May 19, 2016
Reproduced for educational purposes pursuant to Fair Use Copyright law (source)
On Thursday, Google honored Communist activist Yuri Kochiyama by featuring her on their webpage doodle in celebration of her would-be 95th birthday. Kochiyama died in 2014. In addition to her support for communism, Kochiyama was a vocal supporter of Osama Bin Laden after the 9/11 attacks. The decision abruptly sparked both praise and controversy across the internet – Kochiyama is an extremely polarizing figure. A WWII internment camp survivor, Kochiyama soon embraced a life of fierce activism, often characterized by violence and hatred for what she called American “greed” and “imperialism.” Kochiyama was a close friend of Malcom X and a prominent figure in the African-American Civil Rights movement, one of the only non-black Black Separatists, in fact.
But in recent years, she was known for her conversion to Islam and her shocking comments in support of Osama bin Laden after the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City.
In a revealing interview with The Objector, Yuri spoke fondly of Osama bin Laden (as well as other violent revolutionaries):
To me, [bin Laden] is in the category of Malcolm X, Che Guevara, Patrice Lumumba, Fidel Castro, all leaders that I admire. They had much in common. Besides being strong leaders who brought consciousness to their people, they all had severe dislike for the US government and those who held power in the US. I think all of them felt the US government and its spokesmen were all arrogant, racist, hypocritical, self-righteous, and power hungry.
She continued on delving deeper into her support of bin Laden’s intentions, showcasing her disdain for America:
I do not care what the US government or Americans feel--I think it’s shameful what this government has done from the beginning of its racist, loathsome history.
And today, when I think what the US military is doing, brazenly bombing country after country, to take oil resources, bringing about coups, assassinating leaders of other countries, and pitting neighbor nations against each other, and demonizing anyone who disagrees with US policy, and detaining and deporting countless immigrants from all over the world, I thank Islam for bin Laden. America’s greed, aggressiveness, and self-righteous arrogance must be stopped. War and weaponry must be abolished.
For this, google gave her a doodle.