GEORGE TAKEI PENS POWERFUL ESSAY, “THEY INTERNED MY FAMILY. DON’T LET THEM DO IT TO MUSLIMS”
November 20, 2016
Star Trek legend George Takei has been a vocal critic of Donald Trump and his dangerous rhetoric throughout election season. But his latest effort might be the most painfully resonant thing he’s said thus far.
A few nights ago, Trump surrogate Carl Higbie went on Fox News’ Megyn Kelly’s The Kelly File to discuss the possibility of creating a registry for Muslim Americans. When Kelly protested the idea saying, “We don’t create registries based on religion… we don’t do that kind of thing,” Higbie fired back by citing the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. And while he claimed he “wasn’t suggesting that,” the statement was absolutely disturbing.
Today Takei, who is openly gay, posted an essay he wrote for The Washington Post entitled “They interned my family. Don’t let them do it to Muslims.” He draws on his personal experiences of being interned to convey the sheer horror of something like this even being proposed on national television by the president-elect’s surrogates.
“I was just a child of 5 when we were forced at gunpoint from our home and sent first to live in a horse stable at a local race track, a family of five crammed into a single smelly stall,” Takei wrote. “Really, it was a prison: Armed guards looked down upon us from sentry towers; their guns pointed inward at us; searchlights lit pathways at night. We understood. We were not to leave.”
Takei details his parents’ efforts to attempt to make life appear normal, and mentions that he did not understand the effects of what happened to him until later on in life: “As I studied civics and government in school, I came to see the internment as an assault not only upon an entire group of Americans, but upon the Constitution itself — how its guarantees of due process and equal protection had been decimated by forces of fear and prejudice unleashed by unscrupulous politicians. It had been a Democratic administration at the time, under Franklin D. Roosevelt, that had ordered us to the camps, proving that demagoguery and race-baiting knows no party.”