the seat a Republican seat. Uh, president Trump right now needs support more than ever for a strong national security border security and good high paying jobs in this country.
Speaker 2: 03:21 So there wasn't even a question. If the Congressman had been sentenced, would he drop out of the race? He's obviously going to be dropping out of the race. Seems like he seems to be talking a lot about the transition. So it's unclear about one that's going to happen. I did ask his lawyer that and he wasn't able to give me a specific timeline, but it seems like the election is going to be happening in March, so there's a good chance he'll probably just stick around until somebody new is elected. And right there you hear him saying that it's important to him that a Republican gets the seat. And as many of you know, Darryl Eissa, Carl de Mio and Brian Jones are all, uh, have put their hat in the ring for that seat as well as Democrat Amar camp in Charlotte. And he's not endorsing any of those candidates.
Speaker 2: 04:05 Not yet. I'm sure that's something that hopefully we can ask him about in court tomorrow. We'd K S I did also ask him what he plans to do with his future. And he said that one of the proudest things, you know, we know he was a Marine Corps veteran, served three deployments and he said that some of his proudest moments as a Congressman has been fighting for the war fighters who were, in his words, wrongly prosecuted and incarcerated. So he's hoping to continue doing that type of work in the future. Now this is all expected to go down in federal court in San Diego tomorrow, right? Correct. And Duncan Hunter has used those opportunities in the past, those public opportunities to call the prosecution a witch hunt and maintain his innocence. What is he saying about those claims of innocence now? Yeah, you definitely saw a change of heart, uh, with him in this interview.
Speaker 2: 04:54 And you know, he said, I think it's important that people know that I did make mistakes. I did not properly monitor our account for my campaign money. I justify that plea with the understanding that I am responsible for my campaign and my campaign money. So this is really interesting because as you mentioned, you know, before he had really been pointing the fingers or it seemed like he was pointing the fingers at his wife and saying that, you know, this was part of a witch hunt. But I think now he's trying to change his tone a little bit. And that might be to hope that his wife doesn't get sentenced at all. I have been speaking with KPBS reporter, Priya Schriefer and thank you so much. Thanks.
Speaker 1: 00:00 Today, many of you may be doing some holiday shopping online rather than in stores for cyber Monday. In fact, consumer spending is expected to exceed that of black Friday signaling a big shift. And how we all shop here to talk more about it is Miro Kopech, SDSU marketing lecture, and cofounder of bottom line marketing. Mira, welcome. Thank you Jade. So how much are people expected to spend today compared with black Friday? Well, you know, if we really look at a Thanksgiving day and black Friday, there was actually $12 billion spent between those two days. Today we're expecting as a single day, $10 billion. Just a little shy of that, which is a record for any single online shopping day. So they're spending a lot. Wow. So how does that spending then impact the overall economy? Well, what we're seeing, you know, the, the fourth quarter is very important to retailers this year.
Speaker 1: 00:52 Um, over $800 billion or is expect to be sold during this window. It's all being driven by consumers. If we look back at the last several quarters in the economy, consumers, consumer spending is driven, uh, any economic growth, even though last quarter the, the growth was 2.1%. Uh, almost all of it was consumer oriented. Manufacturing is contracting services which represent 80% of the economy are slowing down. Uh, but consumers are still feeling confident. Uh, consumer confidence though it's declined the last couple of months is still relatively high. Unemployment is low and people have actual real wage increases in their pockets that they're translating into shopping. And today's one of those days because there, there have been real concerns of a recession looming. Um, does this spending indicate that we're okay? I think most economists, uh, at this point have, um, are a little less inclined to think there's going to be a full out recession.
Speaker 1: 01:50 There's going to be definitely a drop in overall GDP growth. Uh, but consumers again are, are driving this. So, so if consumers feel confident, then the economy's not going to decline. So unless there's external shocks. So last year, if we remember, uh, we were facing the government shutdown right about now. We had, uh, one of the worst stock market quarters in since 1931. So consumers were a little bit rattled. Last year's holiday shopping really didn't meet the expectations this year. So far as starting out with the bang. There was over almost $70 billion sold throughout the black Friday through Sunday. And that's a record. Um, and a 12, 12 billion of that was online. So impressive. So was record spending. I must ask, what are the smart buys for today? Huh? You know, I think, uh, some TV's are big accessories. Um, so, so consoles, so for PlayStation type of things, um, video games are huge.
