Support Fred Korematsu Day!
This petition had 260 supporters
In 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt passed Executive Order 9066, which ordered the round-up and imprisonment of thousands of Japanese Americans along America's West Coast. Families of Japanese Americans -- including both Japanese nationals and their American children -- were herded into temporary internment camps, before they were settled into permanent relocation camps that dotted the deserts of the Southwest. These camps boasted horrendous living conditions: families were forced to live in cramped one-room shacks, surrounded by barbed-wire fences and guard towers with rifles pointed inward. After WWII's end, many of these internees returned home, only to find their houses vandalized and their belongings ransacked or destroyed.
An American citizen who was born in Oakland, California, Fred Korematsu refused to abide by E.O. 9066. In 1942, he was arrested for refusing to report for internment. He was convicted in a federal court for violating a military executive order and forcibly interned at Tanforan temporary internment camp (set up at a former horsetrack) before being relocated to the Topaz camp in Utah. In 1944, Korematsu appealed his case in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on the grounds that E.O. 9066 was "racist". Korematsu v. United States became a landmark case in American legal history, with the Supreme Court ruling that E.O. 9066 was constitutional based on (supposed) military intelligence of Japanese American espionage.
In 1983, Korematsu successfully fought for and received an overturning of his federal conviction of refusing to report for internment. Yet, Korematsu continued to devote his life to fighting for the civil rights of unheard and oppressed minorities.
In 2004, Korematsu commented on racial profiling, saying: "No one should ever be locked away simply because they share the same race, ethnicity, or religion as a spy or terrorist. If that principle was not learned from the internment of Japanese Americans, then these are very dangerous times for our democracy."
Although Fred Korematsu passed away on March 30, 2005, his contributions to American history and civil rights will never be forgotten.
Please sign this petition urging Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to sign into law a bill that would make January 30th Fred Korematsu Day!
This petition was inspired by the efforts of the Korematsu Institute.
UPDATE: Fred Korematsu Day has been signed into state law in California! Thank you for your efforts!
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