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Fred Korematsu Day

Did you know that January 30th is Fred Korematsu Day, as declared by the California State Assembly in 2010? He’s the guy with the metal around his neck who show shows up above your Google search today.

More precisely, it’s the Fred Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution. Fred T. Korematsu is a civil rights hero and activist.

“During World War II, Fred Korematsu was arrested and convicted for defying the exclusion order at a time when persons of Japanese ancestry, including United States citizens, were ordered to live in concentration camps. Four decades later, Korematsu’s wrongful conviction was overturned by Judge Marilyn Hall Patel of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. In granting Mr. Korematsu’s petition for writ of error coram nobis, Judge Patel acknowledged in her decision that “a grave injustice was done to American citizens and resident aliens of Japanese ancestry who, without individual review or any probative evidence against them, were excluded, removed and detained by the United States during World War II.”

“Judge Patel further stated, “[Korematsu] stands as a caution that in times of distress the shield of military necessity and national security must not be used to protect governmental actions from close scrutiny and accountability. It stands as a caution that in times of international hostility and antagonisms our institutions, legislative, executive, and judicial, must be prepared to exercise their authority to protect all citizens from the petty fears and prejudices that are so easily aroused.”

We need heros today and every day in 2017!