By Louis Chan
AsAmNews National Correspondent
The timing couldn’t be better.
Asian American civil rights icon Fred Korematsu is being honored today with a Google Doodle.
Anyone who goes to Google.com will see a Doodle of Korematsu, on what would have been his 98th birthday.
The Oakland native refused to comply with President Roosevelt’s Executive Order to report with other Japanese Americans on the West Coast after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
He was eventually arrested and convicted in federal court for violating a military order under Executive Order 9066. Korematsu’s case would become a test of the legality of the incarceration of Japanese Americans.
Many have compared today’s political climate for Muslims in the United States to that faced by Japanese Americans during World War II. With President Trump’s executive order temporarily banning the immigration of those from seven predominantly Muslim countries, the Doodle takes on extra meaning.
The idea of a Doodle for Korematsu goes back to 2015 when a campaign was launched by 18 Million Rising. It’s been renewed every year since.
Korematsu’s conviction was upheld by both the appeals court and U.S. Supreme Court in 1944.
The conviction was finally vacated in 1983 by the Federal Court in San Francisco after evidence surfaced that the U.S. Government suppressed information that Japanese Americans posed no military threat during World War II.
Everything came full circle in 1998 when President Bill Clinton awarded Korematsu the Presidential Medal of Freedom.