LOS ANGELES – California Democratic Party Asian Pacific Islander Caucus Chair Clark Lee released the following statement commemorating the 2017 Fred Korematsu Day:
“On behalf of the California Democratic Party Asian Pacific Islander Caucus, we honor the legacy of Mr. Fred Korematsu in commemorating the 2017 Fred Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution in California, the first day in U.S. history named after an Asian American.
“Facing blatant racial prejudice in World War II, Mr. Korematsu challenged the President’s executive order authorizing Japanese internments and refused to submit to legalized discrimination. In his dissent opinion in Korematsu v. U.S., Supreme Court Justice Frank Murphy called it ‘legalization of racism’ and further wrote, ‘Racial discrimination in any form and in any degree has no justifiable part whatever in our democratic way of life.’
“Nevertheless, today, just ten days after Trump took office as President, the Trump administration has managed to issue discriminatory policies and promote outrageous rhetoric that threaten to erode the progress we have made and roll back the civil rights advancements we cherish.
“The spirit of Mr. Korematsu is more critical now than ever. Across the nation, we see everyday Americans taking action on the streets, at the airports, and in their neighborhoods – many of them becoming politically active for the very first time – in standing up against the Trump policies that seek to enact legalized discrimination of yesteryear. Here in California, we say a resounding ‘NO!’ to these policies and will fight against Trump’s prejudicial actions.
“America is a nation of immigrants. As Americans, we must stand up for our resilient democracy, celebrate our vibrant diversity, and protect the rights of every person regardless of background. Most importantly, we must not forget the ordinary women and men, like Mr. Korematsu, who stood up against prejudice in furthering justice and equality for all.”