Nineteen members of Congress called on President Obama to award the Presidential Medal of Freedom posthumously to Minoru Yasui, reports Rafu Shimpo.
Yasui is one of three Japanese Americans, along with Fred Korematsu and Gordon Hirabayashi, who challenged orders that sent 110,000 people to incarceration camps during WWII.
Yasui is the only one of the three not awarded the Medal.
A letter signed by Rep Mike Honda, Rep Judy Chu, Rep Mark Takano, Rep. Doris Matsui, Rep Ted Lieu, Rep Bobby Scott and 13 others reads:
“Minoru Yasui’s life demonstrates his commitment to civil rights. As a Japanese American lawyer during World War II, he intentionally defied the military curfew imposed upon American citizens of Japanese descent to serve as a test case on the constitutionality of the curfew. Yasui was ultimately convicted and lost his appeal in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in 1943…
“…Minoru Yasui’s commitment to justice went well beyond the Japanese American community. He also fought for the rights of Latinos, African Americans, Native Americans, youth, people with disabilities, seniors, international human rights agencies and many others. Yasui recognized the common struggle of all marginalized people and dedicated his life to advocating and achieving results on their behalf.”
He helped found the Urban League of Denver in 1946, the Colorado Latin Leadership, Advocacy and Research Organization in 1963 and Denver Indian Center in 1968.
You can read the entire letter in Rafu Shimpo.