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Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Public School named for Fred Korematsu

Earlier this month, the Davis Board of Education voted to name the school district's newest school after civil rights icon Fred Korematsu. The name -- the Fred Korematsu Elementary School at Mace Ranch -- "recognizes the contributions of a Californian who waged a legal battle to the Supreme Court and beyond, appealing his arrest and internment during World War II."

The public was invited to speak before the board made its decision. "Many speakers favored naming the school after Korematsu." For example, Loriene Honda, whose father was interned said, "As a resident of Davis, who is raising children who will attend the school, it's important to remember that even during a time of war, we do not agree with members of the community being scapegoated."

Mr. Korematsu, who passed away in March, will be best remembered for challenging the military order allowing for the forced exclusions of Japanese-Americans before the U.S. Supreme Court. The divided court sided with the government, thus sanctioning the blanket discriminatory treatment of Japanese-Americans. The case, Korematsu v. United States, 323 U.S. 214 (1944), is widely cited as one of the worst decisions in our nation's history.


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