George Takei has revealed that watching President Donald Trump attempting to carry out his controversial executive order is causing him to relive parts of his childhood, which was spent in Japanese-American internment camps during World War II. Time magazine reported that Donald Trump’s travel ban executive order is scarily reminiscent of Roosevelt’s Japanese internment order, especially since both claim to be acting in the name of “national security.”
“FDR was a great president, but he was a fallible human being, and he made a mistake. We will not tolerate that kind of presidency again because we remember.”
— HISTORY (@HISTORY) February 13, 2017
Roosevelt’s executive order, which was put in place in the early 1940s, affected more than 117,000 people of Japanese descent. George Takei estimated that he was about 5-years-old when he and his family were taken at gunpoint from their home in California and forced into an internment camp, where they lived behind barbed wire. The majority of the people affected by the executive order had been born in the United States.
George Takei had earlier criticized Donald Trump for his comments against Mexican immigrants during the campaigning that took place before last year’s presidential election. Trump had suggested building a wall along the border between the United States and Mexico to stop Mexican immigrants from crossing over to the U.S. and further suggested that Muslims entering the United States should be thoroughly scrutinized. Of course, following his inauguration, Trump instigated his widely criticized executive order banning people from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States.
— Free & Equal (@FreeandEqual) February 21, 2017
A number of Hollywood celebrities have criticized Donald Trump for his political rhetoric, with George Takei – best known for his role as officer Hikaru Sulu in the original Star Trek series – posting a Facebook video in which he drew parallels between Trump’s views on Mexican immigrants to the antagonistic views held by a majority of Americans towards people having Japanese ancestry during World War II.
After Japan had attacked the United States during World War II, a large number of Japanese-Americans were either incarcerated or confined to internment camps because of the general perception that they were America’s enemies. George Takei can clearly identify with the effects of Trump’s anti-Mexican sentiments because he had experienced a similar hatred towards people of Japanese descent while living in an internment camp during World War II.
Making his point that it is fundamentally wrong to generalize and castigate an entire community when only a handful of wrong-doers belong to that community, Takei pointed out that Muslims in the United States faced similar unjust vilification after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001.
Even though George Takei criticized Trump during last year’s presidential election, he did not expressly endorse Hillary Clinton in the election and only used his celebrity status to urge citizens to vote with their own judgment.
George Takei also took exception to the president’s intention to make changes to the First Amendment that currently prohibits the authorities to take legal action against any American citizen who attempts to burn the American flag as a sign of protest. In the aftermath of the presidential campaign, a number of Americans from various walks of life burned the American flag by way of protest against Donald Trump’s victory.
— John Barry (@JohnBarryPoJo) February 19, 2017
The then-president-elect’s tweets called for the arrest of those citizens attempting to burn the American flag and suggested that the citizens involved in the desecration of the flag should be stripped off their American citizenship. According to the New York Daily News, George Takei revealed that he believes in upholding the right to burn the flag as a symbol of protest.
“I pledged allegiance to the flag every morning inside an internment camp. I would never burn one, but I’d die to protect the right to do so.”
According to the Huffington Post, the Star Trek actor believes that Twitter should not allow Trump to air his controversial views and even appealed to the social media company to terminate Trump’s account.
“Dear Twitter: For the good of us all, please delete Donald Trump’s account. Thanks. — People of Earth”
The 79-year-old actor continues to be influential and active after spending more than five decades in the film industry. In 2012, a Broadway musical named Allegiance was produced based on George Takei’s experience in the Japanese internment camp during World War II.
— BЯΣƬ (@crewislife) November 30, 2016
George Takei is one of the first Asian American actors who paved the way for future Asian actors to achieve success in Hollywood, and his extensive experience and contribution towards the film industry enabled him to be inducted in California Museum’s Hall of Fame. According to NBC News, Brenna Hamilton, the museum’s director of communications, spoke about how George Takei represents the true spirit of California.
“From his rise to stardom as Sulu in the 1960s Star Trek series to his Broadway musical Allegiance and his work with human rights organizations, Mr. Takei’s life and legacy embody the spirit of California’s rich diversity and celebrate equality for all.”
[Featured Image by Mat Hayward/Getty Images]