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Fred Korematsu
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Advocate
    (January 30, 1919-March 30, 2005)
    Born in Oakland, California
    Challenged the constitutionality of Executive Order 9066 authorizing the removal of American citizens of Japanese ancestry from the West Coast and their imprisonment in internment camps
    Supreme Court ruled against him in Korematsu v United States (1944)
    Conviction formally overturned by the US District Court for the Northern District of California on the grounds of prosecutorial misconduct; specifically, that the Solicitor General had suppressed reports from the FBI and military intelligence concluding that Japanese-American citizens did not pose a security risk (1983)
    Ruling in Korematsu v United States formally overturned by the Supreme Court as part of its majority opinion in Trump v Hawaii (2018)
    He was rejected by the Navy for having stomach ulcers.
    After Executive Order 9066 was issued, he attempted to avoid arrest by having plastic surgery performed on his eyelids, adopting the name Clyde Sarah and claiming to be of mixed Spanish and Hawaiian ethnicity.
    He was so depressed about losing his Supreme Court case that he refused to talk about it for three decades.
    His daughter did not learn about what he had done until she was in high school.
    At a relocation center in Utah, he was housed in a former horse stall with a single light bulb and noted, ‘Jail was better than this.’
    At the internment camp, he was shunned by other Japanese-Americans, who worried that if they talked to him, they would be viewed as troublemakers.
    He filed two friend of the court briefs in cases challenging the George W. Bush administration’s indefinite detention of suspected terrorists at <14867>Guantanamo Bay<.14867>.
    He said about racial profiling, ‘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.’
    He received the US Presidential Medal of Freedom (1998), with Bill Clinton saying, ‘In the long history of our country's constant search for justice, some names of ordinary citizens stand for millions of souls: Plessy, Brown, Parks... to that distinguished list, today we add the name of Fred Korematsu.’
    He said, ‘Don’t be afraid to speak up. One person can make a difference, even if it takes forty years.’

Credit: C. Fishel


    For 2019, as of last week, Out of 22 Votes: 50.0% Annoying
 
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