George Takei Says US Treatment of Migrants on Southern Border “Even Lower” than WWII Internment Camps

Activist and former Star Trek actor George Takei has given an interview with the CBC in which he says that the treatment of migrants along the southern US border is “even lower” than when Japanese Americans and Canadians were incarcerated during World War II.

Takei is on a tour promoting his graphic memoir, “They Called Us Enemy”, about his time in American-run internment camps in the early 1940s. He appeared on the CBC’s The Early Edition radio show and his comments were relayed in an article on the CBC website. He said, “What is happening today on the southern borders of the United States is a parallel of what happened to us 75 years ago. In fact, what's happening today is we've gone even lower. It's a grotesque system.” He highlighted the fact that children have been separated from their parents, which they didn’t do in the World War II internment camps.

Despite his comments, however, Takei does believe things are moving in the right direction. “I am an optimist,” he said, “and I think we are getting closer because when we were incarcerated, all the elected officials in the United States were vilifying us. We had nothing to do with Pearl Harbor and yet we were vilified...seen as the enemy.” The CBC article explains that he pointed to mass protests against the Trump administration’s “Muslim ban” as an indication of American sentiment. Takei said, “I do see change happening. Not enough change to prevent the kind of outrage happening on the southern border now ... but it's a changed America.”

And of course, Takei pointed to Star Trek as an example of what we should be aiming for: “As utopian as the 23rd-century Star Trek society may seem,” he said, “I do have hope that we can reach that.”

This article was written for the podcast Daily Star Trek News.

Alison Pitt is the writer, producer, and host of Daily Star Trek News, on the Roddenberry Podcast Network. A veteran Star Trek podcaster, she started her career on the weekly show Priority One: A Roddenberry Star Trek Podcast in 2015. She has appeared on panels at Star Trek Las Vegas, WonderCon, and San Diego Comic Con.

Alison Pitt