Google makes a strong statement with Japanese internment camp survivor on site

Google makes a strong statement with Japanese internment camp survivor on site
PHOTO: AFP

Amid outcry over a wide-reaching immigration crackdown, Google is featuring a Japanese-American civil rights activist who was interned during World War II.

On Monday, Google's US homepage features Fred Toyosaburo Korematsu, a Japanese-American who tried to enlist in the military during World War II, but was turned away due to his ethnicity, according to Google's official blog.

At 22, Korematsu went into hiding to avoid being relocated into an internment camp, and was later arrested and sent to a camp until 1945, Google's blog said.

Korematsu was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom after his conviction was overturned, according to Google's blog. Korematsu's birthday, Jan. 30, is officially recognised as Fred Korematsu Day in California, Hawaii, Virginia and Florida, Google's blog said.

The illustration, known as the Google doodle, comes a day after Google established a US$4 million fund for the American Civil Liberties Union, Immigrant Legal Resource Center, International Rescue Committee and UNHCR.

The ACLU has been one of the main organisations fighting Donald Trump's executive order to temporarily ban travel for immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries - Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen - and temporarily halt the entry of refugees into the United States.

Google co-founder Sergey Brin, whose family fled the Soviet Union in the 1970s, participated in protests of the travel ban this weekend, telling a Forbes reporter, "I'm here because I'm a refugee."

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