Speaker 1: 02:48 That was one of the biggest sellers on black Friday for online shoppers. Apple accessories. This, uh, are our big today. Uh, iPods, seventh generation on, on several websites is down to hundred $30. AirPods are, are a big deal. A lot of retailers, especially target and Walmart who are trying to counter what Amazon is doing, are making them really attractive. And of course, apparel is a big, is a big seller. During the holidays it's probably close to the number one seller. And then gift cards are the discounts deeper today more so than they were for black Friday in stores? Um, it depends on the item. What retailers are doing on, uh, for cyber Monday is they have the flexibility to do more door Buster specials every hour, every 30 minutes. They're conditioning shoppers to come during specific times. So if you're, you have your wishlist on, on their, on their retail site, they're giving you that alert that that item is on special.
Speaker 1: 03:41 But if you want to do a little treasure hunting, um, you know, every hour on the hour, especially on an Amazon or some of the bigger retailer sites like target and Walmart, they're always putting out something new. They can't do that as effectively on black Friday. They'll have, you know, new new items on, in the morning, new items in the afternoon. But online it's every hour, every 15 minutes on top of everything else. You know. How does technology work with this? Like the type of of cell phone you have? Uh, does that impact what price you see when you go online to shop? Um, a lot of eCommerce retailers were using this concept called dynamic pricing several years ago where, um, the pricing would be generated based on your geography operating system, your, whether you were using a mobile device or your computer. Uh, but in mobile devices, what retailers have found is that iOS, Apple devices, consumers who have an Apple device, when they buy, they tend to buy a lot more per purchase.
Speaker 1: 04:38 Uh, they tend to buy things that are not on sale. So what retailers will be able to do is saying, if you have an Apple device on general, you probably get less generous discounts then if you have a different device. Although consumers are becoming much more savvy and they're shopping around beforehand, um, they, they weren't as aware and, uh, and so, uh, probably Apple phone owners, uh, paid a little bit more if they bought on their device. Wow. Uh, so how will productivity at work be impacted today's everyone else searches for those doorbuster sales? Well, what's fascinating is that, um, say five years ago, people were on, uh, you know, at work on cyber Monday and they would shop online on their work computer. So employers knew how much time people were spending not doing work. Now that over 60% of all searches are through a mobile device and, and, uh, over 40% of purchases are on a mobile device.
Speaker 1: 05:32 It's a little harder to tell. Uh, although, um, you know, if, if, uh, employees are missing deadlines, uh, that's, that's probably a reason I'd be an indication. So this year we saw stores like JC Penney's, uh, open at 2:00 PM on Thanksgiving to get a jump on black Friday shopping. But with cyber Monday, proving once again to be the bigger spending day. Do you think retailers will adjust how they do business? Is black Friday going to go away? How do you think this is all going to be impacted? Well, what's, what's fascinating is that consumers really, you know, with all the attention on e-commerce shopping, e-commerce shopping this year will only be about 17% of all holiday sales. Those, the retailers really want people to come in store. And, and most retailers understand that in this window of time, it's almost a zero sum game. If I can't get you to come in the store, I want you to buy online and I need you to do it sooner rather than later.
Speaker 1: 06:25 Because consumers have a fixed amount that they have to spend. They kind of have budgets this year, consumers are going to spend about a little over a thousand dollars on gifts and holiday items. And so, um, there's a lot of pressure on consumers, uh, to spend more to give gifts to more people. Uh, but generally they'll, they'll hold the line somewhere. So retailers, you know, start early on on Thanksgiving, like JC penny at two o'clock. Most of the big retailers, Macy's, target, Walmart, we're five or six or including, uh, best buy and, and, um, again, even though on black, on Thanksgiving and black Friday, the, the amount of total online sales were $12 billion that represented 21% of sales. That's a little higher than normal. So this window of time is where the big bulk of online sales are gonna occur. It'll kind of flatten out and be in the two to $3 billion range on a daily basis where most people are going to go to the malls. I've been speaking with Miro Kopech, SDSU marketing lecture, and cofounder of bottom line marketing. Miro, thank you very much for joining us. It was a pleasure. Jade
Speaker 2: 07:35 [inaudible].
