In Remembrance of Fred Korematsu

100 years ago today, Fred Korematsu was born in Oakland, California. After being turned down for military service in 1940 for health related reasons he lost several jobs due to his Japanese heritage after Pearl Harbor was attacked. He underwent plastic surgery in order to pass as Latinx so he could work. Finally, Korematsu went into hiding to evade the internment camps. He was arrested in San Leandro and jailed in San Francisco. It was there that he was approached by the ACLU and the rest, as they say, is history.

Today is Fred Korematsu Day in a number of states:

Several states celebrate Fred Korematsu Day on January 30, Korematsu’s birthday. Established in 2011, the “Fred Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties & the Constitution” honors the legacy of Korematsu, who resisted Japanese American incarceration during World War II. He was one of three who legally challenged imprisonment, all the way to the Supreme Court.

The issuance of Executive Order 9066 in February 1942 allowed for the removal of any persons from Western coastal areas. Although EO9066 did not specifically target Japanese Americans, it paved the way for the forcible removal of those of Japanese descent from their homes and into camps. In March, “Civilian Exclusion Orders” were posted for all those of Japanese ancestry in Washington, Oregon, California, and southern Arizona. The majority of those of Japanese descent in the US lived in these areas and two-thirds were native-born citizens of the United States. When faced with having to report to an assembly center, Oakland, California-born Fred Korematsu chose a different path. Korematsu, a 23-year old welder, stayed in Oakland with his Italian American girlfriend. He even had minor plastic surgery on his eyes and changed his name in an attempt to avoid recognition.

For those interested, there are more resources at The Fred Korematsu Institute.

It is especially important to remember Korematsu, as well as what he and other Japanese-Americans went through given the current travel ban, attempts to change immigration law and end asylum by executive order, and build a wall solely because the president’s advisors needed a way to make sure he’d talk about immigration while campaigning and because the idea of immigrants, legal or undocumented, makes Stephen Miller feel icky.

From The Washington Post:

Long ago, Fred Korematsu was arrested in San Leandro, Calif., his home town, for defying an executive order that led to the expulsion or imprisonment of more than 100,000 Japanese Americans after Japan bombed Pearl Harbor.

He later went to the Supreme Court to fight it, much as others now oppose President Trump’s executive order barring people from seven mostly majority-Muslim countries from entering the United States. Korematsu lost in 1944 and, although his criminal conviction was vacated in 1983, the case was not overturned.

Until Tuesday.

More than 30 years after Korematsu challenged, for the second time, what is widely considered one of the most unjust government actions in U.S. history, the country watched another legal battle conclude this morning, when the Supreme Court issued its decision in Trump v. Hawaii. The court upheld Trump’s travel ban and overturned Korematsu’s case.

The irony is that Korematsu’s vindication came as the Supreme Court actualized his worst fear by “racially profiling of a group because they looked like the enemy,” according to Fred Korematsu’s daughter, Karen.

“The Korematsu court presumed people were dangerous because they were of Japanese descent. Today, it is because they are from a particular country,” said Erwin Chemerinsky, who is dean of the University of California at Berkeley Law School and once called the Supreme Court’s ruling against Korematsu “one of the worst decisions in history.” Neither assumption, he said, is rooted in equal protection of the law.

“In the majority opinion, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote, ‘Korematsu was gravely wrong the day it was decided.’ I think a future court will one day say [today’s decision] was a huge mistake,” Chemerinsky said.

“Korematsu may be overruled, but it’s not to be celebrated,” said Karen Korematsu. “Unfortunately with this decision, we are continuing to repeat history.”

For months, Karen Korematsu heard echoes of her father’s old warnings in the way Trump’s order cast suspicion on an entire class of people, and the way its defenders in court made claim to national security without citing any evidence against the people the order affected.

She was reminded that during the campaign, Trump promised a broader ban on Muslim foreigners — as well as a registry of Muslims living in the United States.

She was reminded that one of his top backers cited her father’s case as legal precedent for such things.

“Racial profiling was wrong in 1942 and racial profiling and religious profiling is wrong in 2018,” Karen Korematsu lamented. “The Supreme Court traded one injustice for another 74 years later.”

Much more at the link.

Korematsu was sent to the Central Utah War Relocation Camp in Topaz, Utah.

(Topaz Internment Camp Historic Marker)

(Topaz Internment Camp)

Never again must mean never again!

Open thread.








Saturday Morning Open Thread: Texas Judge Pulls ACA Ruling From Vulgar Bodily Orifice

This seems to be the most important fact about that ACA story *right at this very moment.* If you, or someone you know, has not yet been able to enroll — DO IT NOW.

