Event Explores Historic Parallels, Civil Rights Impact of Minority Registries

How does the internment of Japanese Americans relate to a potential registry of Muslims in America?

On 4.20-2.PNGApril 20, Oakland Community College (OCC) along with the Michigan Asian Pacific Affairs Commission (MAPAC), National Association of Asian American Professionals (NAAAP) and the Arab American Civil Rights League (ACRL) will be showing a documentary about the civil rights case of Fred Korematsu, a Japanese American who refused to go to an internment camp during World War II.  Afterwards, there will be a panel discussion about the documentary and the similarities of a potential Muslim registry.

The documentary spotlights the historic case of Korematsu, who challenged the constitutionality of the U.S. government’s imprisonment of Japanese Americans, but lost in 1944. In 1983, key documents were discovered that Japanese Americans had not committed acts of treason to justify mass incarceration. That same year, Korematsu’s case was re-opened and his conviction was overturned, creating a pivotal moment in civil rights history.

The panel will be moderated by OCC Academic Dean of Art, Design and Humanities Henry Tanaka, a recognized leader in Asian-American affairs. Panelists include Rula Aoun, director of the Arab American Civil Rights League, psychologist Krishna Stilianos, OCC faculty member and Ph.D., and immigration attorney Geck Budd.

This free, public event takes place on Thursday, April 20, 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., at OCC’s Royal Oak Campus, room B249-252. The campus is located at 739 S. Washington Ave, Royal Oak.

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