Subversive Historian – 12/18/08

Korematsu vs. the United States

Sixty- four years ago on this day in people’s history, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the supposed constitutionality of Japanese internment camps. On December 18th, 1944, Justices handed down a 6-3 vote in the case of Korematsu vs. the United States. Considered one of the most important legal challenges to the camps, Fred T. Korematsu, a Japanese man born in the U.S., sued the government after having been arrested for not reporting for relocation. Rightly saying that his constitutional rights had been violated and that he was subjected to racial discrimination, Korematsu’s argument, however, did not prevail. Delivering the opinion of the court, Justice Black claimed that World War II justified the removal of all Japanese citizens from the West Coast. Vindicated by history, Korematsu would be awarded the Medal of Freedom in 1998.

Amazingly with this history, conservative commentator Michelle Malkin managed to pen “In Defense of Internment: The Case for ‘Racial Profiling’ in World War II and the War on Terror.” But as a Filipina, in this era of the so-called War on Terror, what if she was profiled and discriminated against for fear of potential ties to the Abu Sayyaf group? Just a thought…


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