Speaker 1: 00:00 San Diego researchers will Wade into a couple of local estuaries to deliver biological sentinels oysters equipped with sensors that will monitor the bodies of water. KPBS environment reporter Eric Anderson says the scientists hope to understand a habitat that can undergo dramatic changes in a matter of hours.
Speaker 2: 00:23 That's the easy part. Luke Miller holds up an oyster the size of two fists to the rural routine. San Diego state university researcher is handling the mollusks in a lab on the Scripps institution of oceanography campus and it says TJ for Miller and Gabriela Kobach are in the midst of attaching magnets to each of the oysters shells. Cover the sensor, but leave the number three. This callback is removing the slick coding on the shell of a wild caught oysters that'll give the glue that holds the sensors a chance to get a strong grip. When the oyster opens its shell to breathe or feed the magnets on each shell will separate the sensors attached, measure how much the shell opens and how frequently it happens.
Speaker 3: 01:13 But kind of reading it's giving. There is the, the measurement between this magnet and the sensor. So if I move the sensor around, we can see that reading kinda changes. So right now it's around three 90 but as I move the sensor, it increases
Speaker 2: 01:27 being able to record how often the oyster opens a shell is valuable, especially if researchers could compare the behavior to local water conditions. They want to see how a biological creature reacts to the stress of living in an extreme environment. Scripps institution of oceanography researcher Sarah Giddings says the oysters could help researchers understand how they cope.
Speaker 3: 01:50 An estuary is a perfect environment to do this study because estuaries are where you have the meeting of the ocean with often river flow or in some cases if no river flow, there's excess heating. What that means is that you have very strong gradients that are much stronger than you see in the open ocean.
Speaker 2: 02:10 Getting says estuaries can lose access to salt water, they can heat up, they can be inundated with nutrients and dissolved oxygen levels in the water can crash in a matter of hours.
Speaker 3: 02:21 And the key thing that we're going to do is make the link to the physical parameters. So the velocity. So the currents that they're feeling, the salinity, the temperature, and importantly the dissolved oxygen that they're experiencing.
Speaker 2: 02:37 Giddings hopes to expand and refine the project. Right now, data recorded by the sensors has to be gathered by hand. Researchers actually go into the field to collect data chips from a small computer that floats above a rope and anchor that holds the oysters. If that information can be transmitted in real time, scientists could record conditions and reactions as they happen.
Speaker 3: 03:00 If we do see a direct response to their environment that we could actually use these sensors in the future to learn more about the environment. So actually use the oysters to tell us something about the environment and start to think about other organisms and other locations where we could deploy them.
Speaker 2: 03:18 Researchers are releasing the oysters in the Los Penasquitos lagoon and the Tijuana river estuary. The mollusks have zip ties glued onto their shelves so they can be attached to a float or anchor that'll give scientists data from the surface and from the estuary floor. Miller says oysters can thrive there, but they also struggle in extreme conditions. And so in those cases, they will tend to just close themselves up, completely seal themselves off from the external environment and it out. Basically wait a couple of hours. Every once in a while they'll open up a little bit and test and draw on a little bit of water, see what it tastes like in some sense, whether there's any oxygen in it. The oysters are photographed before they're released to see how they'll do this winter. And Miller says he expects all of them to come back alive. We've taken these oysters from the original asteroids as I grew up and we're going to put them back in the same estuaries. And so, um, unless conditions get particularly bad during, uh, during the spring and winter and spring periods, especially, the oxygen drops particularly low, we expect that they'll survive just fine. The oysters are being deployed soon in the Tijuana river estuary and there'll be collected this spring. When that happens, scientists will put together datasets that help them understand just how the living creatures were affected
Speaker 4: 04:31 by the changes in the local estuaries.
