Civil Rights

A look back and forward at our country's complicated relationship with Civil Rights.

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50 Years On, Sen. Fred Harris Remembers Great Hostility During 1967 Race Riots

"1967 was a volatile year, as riots erupted across the country as a result of deep racial segregation between blacks and whites. NPR's Robert Siegel talks with former Oklahoma Democratic Sen. Fred Harris. Harris is the last living member of the original Kerner Commission, which was formed under President Johnson to investigate why the riots occurred and what can be done to prevent rioting in the future. The conclusions of the report drew backlash from many, including President Johnson."

Civil Rights Act of 1964

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Pub.L. 88–352, 78 Stat. 241, enacted July 2, 1964) is a landmark civil rights and US labor law in the United States[5] that outlaws discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. It prohibited unequal application of voter registration requirements, racial segregation in schools, employment, and public accommodations.

Fred Korematsu: Why his story still matters today

"US President Donald Trump's executive order to ban immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries is being compared to the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II."

"Barely two months after the Pearl Harbor attack in 1941, nearly 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry residing on the country's western coast were branded a military threat and put inside internment camps across the country."

"But a 23-year-old Japanese-American, Fred Toyosaburo Korematsu, defied Executive Order 9066 by President Franklin D Roosevelt and went into hiding instead of voluntarily relocating to an internment camp, where conditions were often harsh."

"Korematsu was finally arrested in May 1942 and convicted of defying the government order. He fought the case all the way to the Supreme Court but the top court ruled against him."

"He was released after the end of World War II but the conviction remained on his record until it was overturned in 1983, by a court that said the internment was racially motivated."