WASHINGTON – Going through the experience of discrimination in Japanese internment camps, a Japanese-American actor, director, author, and activist has started a petition in solidarity with American Muslims against the suggested registry.
“I have spent my life trying to ensure something like this never happens again. But dark clouds once more are gathering,” George Takei wrote on the petition on Care2 Petitions, Huff Post reported on Thursday, January 12.
Takei wrote about his own experience in a Japanese internment camp as a child during World War II in the description of his Care2 petition.
His firsthand knowledge shows where bigotry could lead.
“A Trump spokesperson recently stated the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II “sets a precedent” for Trump to do the same today.
“And Trump continues to stand by his plans to establish a Muslim registry and ban immigrants from “certain” Muslim countries from the US It starts with a registry, with restrictions, with irrationally ascribed guilt, and with fear. But we know well where it might lead.”
His concerns increased after a Trump supporter suggested last November the internment of Japanese-Americans set a precedent for a registry of Muslim immigrants.
“It is not a precedent. It is the most disgraceful chapter of American history,” he contended.
“Registration of any group of people, and certainly registration of Muslims, is a prelude to internment. This is something that we cannot have happen again. It is dangerous and it is a moral bankruptcy.
“We’ve got to stand up and resist this, and I would urge all good Americans to write to your congressional representatives and the president-elect and tell them that this is not what we stand for as a nation.”
Takei added that he will present the petition, which was signed by approximately 90,000, “to Muslim leaders and to government representatives. Hope I can have your support.”