January 30, 2017

It's a good day to think about Fred Korematsu.



Google reminds us — not because of fear-of-dangerous-outsiders doings over the weekend — but because the man was born 100 years ago today. I presume this Google doodle was in the works before the election and would have run today if Hillary Clinton had been elected and thrown open the doors to Middle Eastern refugees.

Or... wait. What would Hillary Clinton have done? Remember when Donald Trump said Hillary Clinton "would bring in 620,000 refugees in her first term, alone, with no effective way to screen or vet them"? That was on September 20th. I'm reading that quote at Politifact, which rates Trump's statement FALSE.

But Hillary Clinton didn't throw it in our face that she was going to block entry into the country and subject newcomers to extreme vetting. That's what Trump did. Hillary had the kind of nuanced position that allowed you to think — if you liked her — that she'd have a big heart toward the suffering and simultaneously protect us from terrorists or — if you didn't like her — that she had no plan and no nerve to stop the influx of masses of people, some of whom hate the American system and want to kill us.

Not enough people liked her, the system we love made Donald Trump our President, and now he is shocking the people who didn't like him by doing what he said in plain language he was going to do.

But many years ago, a President who is revered by the kind of people who like Hillary Clinton issued an Executive Order excluding all persons of Japanese ancestry from the West Coast.



The Democratic Party's all-time favorite President, Franklin D. Roosevelt, decided to take action against all persons of Japanese descent because "the successful prosecution of the war requires every possible protection against espionage and against sabotage."

Fred Korematsu stayed where he was, in Oakland, California, where he was born. Soon enough, he got arrested:
Shortly after Korematsu's arrest, Ernest Besig, the director of the American Civil Liberties Union in northern California, asked him whether he would be willing to use his case to test the legality of the Japanese American internment. Korematsu agreed, and was assigned civil rights attorney Wayne M. Collins. The American Civil Liberties Union in fact argued for Ernest Besig not to fight Korematsu’s case, since many high-ranking members of the ACLU were close to Franklin Roosevelt, and the ACLU didn’t want to be perceived badly in time of war. Besig decided to take Korematsu's case in spite of this....
The ACLU — which is in the news today as it fights Trump's executive order — fought for Korematsu and ultimately lost in the Supreme Court. "Ultimately" is not the right word, because you could say that in later years academic and public opinion shifted strongly in his favor, and with enough distance from World War II, we looked with disgust at what FDR arrogation of power and the Supreme Court feeble response. Korematsu ultimately won. He's a hero of history, celebrated in a Google doodle on the 100th anniversary of his birth.

But that's not "ultimately" either. American history rolls on.

48 comments:

LarsPorsena said...

America was shamed in this instance by the the Japanese-American stoic acceptance of indignities at home and unparalleled valor on the field of battle.

The Muslims won't be doing this.

Earnest Prole said...

FDR’s concentration camps for Americans with differently angled eyes.

AllenS said...

Some good videos of BJ Clinton talking about removing illegals from this country back during his presidency, floating around. Nobody seemed upset about it back then. How about it, Libs?

khematite said...

Fred Korematsu was born on January 30, 1919, so today is the 98th anniversary of his birth. We'll have to wait two more years to celebrate his centennial.

Kevin said...

Like Obamacare, you had to pass Hillary to find out what policy positions she contained.

David Begley said...

AllenS

Waiting for CNN and MSNBC to run that clip. I saw it today and I thought I would vote for that guy.

Owen said...

Agree that Korematsu was a low point in Supreme Court jurisprudence. He was a citizen, you can't pick on citizens without good reason, and FDR had only raw panic as a reason.

Important to note that unlike Korematsu, the poor bastards being turned away by CBP under the new EO are not citizens and (as amended) not even holders of green cards. They are strangers under the law and we can choose, pretty much as we please, how to accommodate their interests. Or not.

IMHO.

rehajm said...

It's a poor day to think of Fred Korematsu unless you want to wish him a posthumous happy birthday.

Politifact should label this equivalence FALSE.

AllenS said...

Libs have a dirty double standard, Mr Begley. They don't mean a thing they say.

Michael K said...

Very few people are aware of the The Niihau Incident, and I have never been able to find out how much this affected the decisions of Earl Warren and the Army general who decided on the Japanese internment.

The Niʻihau incident (or Battle of Niʻihau) occurred on December 7–13, 1941, when Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service pilot Shigenori Nishikaichi (西開地 重徳 Nishikaichi Shigenori) crash-landed his Zero on the Hawaiian island of Niʻihau after participating in the attack on Pearl Harbor. He was killed in a struggle with people on the island.

