George Takei on Being Placed in Japanese Internment Camp

He calls the place the American government made him live as a four year old a concentration camp and explains the racism he endured in his childhood:

George Takei : Japanese Internment Camp Survivor from Conn Videos on Vimeo.

He has more to say about it today, on the 70th anniversary of Executive Order 9066. His goal is to raise money for a show about the internment, called Allegiance.

Your Thoughts?

About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.

  • sunsangnim

    Great video. Thanks for sharing.

    It’s truly appalling that this could happen in our country. What’s even more disturbing is that we can so easily forget the lessons. Today, Guantanamo Bay remains open. The president has declared that the government can detain and even execute American citizens (as well as citizens of other nations) without any due process. Where is the outrage?

  • Bret

    Wow, I never would have thought this happened to him reading his hilarious Facebook updates.

    • Fredric Martin

      If you noticed yesterday he only made one post and that was about this issue. Also, adding him to my social media feed has made me a happier person. He’s like a human anti-depressant.

  • F

    Oh hell yeah. That would be a great show. And something that is becoming increasingly necessary since so many wish to bury the bad things of the Usanian past.

    Go George!

  • doktorzoom

    Let’s also not forget that Michelle Malkin wrote a book defending the internment camps as a reasonable security measure, and suggesting that similar measures be enacted against Muslims and other enemies of America today.

    • BenSix

      That was a fine example of when the study of history – using the term “study” loosely – can be employed for flagrantly disingenuous purposes. It’s something to be on the lookout for, I think. I remember when there were suggestions that Israel could be preparing to nuke Iran and a website came out with an eccentrically timed defence of the decision to bomb Hiroshima and Nagasaki. A coincidence, perhaps, but cause to bear in mind that academic studies are rarely entirely divisible from the day’s politics.

  • echidna

    The more I see of George Takei, the more impressed I am. He neatly avoided the word “race”, too, to keep the point about summary internment general.

  • peterh

    Takei here and David Suzuki to our north – truly a dynamic (and valuable) duo. They are not allied, except in spirit; I have great admiration for both.

  • jufulu

    A number of years ago, the kids and I went camping up near Lone Pine, California. Being museum nuts, we stopped at Manzanar War Relocation Center. The learning center hadn’t opened yet, but just driving the site (and the necessary getting out of the car for a closer look) was a moving experience. Years later, my daughter the anthropologist major and I stopped again to look at the recently opened visitors center and were again moved by what these people were put though. Everything they had was stolen from then. Their jobs, their businesses, and their property was taken from them and not given back. IIRC, all they got when they were released was travel money.

    Kudos to Takie for reminding us of what happened, we need to remember history even it we can’t learn from it.

  • braunzini

    my grandfather told me no japanese were locked up its just made up by liberal media