'That terror is seared into my memory': George Takei on Trump, Muslims and Japanese internment
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.
Higbie later returned to Fox News and said he was making a reference “strictly to the scrutiny on immigration and the stopping of immigration” and “it had nothing to do with internment camps whatsoever.”
He blamed Kelly for using the words “internment camps” and said the “left-wing media took this by the horns because they are not a fan of Donald Trump.”
A spokesman for Trump’s transition team issued a statement saying that the president-elect “has never advocated for any registry or system that tracks individuals based on their religion, and to imply otherwise is completely false.”
In November 2015, according to the fact-checking website Politifact, Trump made a number of contradictory and confusing statements in response to questions about whether 'That terror is seared into my memory': George Takei on Trump, Muslims and Japanese internment - LA Times:
Japanese internment camp barracks in Amache, Colorado, 1943