Far too often, the traditional Black-white paradigms of race relations in America have ignored the contributions of Asian Pacific Americans to the U.S. civil rights movement. Academic classes that cover civil rights at all levels of American education have left out seminal cases such as the first federal criminal conviction overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court (U.S. v. Korematsu), the first Asian Pacific American class action employment discrimination case (United Pilipinos for Affirmative Action v. Blue Shield of California), and the first case ever to hold a garment manufacturer liable for shop conditions (Ha v. T & W Fashions). “In Defense of Civil Rights: The 40 year history of the Asian Law Caucus” by Sam Cacas sheds a bright light upon these and other ignored highlights of American history which Asian Pacific Americans have been involved in and which the Asian Law Caucus pioneered.
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Author Sam Cacas has written about Asian American issues for Asian Week, Today’s Black Woman, American Demographics, Philippine News, International Examiner, Yolk, Oakland Tribune, and San Francisco Bay Guardian. He currently resides in Northern California with his wife, Dora Love.