Initiative on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders (WHIAANHPI) posted a celebration of Women’s History Month Friday honoring activist Yuri Kochiyama, who was a public admirer of terrorist Usama bin Laden.
Kochiyama was a Japanese-American activist for communism and racial equality during the 20th century. Kochiyama’s career as an activist was a controversial and volatile one. A victim of violent U.S. discrimination and an early voice for racial harmony, she also championed Chairman Mao’s Great Leap Forward and was an advocate for terrorists.
The WHAANHPI honored Kochiyama’s “political and civil rights” work but backed away from mentioning her support for bin Laden.
“I consider Usama bin Laden as one of the people that I admire. To me, he is in the category of Malcolm X, Che Guevara, Patrice Lumumba, Fidel Castro,” Kochiyama said after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. “I thank Islam for bin Laden. America’s greed, aggressiveness and self-righteous arrogance must be stopped. War and weaponry must be abolished.”