Japanese-American's Legal Battle Recalled

Japanese-American's Legal Battle Recalled

When the United States government ordered more than 100,000 Japanese Americans into internment camps during the Second World War, Fred Korematsu, a 22-year-old defense worker from Oakland who was the son of Japanese immigrant parents, refused to go.

For this he was tried and convicted, in a case that went to the US Supreme Court. But Korematsu was determined to clear his name, and after a 40-year legal battle his conviction was ultimately overturned. In 1998, Korematsu was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in recognition of his long and unflagging defense of his rights as an American citizen.

His story is the subject of a critically acclaimed new documentary by Eric Fournier, "Of Civil Wrongs and Rights," which will be shown at Boston College Law School on April 9. Korematsu and members of his family are expected to attend the 3:30 p.m. screening in East Wing 115B and to take questions from the audience afterward.

"As a school with a serious commitment to social justice, it is particularly appropriate for Boston College Law School to show this film and host the Korematsus," said Law School Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Alfred Yen, who helped arrange the screening.

"History teaches us that forgetting about injustice opens the door to further injustice," he said. "It has been more than 50 years since Mr. Korematsu began his courageous fight against injustice. His presence on our campus reminds us all about the importance of vigilance against racism and the difference that a single person's courage can make."

-Law School Communications Manager Nathaniel Kenyon and Mark Sullivan


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