George Takei: ‘Internment, America’s Great Mistake’

George Takei, in an op-ed for The New York Times:

I was 5 years old at the beginning of our internment in Arkansas. I remember every school morning reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, my eyes upon the stars and stripes of the flag, but at the same time I could see from the window the barbed wire and the sentry towers where guards kept guns trained on us.

I was 7 years old when we were transferred to another camp for “disloyals.” My mother and father’s only crime was refusing, out of principle, to sign a loyalty pledge promulgated by the government. The authorities had already taken my parents’ home on Garnet Street in Los Angeles, their once thriving dry cleaning business, and finally their liberty. Now they wanted them to grovel; this was an indignity too far.

When I was a kid, I thought World War II was “a long time ago”. Now that I’m in my 40s, when I think about the fact that the Japanese internment happened just 30 years before I was born, it gives me pause. It wasn’t that long ago.

Saturday, 29 April 2017