The island's Native Hawaiian residents were initially unaware of the attack, but apprehended Nishikaichi when the gravity of the situation became apparent. Nishikaichi then sought and received the assistance of the three locals of Japanese descent on the island in overcoming his captors, finding weapons, and taking several hostages. Eventually, Nishikaichi was killed by Niihauans Benehakaka "Ben" Kanahele and Kealoha "Ella" Kanahele;[1] Ben Kanahele was wounded in the process, and one of Nishikaichi's supporters, Yoshio Harada, committed suicide.


The native Hawaiians apprehended him and the Japanese farm workers aided him.

Earl Warren, of course, is another Democrat hero.

Grant said...

"I presume this Google doodle was in the works before the election and would have run today if Hillary Clinton had been elected and thrown open the doors to Middle Eastern refugees."

On the contrary, I presume it was not in the works before the election and was run today precisely because of the current situation. As pointed out above, it's only his 98th birthday.

MayBee said...

Ironically, The Economist today has as their quote of the day:

Our quote of the day is from Franklin Roosevelt, the 32nd American president
"A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough"

Hahahahhahahaha!

The Drill SGT said...

But many years ago, a President who is revered by the kind of people who like Hillary Clinton issued an Executive Order excluding all persons of Japanese ancestry from the West Coast.

And the driving force behind the internment was California AG, Earl Warren, then running for Governor.

Note that the Japanese Americans were rounded up on the West Coast, where none were known to have spied, and not in Hawaii, where several spies did operate, but there were too many Japanese.

Mike said...

How dare Google remind the public what democrat policies did to immigrants and Americans of mixed ancestry. How dare they reveal the shame of FDR's dark side. What's next? Letting the truth about Wilson's first 100 days start seeping out? Then where does it stop! It's anarchy!

bgates said...

I'm reading that quote at Politifact, which rates Trump's statement FALSE.

Funny how lefties view the word "alternative" in the awkward phrase "alternative fact" as an admission of intent to lie, but think the "Politi" in "Politifact" just provides emphasis.

Big Mike said...

What would Hillary have done? I'm surprised you had to ask, Professor. The Clintons, both of them, pretty much do what the polls tell them to do. Since she was worse than Bill in this regard I think she would wait until there was some terrorist incident and then issue the same order as Trump. The press would support her because she's a Democrat.

Tough luck if you're one of the people killed in the attack. Unless the person killed is ARM, in which case karma.

tcrosse said...

Say, anybody remember that Obama rescinded the Dry Foot rule for Cuban refugees in one last hissy fit ? Not that it's cruel to send them back to Cuba, because Health Care.

tcrosse said...

What would Hillary have done ? Hillary would have been the best gosh-darn President money could buy.

Angel-Dyne said...

MayBee:

Ironically, The Economist today has as their quote of the day:

Our quote of the day is from Franklin Roosevelt, the 32nd American president
"A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough"

Hahahahhahahaha!


That's beautiful. Double hahahahhahahaha!

Michael K said...

not in Hawaii, where several spies did operate, but there were too many Japanese.

I think it was because there was not enough shipping and we needed all we could get. There was also internment of Germans and, I think, Italians but limited. The British shipped many thousands of German refugees to Canada which was ironic since almost all were Jews who fled Hitler. They probably had shipping capacity as the ships supplying Britain were coming back empty.

Stoutcat said...

"The Democratic Party's all-time favorite President, Franklin D. Roosevelt..."

Wow, that's a pretty sweeping statement, when the most beloved President, the man who could do no wrong, the most beloved, wonderful, amazing, intelligent, well-spoken, good-looking, and articulate President has just left the Oval Office. How soon we forget.

Oh, I forgot to add he was the Lightbringer, too.

Angel-Dyne said...

AllenS: Some good videos of BJ Clinton talking about removing illegals from this country back during his presidency, floating around. Nobody seemed upset about it back then. How about it, Libs?

Well, in Clinton's case, they knew this was just a holding stage on the way to a goal. Kinda like DOMA.

It's a waste of time to have conniption fits about lefty hypocrisy. You're not going to shame them; they don't give a shit. It's not hypocrisy to them, it's strategy. That's why people are happy that Trump is throwing the lefties' "stay on the offensive and never apologize" SOP back in their faces. It works.

MadisonMan said...

The Democratic Party's all-time favorite President, Franklin D. Roosevelt

Not like he won a Nobel Peace Prize or anything.

John Tuffnell said...

Robert Jackson's dissent in Korematsu is excellent.

This provides lots of background into the case:

https://www.roberthjackson.org/lesson-plan/korematsu-v-united-states-robert-h-jacksons-dissenting-opinion/

rcocean said...

