Sunday, November 20, 2016

George Takei Lashed Out on Muslim registry & Asks Americans ‘Have We Learned Nothing?’

I like George Takei.

Even though I am not the biggest Star Trek fan in the world, there is nonetheless quite a bit of respect for his role in that legendary series.

And I have come to enjoy his witticisms on Facebook and other places. Did not get to see the play that he set up about his own past, and I regret that a bit. But I recognize what he was trying to do, and was impressed by it.

Also, as a historian, he seems the most instantly recognizable face to have endured one of the darkest and most shameful chapters in American history. I am speaking, of course, about the internment of Japanese during World War II.

Yes, he was one of those who were taken into the camp, and forced to live years there, while the fighting went on, even though his family had done nothing wrong. 

The interment of American citizens of Japanese background was a crime, and an egregious violation of their civil rights. 

Yet, we seem intent on repeating that very kind of thing nowadays, as Muslims are being singled out. Many Americans - particularly quite a few who voted for our new President-elect - do not feel that Muslims can be "real" Americans. They want these people put onto a registry and, in some cases, some are outright advocating that we should put them somewhere where we can keep track of them. Perhaps, as Trump himself said, we need to keep an eye on them until we can figure out "what the hell is going on."

Not sure how many, if any, people spoke out against the internment of the Americans of Japanese descent during the Second World War, although now, we have some people who are definitely speaking out, and loudly so, in some cases. I heard about a Jewish leader who promised to register himself as a Muslim, and there are numerous other people and groups who are standing in unison. That, I think, is a good sign.

And, of course, there is George Takei, who takes a very personal interest in this story, given his own very personal history. Being one of those who were among the interned, and likely one of the last survivors of that illegal internment, Takei is being understandably very vocal in speaking out against the possibility of registration of Muslims within the United States and, moreover, of the general rise of hatred and prejudice that this new rise of Donald Trump has perhaps not necessarily ushered in, but certainly helped to accelerate.

Again, this seems like a good sign. People are not simply going to take a potential dictator at his word that he is doing what is best for the country, and simply to leave all of the power in his hands. He has been like a petulent child too often, and has shown an alarming level of either ignorance or, even worse, blatant disregard, to the system of laws of this country that place certain limits on the powerful "leaders" like him. It is not up to him, as he suggests, to do as he wants and make everything work precisely as he wishes them too. Since he seems to be under the illusion that he, and he alone, can fix the country, we need to stand in unison to remind him that this country existed and thrived long before he ever got here, and despite some problems, this country can and will do just fine once he is long gone, as well. If his idea of  "saving" America, or making it great again, includes things like building walls and hunting down and throwing out illegal immigrants and registering people of a certain religious faith, than indeed, he is overstepping his constitutional limitations, and absolutely needs to be met with the fiercest resistance. 

In that spirit, I applaud George Takei for this concern and action, as well as so many of the other people who, despite enormous criticism, are standing together in unison to remind this new administration, which has a definite fascist bent, that they will not simply take over unopposed, and will be met with opposition every step of the way. We will not simply stand idly by and watch the country, and the remaining vestiges of what once was a great, working democracy, to simply deteriorate and become merely a part of history!

George Takei on Muslim registry: ‘Have we learned nothing?’  Yahoo News Michael Walsh Reporter Yahoo NewsNovember 18, 2016

No comments:

Post a Comment