Tag Archives: Fred Korematsu Day

U.S. Rep. Mike Honda reflects on civil liberties, Fred Korematsu Day, and on his own experience as a Japanese American infant in a World War II internment camp

In this informal and candid conversation, U.S. Rep. Mike Honda, (D-CA 17) talked to me a few days before his special guest appearance at the Korematsu Institute’s celebration of Fred Korematsu.  Honda talked about the importance of Korematsu as an historical example for all people who believe in the U.S. and its Constitution. He talks about his own personal experience as an interned infant, what he remembers and how it shaped his life. The conversation took place on Jan. 24, 2014 in San Jose, CA.


Honda Internment2



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So you missed Fred T. Korematsu Day in California on Sunday? And you had the day off too. Here’s why all Americans should care: Have you been korematsued?

Who’s Fred T.Korematsu? If you know who Rosa Parks is, you should know Fred.

I’m coining a phrase to rival the Greek King Pyrrhus, who when prevailing after the Romans in 279 BC is said to have uttered, “Another such victory and we are surely undone.” Or something like that, my tape recorder wasn’t working that well in 279 BC.

So Pyrrhus had his victory. And so did Fred. I call it being “korematsued.”

As you may know, Fred is the man who stood up to the U.S. government’s internment order of Japanese Americans during WWII. He fought the order and had his conviction was overturned.  A victory? Not 100 percent. 

He was korematsued. And that’s why we all need to care about him and his story to this day.

Find out more by reading my Amok column at  www.aaldef.org/blog