George Takei Speaks Out On The History Of Japanese Internment

George Takei has had a long and illustrious career, known particularly for his role as Hikaru Sulu in the original Star Trek series and movies, but perhaps the work he is currently doing is the most meaningful and important to him.

Takei is about to wrap up the Broadway tour of his musical Allegiance, and Broadway World reports that he spoke out about the importance of the subject matter of the musical on PBS’ MetroFocus. George Takei points out that so many young Japanese-Americans don’t know about the internment of Japanese people of American soil during World War II.

“Even younger Japanese-Americans don’t know about it, because those that experienced the internment – the pain, the suffering, the sense of loss and degradation and humiliation – didn’t want to inflict that pain on their children.”

Of course, George Takei is a very outspoken supporter of diversity and inclusion. According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, last fall, the mayor of Roanoke, Virginia, David Bowers, spoke out against accepting Syrian refugees in the Roanoke Valley.

“I’m reminded that President Franklin D. Roosevelt felt compelled to sequester Japanese foreign nationals after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and it appears that the threat of harm to America from ISIS now is just as real and serious as that from our enemies then.”

George Takei was one of many who spoke out against Bowers’ comments. But Takei doesn’t just talk the talk. He has been actively engaging Bowers in dialogue about the issue and even invited Bowers to see Allegiance. Bowers said George Takei was incredibly nice.

“He couldn’t have been nicer to me… He was very gracious in receiving my apology.”

Apparently, Bowers is excited to have George Takei visit Roanoke.

“I look forward to welcoming him to Roanoke and extending the hand of friendship to him. I’d like to meet him up at the [Mill Mountain] Star.”

The director of Local Colors, Beth Lutjen, has said George Takei’s visit is a great opportunity for education.

“We just decided it was a great opportunity for education. It’s so easy to write off a group… when they’re just this nebulous group. But then you put a face, and you get to know people, and it’s different.”

Apparently, when it comes to the topic of diversity and rights, MetroFocus reports that George Takei also recently gave his opinion of Donald Trump’s most recent comments regarding banning Muslims from the United States.

After all, George Takei can remember when his own family was held in Japanese internment camps and when the call went out to “get rid of the Japs.”

When it comes to Allegiance wrapping up, George Takei is not leaving the stage. The Sun reports that he will be moving on to an experimental theater show with the likes of Whoopi Goldberg, Martin Short, David Hyde Pierce, Christine Baranski, and Cynthia Nixon. The stars participating in the show will only be given their scripts as they are walking onto the stage, which will require a lot of improvisation on their part.

Producers Devlin Elliott and Tom Kirdahy are excited to see the results.

“Each night will bring its share of surprises. We can’t wait to be surprised ourselves. Remember, no cheating! Don’t Google (search) this play!”

The show, called White Rabbit Red Rabbit, will premiere on March 7 at Off Broadway’s Westside Theatre, and each actor or actress will only appear on stage one time. It seems that George Takei is keeping himself busy and making a fabulous and positive difference in the world. Kudos to Mr. Takei for all that he does!

[Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images]