survivor's fight evoked amid Trump immigration ban fallout
The memory of Fred Korematsu, a civil liberties campaigner who
fought against the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War
II, has come into focus amid the fallout from U.S. President Donald
Trump's immigration order.
Korematsu, a second-generation Japanese-American who was born in
1919 in Oakland, California, fought a legal battle against a 1942
executive order signed by President Franklin Roosevelt which began
the forced relocation and detention of Americans of Japanese descent.
He filed a suit against the federal government after being
arrested for refusing to comply with the internment order but lost
his legal fight in 1944.
His conviction was vacated in 1983 after another trial when a
San Francisco court recognized the internment program discriminated
against Japanese-Americans on the basis of race.
California designates Jan. 30 as Fred Korematsu Day. Google
Inc., headquartered in the western state, honored him by using his
image in a Google Doodle, a variation of the company's logo, on
Monday, which would have been his 98th birthday.
British news outlet The Independent also referenced a Korematsu
quote, "If you have the feeling that something is wrong, don't be
afraid to speak up," in relation to the controversial ban on the
entry of people from seven Muslim-majority nations.
Other media, both in Japan and abroad, also covered Korematsu
amid growing worries worldwide about Trump's Friday executive order
that prohibits entry of people from Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia,
Iraq, Iran and Libya for 90 days, and that of refugees from any
country for 120 days, which Trump says is necessary to protect the
nation from terrorist attacks.
The suspension reportedly covers a total of around 134 million
Korematsu, who died in 2005, contributed to the enactment of the
Civil Liberties Act of 1988, which offered an apology and
compensation to internment victims. (Jan. 30)