Yesterday was Fred T. Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution in California. This 1998 recipient of the Medal of Freedom is being honored for his long struggle to right wrongs done to him – and thousands of other Japanese-Americans – when they were interned in camps during the Second World War.
Korematsu family before the war. Fred is third from the left.
This story in the L.A. Times provides details on the particular struggle of Mr. Korematsu, who struggled against an unjust conviction for four decades, and refused to accept a pardon but instead fought for an overturning of the ruling against him.
Last year my daughter’s English class read a book about the Nisei, and that and this reminds me of one of the greatest strengths of our country – that though we have done wrong, we do own up to our mistakes and regret them.
This biography is available on the Korematsu Institute web site.
To my politically-inclined friends: I assume that there are ideological overtones to commentary on this subject, and I haven’t delved deeply into them. I suppose that it’s simply a “feel good” story for me, and that it can be taken as such.