It’s official (Photo by Lia Chang)
A middle school east of San Francisco will be renamed in honor of Japanese American civil rights pioneer Fred Korematsu, reports the Mercury News.
The West Contra Costa School Board unanimously voted in favor of the proposal Wednesday night to rename Portola Middle School in El Cerrito in Korematsu’s honor.
“Fred Korematsu stood up for the Constitution and due process under the law,” Contra Costa Superior Court Judge Joni Hiramoto said. “He took the hit for all of us.”
“Two out of seven El Cerrito residents are Asian,” El Cerrito resident Jim Ghidella said. “This is a whole side of U.S. history that I never learned when I was in school.”
Korematsu was convicted for defying orders to go to the incarceration camp. His conviction was overturned in 1983 and President Clinton awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1998.
You can read about how the simple honor turned to controversy in the Mercury News.