Earlier this month, Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Rebecca Bradley made repeated reference to Japanese American internment camps during oral arguments about overturning the state’s stay-at-home order. Many have rightly criticized the comparison as offensive and inappropriate, including actor George Takei and Ron Kuramoto, president of the Wisconsin chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL).
For today’s show, guest host Jade Iseri-Ramos is joined by Ron Kuramoto, law professor Lorraine Bannai, and Lisa Doi of Tsuru for Solidarity to discuss the history of Japanese American internment during WWII, the landmark Supreme Court case Korematsu v. United States (and why there are no parallels with current stay-at-home orders), and the Japanese American social justice movement opposing immigrant detention with the slogan “Never Again is Now.”
Ron Kuramoto is the president of JACL–Wisconsin Chapter. You can read his official statement rebuking Justice Rebecca Bradley’s remarks here.
Lorraine Bannai is a professor at Seattle University School of Law and director of the Fred T. Korematsu Center for Law and Equality. She was on the legal team that successfully challenged Fred Korematsu’s conviction for violating military orders removing Japanese Americans from the West Coast during World War II and is the author of Enduring Conviction: Fred Korematsu and His Quest for Justice (University of Washington Press, 2015).
Lisa Doi is the president of JACL Chicago and a co-chair of Tsuru for Solidarity, a direct action, nonviolent project organized by members of the Japanese American community working to end detention and separation of families in the United States.
Cover photo: “San Francisco, California. High school boys, on balcony of Japanese American Citizens League” by Dorothea Lange, used under public domain