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Fred Korematsu An American Civil Rights Activist For Immigrants

Posted last January 30, 2017, 12:30 pm in People report article

Fred Toyosaburo Korematsu (是松 豊三郎 Korematsu Toyosaburō?, January 30, 1919 – March 30, 2005) was an American civil rights activist who objected to the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. Shortly after the Imperial Japanese Navy launched its attack on Pearl Harbor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066, which authorized that all individuals of Japanese ancestry were to be removed from their homes and forced to live in internment camps, but Korematsu instead challenged the orders and became a fugitive.

The legality of the internment order was upheld by the United States Supreme Court in Korematsu v. United States; this ruling has never been overturned.[1] Korematsu's conviction for violating the executive orders was overturned decades later after the disclosure of new evidence challenging the necessity of the internment, evidence which had been withheld from the courts by the U.S. government during the war.[2]

To commemorate his journey as a civil rights activist, the "Fred Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution" was observed for the first time on January 30, 2011, by the state of California, the first such commemoration for an Asian American in the United States. In 2015, Virginia passed legislation to make it the second state and first commonwealth to permanently recognize each January 30 as Fred Korematsu Day.[3][4][5]

The Fred T. Korematsu Institute was founded in 2009 to carry on Korematsu's legacy as a civil rights advocate by educating and advocating for civil liberties for all communities.


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Executive Order Points - Trump Travel Ban

  • The order brings in a suspension of the US Refugee Admissions Programme for 120 days
  • There is also an indefinite ban on Syrian refugees
  • And anyone arriving from seven Muslim-majority countries - Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen - faces a 90-day visa suspension. Some visa categories, such as diplomats and the UN, are not included in the suspension
  • The order also introduces a cap of 50,000 refugees to be accepted in 2017, against a limit of 110,000 set by former President Barack Obama
  • Priority will be given to religious minorities facing persecution in their countries. In an interview, Mr Trump singled out Christians in Syria
  • A suspension of the Visa Interview Waiver Program, which allows consular officers to exempt some applicants from face-to-face interviews if they are seeking to renew their temporary visas within a year of expiry
  • Exceptions could be made on a case-by-case basis


Thoughts of the Editor

Today we are a nation divided and we see protests erupting in many airports across the country. President Trump has signed the Trump Travel Ban that enforces travel ban or entry into the United States of people coming from seven (7) Muslim-majority countries - Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen, with a 90-day visa suspension. Emotions are high at the moment and the news media can use emotions of people to become erratic and even overshadow the real essence of the law. If only we start to understand each other and first emphatize and sympathize with the thoughts and motivations of our fellows then we might begin to understand the root causes instead of taking to the streets blindly and then start calling each other with labels. In the many years in this country there are many lessons learned from wiser people and older that I have come into contact with in school or in the neighborhoods. We all want freedom. We all want security. Even prosperity is a goal for everyone. However, there are other things at play when we are in a melting pot of diversity. Even the most religious or God fearing of us who most of the time are being guided by the so-called better angels of our nature can unleash to become the monster because of the environment and other contexts of factors that interplay inducing the motivation to actions. FEAR of others who do not look like us or move, talk, dress, worship, pray, act, think, and even smell becomes the biggest factor to cause people to make their own personal assumptions towards the other person. SCARCITY also plays a big role because when people feel that this society is inherently theirs along with its resources and suddenly someone takes their place in line just gives a feeling loss. History repeats itself and it just so happens that now, perhaps, White America has reached a tipping point. No matter how we try to put ourselves in the shoes of others to make ourself understand what their thoughts are, we just simply cannot fully do. American society has always been a volatile one and as a melting pot of cultures and people it has to also boil.

(To be continued...)