While I am not an expert — and I assume people who are will be posting updates at a more reasonable hour — current consensus even among right-leaning pundits seems to be that Dubya appointee and Federalist Society contributor District Judge Reed O’Connor is making a noisy public display for his fellow true believers in the Invisible Hand. This is the everything’s-bigger-in-Texas version of the Republiclowns holding one last hearing on the Clinton Foundation before they lose control of the House (and, hopefully, the narrative)…


Read more








Friday Morning Open Thread: Skipping Town Before the Deadline

Friday the 13th fell on a Thursday this month, but there’s still plenty unfinished stories awaiting the Friday News Dump…

Some people aren’t gonna let him off lightly…

 
Speaking of deadlines, remember — Sharing is caring:








Friday Morning Open Thread: Value for Money


I know, I’m stepping on Dave’s turf, but I enjoyed the seasonal concept!

Speaking of seasonal themes, maybe we call this one “Mr. Potter bolts awake, screaming”:

Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters is proposing a new direction for the House Financial Services Committee, which she will almost certainly lead in the next Congress, Axios has learned.

Between the lines: The most notable proposed change: is lumping oversight of “International Financial Institutions” — which could mean anything from the World Bank to foreign banks — with the existing Terrorism and Illicit Finance subcommittee, while scrapping the Monetary Policy and Trade subcommittee.

As word leaks out about the proposal, it’s catching the attention of foreign banks. It’s a strong signal that Waters is not just talking about going after the likes of Deutsche Bank, sources familiar with the proposal tell Axios.

“[Waters has] not been shy about the direction and focus she would take if she got the gavel; she’s just now literally putting it in writing which got folks’ attention. Sort of like, “oh…she wasn’t kidding!”, the source who shared the proposal with Axios told us via text…

Other proposed changes to the House Financial Services Committee include dropping insurance from the “Housing and Insurance” subcommittee, and renaming it “Housing and Community Development.”

Waters also proposed to swap “Consumer Credit” with “Consumer Protection” for the current Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit subcommittee.

There’s also a new proposed subcommittee, solely focused on diversity and inclusion within the financial sector, as first reported by Politico Pro and Reuters

Politico reports that some of Waters’ fellow Democrats (wittingly or not) are doing their job to terrify the banking miscreants by telling them that the Scary Black Lady is not only capable of, but eager to, perform a financial colonoscopy upon those who’ve grown fat and lazy under the ‘rule’ of the current Thief-in-Chief. And the mere touch of Rep. Waters’ hand can shatter a healthy young man’s public esteem — just ask Michael Tracey!








The President Doesn’t Want US Military Personnel Deployed in Combat Zones; Fine, Order Them Home!

The New York Times dives into the President’s unwillingness to make a visit to US military personnel deployed in combat zones. Here’s the real important part of the article:

One reason he has not visited troops in war zones, according to his aides, is that he does not really want American troops there in the first place. To visit, they said, would validate missions he does not truly believe in.

There is a very simple solution if the President doesn’t want US military personnel deployed to these war zones or conducting these operations because he doesn’t believe that the US military should be conducting them: ORDER THEM HOME!!!!!

Every single one of these deployments, from Operation Inherent Resolve in Iraq and Syria to Operation Freedom Sentinel in Afghanistan to every aid, advise, and assist mission conducted by both conventional and Special Operations forces, to every lethal/kinetic Special Operations mission covered under JSOC’s remit are all conducted solely under the authority of the President. Either authority provided to the President by the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force or the authority the President has to order short term, renewable contingency operations as long as the President both notifies Congress about them and Congress is willing to fund them.

If the current President of the United States believes that these campaigns, operations, and missions are wrong, should either never have been initially authorized or not repeatedly reauthorized, and doesn’t believe in the missions, the US military’s ability to complete the mission, or some combination of these reasons, then he needs to issue clear orders ending these assignments and return the US military personnel deployed to conduct them home. There is no declaration of war that creates a constitutionally rooted, statutory requirement that US personnel be deployed to defend the US and its interests that complicates this. Right now there are Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Service civilians deployed in harm’s way. Leaving them to face danger, when the President doesn’t believe they need to be there is a gross dereliction of his duty. If the President doesn’t believe in the missions these Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and DOD, Department of the Army, Navy, and/or Air Force civilians are tasked with carrying out under his authority as Commander in Chief, then he needs to end them. Immediately. If he can’t bring himself to do so because he’s too much of a coward, then he has a responsibility to visit US military personnel deployed abroad, to attend to memorial services at Arlington and other national cemeteries and monuments, both within and without the US. If he can’t bring himself to do either of these – ending missions he doesn’t believe in or actually attending to his duties and obligations to the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Service civilians deployed in harm’s way under his authority, then he needs to resign.

We are off the looking glass and through the map!

Open thread.