Judas Priest so now we're going to re-fight WW2 again. And again we get all the virtue-signalers. "Oh, my the poor Japanese, I wish to God I'd been back there in 1942 to fight THAT INJUSTICE"

Hello, its 2017 not 1942 - that was 75 years ago. We let in far too many refugees from dangerous places what seem unable to assimilate into American society. We should be helping them live OVER THERE, not transporting them all HERE.

And my isn't it funny that all these billionaires and millionaires who benefit from cheap labor are care so much about refugees. What Humanitarians!

rcocean said...

Any overdue change to the immigration policy, trade policy, or refugees is met with hysteria, emotional rhetoric and bogus arguments. If we ban immigration from 7 countries for a couple months till we find out how to vet them, that's NAZISM all over again!!!

I wonder how long the MSM and left can keep up the phony outrage about so many things.

The Drill SGT said...

I think it was because there was not enough shipping and we needed all we could get.

Those troop ships (ex-liners) that took the Army and Marines to Australia came back to SF empty

Mac McConnell said...

Both Wilson and FDR interned Germans during wartime. Germans made up 36% of those interned during WWII.

FYI, holding a foreign national for less than 24 hours is not interment. Get a DUI on a saturday night and see how long you're detained. ;-)

Bob said...

Today is Korematsu's 98th anniversary, not his centennial.

I think we can be 98% CERTAIN that Google posted this because of Trump. It's incredibly naive to think otherwise.

MisterBuddwing said...

I think we can be 98% CERTAIN that Google posted this because of Trump. It's incredibly naive to think otherwise.

Who's being naïve?

William said...

Sen. Robert Taft of Ohio also spoke out against the internment, but he was a conservative so his opinion doesn't count........There was a lot of hysteria and suspicion in those days, and some of it was justified. When the Japanese invaded the Phillipines, it turned out that many of the locals were Japanese agents. Same deal in Norway. A lot of that country's German businessmen and tourists were Nazi agents......What is the proper lesson to be drawn from the Japanese internment? Should we extend trust or suspicion to Muslim immigrants?

Chad Brooks said...

I admire Roy Ryo Shiba. Mr. Shiba parents were immigrants to the US and their children was Nisei. However Mr. Shiba was born in Japan when his parents visited Japan in 1922. Because of this he wasn't allowed to enlist in the US Army. However, he persisted and persisted and entered the Army in December 1945. The war was over and I asked him why enlist after the end of conflict. For him it was a matter of principle. He wanted to show his loyalty to America. He served honorably interrogating Japan soldiers returning to Japan post war. He became of Department of Army civilian and continue to serve. I worked with him at Camp Zama in Japan in the 1970's where he became my mentor and like a second father. (He also served in Vietnam when soldiers were replaced by civilians). He was a great man and my hero.

khematite said...

The entire population of Hawaii was under martial law from the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 to late 1944. Approximately two thousand Japanese were interned/incarcerated during that time. In 1946, in Duncan v. Kahanamoku, the US Supreme Court declared post facto that the imposition of martial law in Hawaii, when the civilian courts were open and available, had been illegal.

khematite said...

The Drill SGT said...
And the driving force behind the internment was California AG, Earl Warren, then running for Governor.

And if that's not enough irony, one of the leading voices opposing the internment of Japanese-Americans at the time was FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, who denounced the policy as "utterly unwarranted."

Michael Fitzgerald said...

Before the internment, there was widespread collusion and espionage by people of Japanese descent, both issei and nissei, who supported the Japanese Imperial regime against the United States. This included Japanese fishing fleets sounding the ocean floor up and down the coast for Japanese submarines, Japanese farmers stockpiling weapons and ammunition and compiling maps and diagrams of roads, power stations, armories, defense plants etc in anticipation of a Japanese invasion, and Japanese organizations and banks such as Yokohama Specie Bank openly provided money and material support for the Japanese Imperial Army while Japan was conducting a brutal, ruthless war of conquest and aggression throughout the Pacific, and even after they had attacked Pearl Harbor, which was itself rife with spies and 5th column saboteurs who aided the Japanese attack on the American fleet stationed there. All this information is and has been a matter of public record and uncovered by congressional investigation during and in the years after the war. After EO9066, evidence of espionage and sabotage in the region disappeared. The fact is that it had to be done. We were a country at war, and a significant number of the populace on the west coast supported our enemies.

Michael K said...

Those troop ships (ex-liners) that took the Army and Marines to Australia came back to SF empty

Good point but I'm not sure they came via Hawaii. As it turned out, there were few Japanese spies in Hawaii but there were some.

The west coast hysteria was partly the lack of warning and the fact that Japanese subs did shell a few oil refineries near the coast,

Stephen said...

A very brave man. https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=10754198

A couple of points to recall.