Speaker 1: 04:34 Joining me is KPBS environment reporter Eric Anderson and Eric, welcome. Thank you. My pleasure. If these oysters stay closed up for a long period of time, is that going to indicate to the researchers that conditions are bad at the estuary?
Speaker 4: 04:50 Um, no, but it will indicate to the researchers though is that uh, this is how a living being reacts when there are bad conditions. Uh, one thing you may or may not know about some of the local estuaries, they're all very well monitored in Tijuana for example, uh, they have monitors that send data back to a satellite 24, seven. They have a couple of those in different spots in the estuary and it sends back data like oxygen levels. Uh, some of the things that we heard about in the story, um, uh, dissolved oxygen, the salinity of the water that's in there, the temperature of the water, all those kinds of things are already being monitored and they have been for years. What the oysters do is they add this biological component, right? We have a, uh, how does a creature react when the oxygen level drops? How does a creature that thrives in this environment deal with some of these extreme weather conditions? And that's really, uh, what they're looking at.
Speaker 1: 05:51 Why did the researchers choose oysters for this experiment?
Speaker 4: 05:55 Well, two things I think, uh, is that, uh, they don't move right? So you can put them down and once you put them down, they're in the location where you put them, uh, which is an advantage and, and it's easy to put a monitor on them and it's easy to measure their, uh, biological signs. So what the researchers did here was they put magnets on the shelves. When those magnets separate, it sets off readings on their instruments. Um, so it's very, very easy to measure when they open that shell and they open that shell to breathe, to feed, to filter water, um, it'll tell them a lot about what's going on, uh, in a pretty noninvasive way. And, and it's a creature that's not going to go anywhere.
Speaker 1: 06:33 It's going to stay put. Absolutely. Now we heard why they chose the estuary because there are sometimes extreme conditions there. Now I thought that estuaries were thought of as protective zones from maritime life. Is that wrong? It's not
Speaker 4: 06:49 terribly wrong. Um, the thing you have to understand about estuaries, it's one of those, uh, biological regions that are between two extremes, right? So we have the fresh water on one side, we have the ocean water on the other side, and this is kind of where those two bodies of water mix and match. And anytime you have, um, that kind of a volatile changing system, you have some really incredible diversity, uh, creates conditions that requires a specialized plant or a specialized animal species. And that makes them really valuable because they have all this diversity because of that environment changes so much. And, and yeah, many of them are protected. But that's doesn't mean that the conditions inside the estuary are not extreme. In fact, they're, they are extreme even in a under perfect circumstances, right? We think a lot about the Tijuana river estuary and, uh, the trash that it has to deal with and the extra sediment that goes through that, that estuary and the pollution, uh, the sewage tainted water, all additional stressors that that estuary deals with, but they're also monitoring Los Penasquitos lagoon, which is up the coast. It doesn't have that particular stressor. It doesn't have all the trash and the sediment and, and, uh, the pollution. But it does have the extremes in conditions there. And so there'll be able to look at a couple of different locations and measure what's going on in both.
Speaker 1: 08:18 Now, what happens after the experiment, when the oysters are collected next brain,
Speaker 4: 08:23 one thing about this experiment is that they don't get the data right now in real time. So they have these monitors that are on the oysters and they really only will get the data if they go out to the site and collect it directly. And that's not something that's going to happen, uh, on a daily basis. Uh, I think looking forward, they'll collect these oysters, they'll measure them, they'll see how they did, they'll check it against the biological data that they recorded, um, and they'll compare it to the other data that they recorded in the estuary and kind of see where those to match up and what the cause and effect was on that behavior. But I think what they're looking for in the future is, uh, getting some sort of a system in place where they'll get that real time data, whether it's a cell signal to a cell phone tower or a satellite signal to a satellite that will allow researchers to monitor what's going on.
Speaker 4: 09:16 So maybe what they'll say is like, Hmm, curious the oysters haven't opened their shells in 18 hours. Let me go look at some of the other data and see if there has been any kind of a dramatic change. It's kind of linking those two in a real time environment that I think is where they see the real big payoff. And if researchers do find that the environmental conditions are bad enough to cause a bad reaction in maritime lifelike oysters, is there any way to change that? Well, I think that they want to understand it is the key. What they're looking for is understanding how a living being reacts to these extreme conditions that they know exist that they know happen on a regular basis. And so I think that's where the real value comes in, and it'll allow them to perhaps look at these areas in a different way because they'll have this additional biological data that they can compare with the other data that they've taken in the estuaries. I have been speaking with KPBS environment reporter Eric Anderson and Eric. Thank you. Thank you. Appreciate it.
