LANSING — State Representative Kristy Pagan (D-Canton) joined with the Asian Pacific American Legislative Caucus today for a presentation on Fred Korematsu, a Japanese-American who refused to go to an internment camp during World War II. Karen Korematsu, executive director of the Korematsu Institute and daughter of Mr. Korematsu, attended the presentation to serve on a panel of other experts in Asian Pacific American topics.
“As a member of the Asian Pacific American Legislative Caucus, I was honored to host Karen Korematsu today, as well as others from the nonprofit sector and educational field, to pay tribute to Fred Korematsu and to shed light on the past and present issues affecting Asian Pacific Americans,” Rep. Pagan said. “The history of Asian Pacific Americans cannot be forgotten. For those in Michigan, we owe them a great deal.”
The presentation was highlighted by a resolution being introduced today by state Rep. Sam Singh (D-East Lansing) to name Jan. 30, 2016, as Fred Korematsu Day. Several other states have passed similar bills and proclamations recognizing Jan. 30 as Fred Korematsu Day to draw attention to Korematsu, who was imprisoned for refusing to go to an internment camp, and others who were forced there unjustly.
“Seventy-five years ago, we saw American citizens rounded up and forced out of their homes and into these camps, and we cannot forget the struggle they went through,” Rep. Pagan said. “This resolution, and hosting Karen Korematsu, are important small steps in honoring Fred Korematsu and the others who had to deal with this prejudiced action.”