Google’s Doodle on Monday paid tribute to civil rights activist Fred Korematsu, who fought against the United States’ interment of Japanese-Americans during Word War II.
In response to the bombing of Pearl Harbor, President Franklin Roosevelt signed the controversial Executive Order No. 9066, which forced thousands of Americans of Japanese descent to leave their homes and place them in designated military zones.
Korematsu, who today would’ve turned 98, refused to back down and instead relocated from his home in San Leandro, California to Oakland, according to the Huffington Post.
He was later captured and convicted of breaking military law.
But with the help of the American Civil Liberties Union, he appealed the ruling, with the Supreme Court against him 6-3 in Korematsu v. United States.
Justice Robert Jackson said in the original Supreme Court ruling that the only crime Korematsu committed was “being present in the state whereof he is a citizen, near the place where he was born and where all his life he has lived.”
Meanwhile, Justice Frank Murphy dubbed the executive order “legalization of racism.”
Former President Gerald Ford formally apologized and terminated the order in 1976.
According to Slate, Ford proclaimed: “I call upon the American people to affirm with me this American Promise—that we have learned from the tragedy of that long-ago experience forever to treasure liberty and justice for each individual American, and resolve that this kind of action shall never again be repeated.”
The conviction was vacated in 1983, and in 1998, Korematsu was awarded the Medal of Freedom, which the Google Doodle shows him wearing around his neck.
On Friday, Donald Trump signed an executive order suspending the admission of people from seven Muslim-majority nations from traveling to the U.S.
In response, Google CEO Sundar Pichai spoke out against the order, asking more than 100 employees affected by it to come back to the U.S.
According to Mediaite, Google co-founder Sergey Brin was also spotted at the San Francisco protest against Trump’s order, saying that he was present because he, too, was a refugee.
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