The Arab American and Japanese American Parallel


American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee

     The Arab American and Japanese American Parallel

ADC Staff Attorney Yolanda Rondon and Congressman Mike Honda

 ADC Staff Attorney Yolanda Rondon with Congressman Mike Honda.

 Congressman Honda was forced into an internment camp with his family during World War II.

The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) is proud to announce that ADC Staff Attorney Yolanda Rondon’s article, Is Korematsu Really Dead? Still Lurking in Front of the Penumbras? was published by the American Bar Association – Section of Individual Rights & Responsibilities. In the article, Ms. Rondon explores the parallels of Korematsu and other Japanese World War II internment camp cases with post September 11th legislation. Last week, former presidential candidate, General Wesley Clark asserted that our country should put “those people” who are “likely to be radicalized” into internment camps until the War on Terror ends. Language like “these people” and “vulnerable communities” are code words used to identify and profile Arab and Muslim Americans. Clark’s suggestion that the detention of sympathizers or persons perceived to be disloyal during World War II is justification for re-instituting internment camps is appalling. In 1943 and 1944, the United States Supreme Court through Korematsu, Hirabayashi, and Yasui upheld:

  1. The exclusion orders based on national origin against Japanese Americans as constitutional; and
  2. The indefinite detention of American citizens for violation of military curfew and exclusion orders as constitutional.

Today, Arab and Muslim Americans right to due process among other constitutional rights are being outright denied, hindered and/or infringed upon under the guise of national security in various federal laws. Korematsu should serve as a grave warning of injustice in our country and against the mistreatment of Arab and Muslim Americans.

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