Speaker 5: 10:29 [inaudible].
Speaker 1: 00:00 Does America really mean what it says in the constitution? That's the question that started one man on a journey that defied the federal government and ended with a posthumous presidential medal of freedom. Gordon Hirabayashi of Japanese descent refused to enter an interment camp during world war II from in the belief that his rights at us as citizens should be protected. The story of his struggle is told in the one man play. Hold these truths. Now playing at the San Diego rep and joining me is playwright Jeannie Sakata. Gini, welcome to the program. Thank you so much for having me and actor Ryan. You welcome Ryan. Thank you so much. Now Jeannie, this story of Japanese Americans in turn during world war two has been told before, most recently in the musical allegiance, which premiered here in San Diego. But the story you tell is about one man who said no. Why did Gordon Hirabayashi refuse?
Speaker 2: 00:59 Gordon grew up in an environment where he knew that the promises of the constitution were not being fulfilled in his day to day life because of the racism and hostilities that were being practiced against people of not just Japanese ancestry, but of Asian ancestry as he was growing up. And yet the promises of the constitution meant a great deal to Gordon. He took them to heart very personally, and when the orders for an unjust racially based curfew and the forced removal of all people of Japanese ancestry on the West coast came up. He did not intend to fight these orders at first, but he just came to a realization that if he were to stand on the promises of the constitution and as a true Patriot, even at that young age, further the realization of those promises, he had to take a stand against those racist orders and against a lot of criticism and against a lot of resistance. He did that.
Speaker 1: 02:03 Now he also refused to obey a curfew imposed on a Japanese Americans and Ryan, I know there, there's a part in the play hold these truths where Gordon addresses that.
Speaker 3: 02:14 Yeah, yeah. Um, so I'll do that, that piece now. But Marina, I gonna ask you to help me out when I point at you, I'd like you to make a sound like a bell tolling, like a kind of clock tower kind of bong bong. Okay. I will do that. Okay, excellent. Um, yeah, so this happens right after the curfew was announced, which said that, um, all enemy aliens as well as non aliens of Japanese descent, which was a euphemism referring to Japanese Americans had to be endorsed at APM and Gordon was a college student then. And um, so every night at 8:00 PM he had to pack up his bags and leave the library five day shoot, uh, dash out into the pouring rain down the steps across the courtyard. If I run, I'll just make it past the fountain and the flag pole with the flag drooping in the, the flag. Then this question hits me, why the hell am I running back? I was born here. I was raised here. I'm an American citizen and some of my dorm mates, I mean
Speaker 4: 03:17 Jose's from the Philippines. Frank's British, Wang's Chinese and they're still at the library. Here I am scrambling like the Dickens to get back to the Gordy. Some guys from Phi Kappa Phi. Hey Gordy, eight o'clock time to go. Betty, bye Gore. Snap out of a crime in a your death.
Speaker 3: 03:38 See you later, Phyllis. I had back to the library, back to the courtyard, up the steps down the corridor to the left, opened the door. 11 heads pop up. Gaudy gold. What the hell are you doing? What are you doing Holly here now? What are you doing? Oh, we're studying it.
Speaker 5: 04:06 Yeah, well
Speaker 1: 04:09 I am too. That's actually Ryan, you portraying Gordon Hirabayashi in the play. Hold these truths. You just gave us a reading from that and thank you so much for that. Now Ryan, you as you obviously played Gordon, how would you describe him as a person?
