Clarence Moriwaki was born to parents in Moses Lake, Washington. While
Moriwaki's parents were not
placed in an internment camp and while Moriwaki was born well after that dark period of American
history, Moriwaki considers himself linked to that awful event. Moriwaki asked his parents and their
generation why they did not fight that
injustice and speak out about their constitutional rights. He went on
to answer the question as being a problem of culture and the "incredible atmosphere" of the time created
by the President, and
people simply went along to go along.
After graduating from the University of Washington with a degree in communications, advertising and broadcast journalism, Clarence Moriwaki devoted his career to politics and power. He was a city council member for the city of Tukwila, and also ran unsuccessfully for the Washington State Senate. He then focused his efforts on political relations work; shaping narratives and messages and using the tools of media while organizing efforts to sway public opinion. From his LinkedIn page:
In English, Moriwakl means Forest Edge, and as principal and owner of Forest Edge Communications, Clarence Moriwaki has helped private and public organizations see the forest for the trees, helping tell their stories with effective communications and messaging strategies. Clarence is also the driving force behind the creation of a National Historic Site, the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial.
Clarerence Moriwaki served as a media strategist for the Clinton Administration's Northwest Forest Plan, Sound Transit, the Governor of Washington, Kitsap County, and then Representative Jay Inslee where he served as the special assistant to the Office of Congressman Jay Inslee. Moriwaki currently works as a media strategist where he runs a:
"consulting firm offering a full range of media and public relations services, writing, research and developing media plans and strategy, successfully helping public and private organizations get their stories and messages heard."
In addition to serving on various boards and speaking for
on the lessons of violating the rights of neighbors, Moriwaki also represents the
Bainbridge Island Japanese American
Community (BIJAC) and the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial and uses their social
accounts in his efforts. Moriwaki lists his specialties as:
Specialties: Media and public relations, strategic communications, writing, public outreach and speaking, event planning, political and public policy analysis, non-profit management.
Moriwaki friended next-door
neighbor, Richard Rynearson, on social media due to a common interest in Japanese American internment
invited Rynearson to meet for a drink, and gave him his phone number unsolicited. Rynearson
conversed for a couple of months on Moriwaki's Facebook page with Moriwaki "liking" many of Rynearson's
comments. In a discussion on Moriwaki's
public social media page about
the danger of President Trump rounding up American Muslims, Rynearson commented that
Jay Inslee had voted to legalize military indefinite detention of American citizens in America, without
or trial, and asked Moriwaki to support Senate Bill 5176
that would block President Trump's ability to
exercise those powers in Washington State. When Moriwaki ignored Rynearson's question as to why he did
help get the word out about the bill
(since it would help address the concern over Trump and American Muslims), Rynearson asked Moriwaki if
it was because
the bill sought to block the law put into place by both Jay Inslee and President Obama; that law
the NDAA of 2012,
which was unsuccessfully challenged in court by Karen Korematsu and others.
In response, Moriwaki deleted Rynearson's comment and said that while SB5176 was sponsored by his friend, Senator Bob Hasegawa, he took down Rynearson's post about the bill because Rynearson had made a "demand."
While Moriwaki claimed to support the bill in a message, and while he posts frequently and pens articles on behalf of the Memorial about Trump being a threat reminiscent of the 1940s, we can find no example of him ever condemning the NDAA of 2012 or supporting SB5176 which would block the legislation passed by his personal friend, and Bainbridge Island neighbor, Jay Inslee, and signed into law by President Obama.
Moriwaki further explained to Rynearson that his social media page was "like a party" he was hosting where Moriwaki could ask a guest to leave if they were making other guests uncomfortable. He then told Rynearson to "start your own party" and, after a few more incidents of deleting comments and related conversation, blocked him on social media.
Rynearson then started his own party to share his views with the public and made the one and only text/phone contact to Moriwaki at the phone number he had given him, asking him if he'd like to provide comment for his article criticizing Moriwaki's leadership of the Memorial. For the first and only time, Moriwaki told him to leave him alone and Rynearson responded:
“I understand you do not want me to contact you at this number you gave me. If you change your mind about a comment, you know how to reach me. Goodnight."