'That terror is seared into my memory': George Takei on Japanese internment, amid concerns about potential discriminatory policies targeting Muslims
‘That terror is seared into my memory’: George Takei on Japanese internment, amid concerns about potential discriminatory policies targeting Muslims
Early one morning, a few weeks after his fifth birthday, George Takei’s parents woke him. They were hurried, packing quickly, and Takei gazed out the window.
He saw two soldiers marching up his East Los Angeles driveway, carrying rifles with shiny bayonets. The soldiers stomped up the front porch and banged on the door until Takei’s father answered, and the family was ordered out of their home at gunpoint.
Takei’s mother was the last to leave.
“When she came out, she had our baby sister in one arm and a huge, heavy-looking duffel bag in the other, and tears were streaming down her face,” Takei said Friday, more than seven decades later.
“And that terror,” he said, “is seared into my memory.”
Many know Takei as the actor who famously played Mr. Sulu in “Star Trek.” But Takei has also leveraged his fame into social-media stardom, placing himself at the forefront of Asian American activism with a Facebook following rapidly approaching 10 million.
So it should come as no surprise that Takei spoke out this week after Carl Higbie, a supporter of President-elect Donald Trump, defended the idea of creating a registry “for immigrants of Muslim countries” on Fox News.
“It is legal. They say it’ll hold constitutional muster. I know the [American Civil Liberties Union] is going to challenge it, but I think it’ll pass,” Higbie said. “We’ve done it with Iran back a while ago. We did it during World War II with Japanese, which, you know, call it what you will, maybe —”
Host Megyn Kelly then interjected: “Come on. You’re not — you’re not proposing we go back to the days of internment camps, I hope?”
“No, no, no. I’m not proposing that at all, Megyn, but what I am saying is we need to protect America first,” Higbie said.