Korematsu Documentary to Be Shown at Rosemead Library

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ROSEMEAD — “Of Civil Wrongs and Rights: The Fred Korematsu Story” will be screened on Thursday, Jan. 30, from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the Rosemead Library, 8800 Valley Blvd., Rosemead.

Fred Korematsu (1919-2005) resisted and challenged the executive order that mandated the mass incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II. He lost his Supreme Court case but scored a victory in federal court in 1983. In 1998, Korematsu received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Bill Clinton.

Fred Korematsu in a scene from "Of Civil Wrongs and Rights."

Fred Korematsu in a scene from “Of Civil Wrongs and Rights.”

Following 9/11, people of Middle Eastern, South Asian and Muslim backgrounds became targets of discrimination and violence. Korematsu said at the time, “There are Arab Americans today who are going through what Japanese Americans experienced years ago, and we can’t let that happen again. I met someone years ago who had never heard about the roundup of Japanese Americans. It’s been 60 years since this happened, and it’s happening again, and that’s why I continue to talk about what happened to me.”

His birthday, Jan. 30, was designated Fred Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution by the California Legislature and then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2010 and has since been recognized in Hawaii, Utah and Illinois. He is the first Asian American to be so honored.

Hosted by the Asian Pacific Resource Center. For more information on the event, call (626) 573-5220.

For more information on Fred Korematsu Day, visit the website of the San Francisco-based Korematsu Institute, http://korematsuinstitute.org.

For a trailer and background information on the documentary, go to www.pbs.org/pov/ofcivilwrongsandrights/.

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