1. The principal military report on which the Korematsu exclusion order was based involved extensive government falsehoods about alleged espionage by Nisei. Not unlike some recent unfounded statements by our President.

2. The exclusion order was later vacated as, among other things, having been obtained by fraud.

One might argue that history teaches we have an opportunity here to look hard at the evidence, rather than acting on the basis of prejudice, before the President acts on his various schemes. Cruel neutrality that treats all evidence as equally well founded, and refuses to name falsehoods when they appear, may be facilitating injustice.

Michael Fitzgerald said...

Drill Sgt @ 8:12- That is not true. There was plenty of evidence of espionage and material support for the Japanese military on the west coast.

Michael Fitzgerald said...

For those of you insisting that there was no evidence of espionage and support for Japan on the west coast, the Japanese language newspaper Rafu Shimpo testified to the existence of this, as well as admitting that much of their own staff were complicit.

JAORE said...

"Hillary had the kind of nuanced position that allowed you to think — if you liked her — that she'd have a big heart toward the suffering and simultaneously protect us from terrorists or — if you didn't like her — that she had no plan and no nerve to stop the influx of mass"

Nuanced position = any damn thing we want it to be, subject to complete and frequent flip-flops. But, at the same time, recognizing a level of brilliance far, far above the thinking level of you rubes on the right.

YoungHegelian said...

Ultimately" is not the right word, because you could say that in later years academic and public opinion shifted strongly in his favor, and with enough distance from World War II, we looked with disgust at what FDR arrogation of power and the Supreme Court feeble response.

I know you're the Law professor & I am not, Prof. Althouse, but here you & I disagree.

Korematsu is settled law, & unlike Dred Scott, there wasn't a little thing like the Civil War to change the ruling. In WWII, the populace was scared to death. We'd lost a good chunk of our fleet, the Philippines had fallen, the Japanese had conquered a huge chunk of Asia, as had the Germans Europe. The USSR was at peace with Nazi Germany. It was us & the British Commonwealth against forces that now had the commanding heights. It was an existential struggle that the American people were not sure they would win, & they knew in any case, hundreds of thousands if not millions of them would die in the effort.

If you think that under those same circumstances in the future, the Executive Office will not use its powers under Korematsu as it thinks necessary to protect the American people, I've got a bridge to sell you. And when it happens again, the American people will welcome it like they did the last time.

YoungHegelian said...

The USSR was at peace with Nazi Germany.

It most certainly was not in December, 1941. Matter of fact, it was in the middle of the Battle of Moscow. But, my point still stands -- the Soviet Union had lost an area about the size of the US east of the Mississippi & millions of soldiers & civilians were dead, wounded or captured by Dec. 1941. It seemed as if the USSR would soon be another captive nation of Nazi Germany.

I thank you all for not making fun of me in my dotage.

BN said...

Well, those were simpler times with simpler people. It's simply amazing we won that war at all with such backward thinking! I don't know how we did it! Just lucky, I guess.

We're much more sophisticated now, thank goddess. Although I guess we haven't won a war since then, but hey, war winning is so 20th century anyway. What's that compared to the simple peace we get from using whatever baffroom we want?

HT said...

O-wait. Are you saying Trump is the next FDR?!

Che Dolf said...

Michael K said... Very few people are aware of the The Niihau Incident...

At Instapundit, I posted something similar, commenting: "those who think Japanese internment should have been recognized at the time as self-evidently stupid and malicious may want to read up on the Niihau Incident."

The comment appeared at the top of the page at first. A couple minutes later it got hidden in the moderation queue. A couple minutes after that Instapundit deleted it.

Erik Axelson said...

Ironically, Fred Korematsu shared a birthday with Franklin Roosevelt, who was born on 30 January 1882.

Rich Rostrom said...

"Earl Warren, of course, is another Democrat hero."

Earl Warren was a Republican.

The mass internment in mid-1942 of 130,000 Japanese-Americans was an act of hysterical bigotry, incited by politicians and their cronies who wanted to steal the property of Japanese-Americans while they were interned. (They tried the same stunt against West Coast Italian-Americans who held valuable harbor rights.)

However, the selective internment in December 1941 of about 10,000 Japanese-Americans who were actual security risks (such as known members of pro-Japan societies, and young men who had studied in Japan and done military training there) was an act of rational prudence.

It remains to be seen what side Trump's order falls on. The near-total surrender of the immigration "establishment" to "open borders" fanatics and Middle Eastern migrants has seriously damaged the scope for "reasonable" immigration enforcement; that's how you get Trump.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Rich Rostrom said...
"Earl Warren, of course, is another Democrat hero."

Earl Warren was a Republican.

The two are not incompatible.