America Lost a Titan in Our Country and a Fierce Protector of the Asian American Community in the Passing of Norman Y. Mineta

Advancing Justice - AAJC Issues A Statement
For Immediate Release
Michelle Boykins (202) 296-2300, ext. 0144

Washington, DC — May 3, 2022 — As the world learns of and reacts to the passing of the honorable Norman Y. Mineta, Asian Americans Advancing Justice – AAJC President and Executive Director, John C. Yang, issues the following statement:

“We have lost one of the most significant figures in American history today with the passing of the honorable Norman Y. Mineta. Within the Asian American community, he was revered not only for his distinguished years of service where he blazed trails for other Asian Americans to follow, but also because he stood up for our community at pivotal times in our history.

Among the many actions for which he was revered in the community, he secured an official apology for Japanese Americans who were incarcerated during World War II. At Advancing Justice – AAJC’s 2019 American Courage Awards, he spoke about those dark, painful days saying: ‘That moment in history may bond us together, but it is our shared love of this community and our deeply-held beliefs of fairness and equality as inherent civil and human rights, which remains fundamental…’      

When I became partner at Wiley Rein, Norm sent me a handwritten note congratulating me and expressing how delighted he was.  He was Commerce Secretary at the time, and yet he still had the time for those “small” personal interactions. He was someone who never forgot a name. He never looked past you or looked over your shoulder to see if there was someone ‘more important’ that he should talk to. He was genuine and cared about people, regardless of politics. He will be missed.”