Frank Emi Defies the Draft of Japanese Americans During WWII – Drunk History

Frank Emi Defies the Draft of Japanese Americans During WWII – Drunk History

Hello, my name is Randall Park,
and you are about to hear a story about Frank Emi.
Uh…yeah. [bright music] So Frank Emi was born
in Los Angeles, and he worked for his parents’
produce market. And when Frank became of age,
the parents were like, “Okay, it’s time for you to
take over this fruit market.” And Frank was like,
“Sweet, because I got plans. I’m gonna live
the American Dream.” Then on December 7, 1941,
Frank Emi was listening to the radio, and he hears…
[mimics static] “Hey, everybody,
this is the radio, “and I have news for you. “It’s breaking news–the Japs
have bombed Pearl Harbor. “Don’t be offended
this is what–how– “this is how what we
call them right now. “We call them ‘Japs.’
It’s all good. And they just bombed
Pearl Harbor.” [mimics static] [chuckling] So–so he was like, “Oh, shit.
This is crazy, “but probably won’t affect me.
I’m an American citizen, “and I’ve been here
all my life. It’ll be fine.” And then a couple months
later from the bombing of Pearl Harbor,
Franklin Delano Roosevelt basically said,
“The Japanese are officially “a national threat
to the national security. And, yes, I used ‘national’
twice in the same sentence…” [belches]
Excuse me. “Therefore, we must put them–
round them up and put them in internment camps because
they’re too dangerous.” And then–and then, uh…
and then– Sorry.
I lost my train of thought. I was onto something. Oh, man, I’m, like, gone. So, like, basically Frank
was like, “Is this for real? This is mind-blowing.” And the next thing you know, it’s, like, a knock
at the door. [knocking] “It’s the–it’s
the United States of America.” “Uh, yeah, what do you want?” “Well, it’s time for you
to go to your– to your internment camp.” – They were a bunch
of Jeff Foxworthys? – Yeah, yeah, and they were
like, “You know you’re “a redneck if you’re walking
people into trains to get sent off into internment camps
and you don’t give a [bleep].” [laughter] And then they got rounded up
into these trains, and they head off to Wyoming,
and then they get to this internment camp
called Heart Mountain. What a name, right,
for an internment camp. – How much heart was there? – No heart, no heart, no love.
– Just a mountain. – Just a mountain.
They should’ve just called it Mountain. So here’s this Japanese phrase,
“Shikata ga nai.” It basically means
“It can’t be helped.” – Shikata…
– Ga nai. – Ga nai.
– Ga nai, yeah. – Shikata ga nai.
– Yeah, that was right. So Frank is like, “No, this is–
we got to do something “about this.
We’re Americans. This is completely
in–unconstitutional.” And that’s when a soldier
comes up to him and is like, “Fill out this loyalty oath.” And on it, it has a bunch
of just questions. “Do you like hamburgers?” – Do you like hamburgers?
– Dumb questions, right? – Well, do–I know, I’m asking
you, do you like hamburgers? – Are you questioning
my loyalty right now? – No, I’m just asking
if you like hamburgers. – Cheeseburgers.
– Of course. – Yes, okay.
– You’re a [bleep] asshole if you want a hamburger.
– Yes, if you had the choice. – Yeah.
– Right. And then he comes to this
question “Are you loyal to the United States?” And he’s like, “Whoa,
wait a minute. “You just, like, stripped us
of our rights and privileges “as citizens of this–
of the United States, and now you’re asking us
if we’re loyal?” So Frank stood up,
and he’s like, “Under the present
circumstances, I cannot and will not answer
these questions.” – That’s so cool.
– Boss move. So he starts posting flyers
all around the camps. “Hey, everybody, like,
don’t check these boxes. Come with me and
defy this order.” And as he was hammering
this thing on a post, this dude comes up to him
and is like, “Hey, man, I’m coming with you.”
Frank Emi was like, “What’s your name?”
He was like, “I’m Frank Inouye.” and they were like,
“Oh, shit, Frank. “We’re both–
that’s kind of cool. But this sucks.” So why don’t we meet and figure
out what to do about this? And then the government was
like, “We need more troops. We’re gonna start drafting
Japanese Americans to fight in the war. Take it from a drunk guy
on, you know, on a comedy show on Comedy Central,
this is [bleep] ridiculous. So at that point,
Frank Emi was like, “Oh, hell no.
No, no.” This is when The Heart Mountain
Fair Play Committee was born. And their mantra was
“No shikata ga nai.” And they would say this.
No shikata ga nai. both: No shikata ga nai.
No shikata ga nai. No shikata ga nai. – They were now
this unified group that– and their main tactic
was to resist the draft. During these mandatory
recruitment sessions, the first thing they’d do is
send this pre-draft physical– don’t even touch it. Just return it empty.
– Yeah. – And then they, well, they
won’t be able to do anything. And then these U.S. Marshals
with guns, and they’re like, “You guys are under arrest.
Come with me.” So they came. “Comed”?
– They “comed” to the court. – They “comed” to the court. They were 63 of them
in this trial, and at this point,
these guys were, like, masters of the Constitution. So they were like,
“We’re gonna be okay.” And then this judge comes up. The first thing he refers
to them as is “You Jap boys.” Then they all realize,
like, “We’re done.” And they ended up
going to prison. So when all was said and done,
almost 500 men throughout all the internment camps
resisted the draft in some way. So eventually the war,
like, ends. So Frank Emi ended up
spending 18 months of his four-year sentence
in prison, and then in 1947,
President Truman officially apologized
to Frank Emi. Sorry we kind of screwed up. And he basically said,
“Thank you.” Yeah, yeah, yeah.
– Let’s help each other. – [mumbles]
We’re all the same. – Come. – I mean, not–
– We come the same color. – Let’s come together. – [laughs] – I came twice. [laughter]

