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Fighting in ParadiseLabor Unions, Racism, and Communists in the Making of Modern Hawaii$
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Gerald Horne

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780824835026

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824835026.001.0001

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The Trials of Racism and Radicalism

The Trials of Racism and Radicalism

(p.255) Chapter 14 The Trials of Racism and Radicalism
Fighting in Paradise

Gerald Horne

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter considers how the issue of racism was raised during the Smith Act trial in Hawaii. It shows that although the question of racism seemed to have no impact on the verdict rendered, it influenced the jury of public opinion as evidenced by the walkout of workers after the verdict. International Longshore and Warehousemen's Union (ILWU) lawyer Richard Gladstein and his colleagues, for example, had tried to fold subtly into their antiracist defense of Charles Fujimoto a civil liberties defense, making them seamless. Irwin L. Otterson's racial imprecations about Hawaii were equated with an anticommunist prosecution. At the same time, the ILWU itself was claiming that the prosecution “has as little regard for persons of Oriental ancestry as his assistants who displayed obvious contempt for Japanese, Hawaiian, and Filipino defense witnesses.” Whites were also overrepresented in both the jury pool and the jury itself—which was nothing new.

Keywords:   Hawaii, race, racism, radicalism, International Longshore and Warehousemen's Union, ILWU, Smith Act

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