By Andrew Knippenberg
On Thursday Google unveiled an astonishingly controversial choice of Google doodle, the whimsical temporary alteration the homepage logo that hundreds of millions of people load each day. Go to Google’s homepage and you’ll see the funky horn-rimmed spectacles of Yuri Kochiyama, a Japanese-American activist who befriended Malcolm X and was iconically photographed cradling her dying friend after he was shot on February 21, 1965.
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Then she joined the black separatist group known as the New Republic of Africa, advocated for the blood-soaked Peruvian Marxist terrorist movement known as Shining Path, defended multiple convicted cop-killers, and praised Osama bin Laden as “one of the people I admire… I thank Islam for bin Laden.”
Some of Kochiyama’s activism is fairly uncontroversial. The Civil Liberties Act of 1988, signed by Ronald Reagan, granted $20,000 compensation to each Japanese-American interned after Pearl Harbor. Kochiyama, who spent three years in an internment camp in Arkansas, was well known for her activism for compensation and recognition for the forced evacuees.