100 thoughts on “Frank Emi Defies the Draft of Japanese Americans During WWII – Drunk History”

  1. David anyway lost his arm taking out a German machine gun nest while saving the lost battalion! And was awarded the medal of honor and went on to become a United States senator of Hawaii!

  2. Awe… it's like Black people taking the Knee at a football game for injustice…Now everybody hates football, even people that use to love the game P.S we all learning to luv anime….and dancing & singing

  3. whats funny is how the jews are ignored considering they are the ones who stole all the japanese assets and pushed for the mass internment also what is ignored because whites have been out of power in America for 100 years is the italians and germans sent to the camps too apparently CC doesn't want to offend the world jew congress pedos and sam commie star walton of Walmart who ran the internment program and became rich of the land grab

  4. So i guess we still haven’t figured out putting minority’s in camps was bad. Way to go us. We really gotta stop saying “we are number 1” at the olympics.

  5. US: "We can't trust these guys to stay loyal"
    Also US: "We can trust these guys with guns in chaotic situations where one traitor could throw the whole situation to hell"

  6. What the US Government did was in my eyes not very different than the Germans did. Except the Germans executed the Jews and I don't really know what they did to the Japanese American citizens so I'll leave it at that.

  7. I was super into this, and then my loyalty was questioned because I prefer Hamburgers over those with cheese on them.
    You cheese-enjoyers… so happy at the top, spitting on the Hamburger-minority from your ivory towers…
    Damn you.
    Damn You on this day!!

  8. OMFG!!! I love these drunk history episodes so hard I can’t stand it!!! You guys are geniuses!!!!!!!! It usually sucks so hard hearing drunk people talk unless you’re also drunk but with the reenactments it’s a whole new ball game!! WINNING!!!!!

  9. These drunk histories are really something. I learned a lot that weren’t taught in history class. Very refreshing. It’s kind like DLCs for games. ^_^

  10. America, if you aint white, you aint right. Or an American, regardless of how many generations you have had dating back living in the states.


  12. I know they're drunk and stuff but I just wanted to do a Japanese correction (I'm half Japanese btw) "It can't be helped" in Japanese is "Shouganai" not "Shi ka ta ga nai" 😂

  13. Honestly if someone renounced their loyalty to the US over being interred for essentially being a different race, I would get it.


  14. One, that guy isnt funny
    Two, they bombed us

    I guess you little pussy millennial dont care about your friends and family getting bombed during the most scary time in recent history for the entire world. Jesus Christ, next you snowflakes will fight for insect rights! Dont step on the ants man!

  15. The young Japanese American men that answered the call while they and they're loved ones were forced into internment camps, formed The 442nd Regimental Combat Team. THE most decorated unit for its size. They persevered, sacrificed, and bled and proved to the world they were American

  16. fuck the Japppppsss lol. Luck they were in America. Any other country would have just tossed them into the sea back then during war.

  17. It just reminds me of black people enlisting to fight a war for a country that despises them and when they come back they are still treated like third-class citizens and did not get all those nice benefits and incentives their white counterparts received.

  18. 442nd Regimental Combat Team. Go for broke. The most Decorated Unit in WW II, distinguished for Valor, in fierce Combat against the Japanese. They were Nissei, considered lost children of Japan, mostly comprised of Japanese Americans.

  19. You left out the part where Japanese "Americans " helped downed Japanese pilots in Washington state and Hawaii…

  20. You should talk about the 14,000 Japanese that DID sign the papers, and saw Action ALL over the world. Let's talk about the 442nd that single handedly earned 18,000 medals including 9,486 Purple Hearts, 4,000 Bronze Stars and 8 Presidential Citations (Five in one month of tough fighting in Italy alone), French Legion de Honnure, The Congressional Gold Medal, and get this- 21 MEDALS OF HONOR to 21 different men.
    The brave men, ALL Japanese descendants are second in combat totals ONLY to the 101st Airborne. But if you isolate the Nisei Unit numbers specifically, they preformed better than ANY other American Unit, bar none. Look at their actions on Hill 142 against the Nazi's. We threw 3 entire companies without success and the Japanese crew sent in the Nisei group and took that hill… That's a group of heroes that should be celebrated. Sitting in a cell and effecting NO CHANGE WHATSOEVER, and ONLY getting lucky because Truman wanted to tie up every loose end that could have made America look bad in the Communist Propaganda machine ISN'T heroism. This was the start of the cold war, and Truman needed Japan as a friend. And it's hard to make friends in the far east when you incarcerated their brethren against you supposed "laws"…

  21. Alternative title: "Use alchohol to help laugh at and cope with your personal racial, historical, or gender based trauma"

  22. It means something that in America a Korean-American could pay tribute to a Japanese-American. Our country has made many mistakes, but that's something.

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