Speaker 3: 04:27 To me, he's an American hero. He's a guy who did what he did out of principles and heart, but also he was so young and we all of us think we want to be the guy who when the bad stuff happens in our lives, we'll be the person who stand up and say no, would fight against it. Who would, you know, refuse to, you know, be moved to the back of the bus. We want to be that person. And you've just realized and seeing this and seeing the, the video and pictures from the time, just how hard that was. There's this picture of all these Japanese Americans moving across a bridge going towards M and a assembly center in Bainbridge Island. One of the first places where all the Japanese Americans were starting to be put away into camps. And um, you can see there's this flood of people, they're all moving down. There's this kind of FBI agent leaning on the side, casually watching them. And you can see how hard it would be to stop in the middle of that bridge to turn around against this tide of people and have the federal agents come in and get you. I mean, it's just the pressure was so enormous and to be able to, to say no at 24 and to keep that fight up going for the next 40 years is a feat, a monumental fee.
Speaker 1: 05:30 Now, Jeannie, after Gordon said no, his case made it all the way up to the U S Supreme court. That did not go well for him, did it?
Speaker 2: 05:38 It did not. There was a unanimous ruling against him as a matter of fact, which was hugely disappointing to a young idealistic student who actually believed in the Supreme court, believed that they would vindicate him even though the lower courts had convicted him.
Speaker 1: 05:54 How did Gordon react, Jeannie, to the turnaround this subject
Speaker 2: 05:57 40 years later when president Reagan apologized for the policy of internment? Well, when I spoke with Gordon, I think he said something that was quite profound. He said that his case, what happened to him in the 1940s and then in the 1980s when he was vindicated after 40 years showed the worst of America and the best of America. And I think that, I know that, uh, Gordon was very relieved of course, to have that decades-old conviction lifted from his life. And at the same time I've heard from people that knew him then that he was also disappointed that his case didn't actually go to the Supreme court again because he would have loved to have been then vindicated at the Supreme court level. But I think for many people in the Japanese American community who saw Gordon as represented representative of all of them, and for Gordon's family and his community and himself, it was a day of great victory. And also for the attorneys, the third generation sons, the attorneys who were my age, who fought a five year pro bono battle to vacate his criminal conviction. Ryan, you've starred in this show a number of times now. How do you think the relevance of this play has changed over the years?
Speaker 3: 07:18 In shocking ways. Jenny and Jessica, the director and I, when we started this plan, 2007 people would come up after and say, this is a nice history play, but it'll never happen. You know, this is, it was nice for you to bring it up. So it felt like a a little bit, they felt like something safe. A bit of a dusty Relic and we were performing this play in October when the election, the last presidential elections happened. I walked out of the performance to 27 text messages and an a different world and things that before in this play had elicited a response now elicited gasps, things. There've been vocal responses from the audience because it's screamingly relevant now that he says, you know, one line in the play, you know, ancestry is not a crime. And I never in a million years thought if you would have to say that in today's America, but he was prescient.
Speaker 3: 08:09 I, there was an interview when he was coming back for the, when they reopened the case in the 80s and they, they asked him, um, you know, why are you doing this again? A lot of people in the community don't want these wounds brought up again. And he said, I'm doing this, we're doing this. So that it will never happen again to any other group of people. And I saw this interview before the world had changed and, and you know, to me I was, Oh, that's a very nice sentence, but I didn't realize just how pressing it was.
Speaker 2: 08:34 Jeanie, as you say, it's more relevant now to if for the same reasons. Yes. I think that we could not have predicted that as the years went on from 2007 when we first premiered this play, that each year it would be more immediately relevant to what's going on in our country. Now, you know, with each year we've seen increasing racism and hostility towards people of color and their communities until we've reached today where the administration now is terrifyingly resurrecting hate language in a very effective way against people who are not white, not white Americans, against people who in the LGBTQ community against women, against people at the border. And we feel this very powerfully because being in San Diego and with hate crimes on the rise in areas where Trump has his rallies. So this is become terrifyingly relevant to our situation today. And I think that even the fact that Japanese Americans who are survivors of the camps, um, have been demonstrating against whether it's going on in the detention camps at the border, shows you that this is a story that is really timeless. You know, these racist forces have not gone away. If anything, they're stronger than they happen in many years.
Speaker 1: 09:58 The play hold these truths runs at the San Diego reps Lyceum space through December 8th and I've been speaking with playwright Jeannie Sakata and actor Ryan. You thank you both very much. Thank you. Thank you.