Why I love a country that once betrayed me | George Takei


I’m a veteran of the starship Enterprise. I soared through the galaxy driving a huge starship with a crew made up of people from all over this world, many different races, many different cultures, many different heritages, all working together, and our mission was to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no one has gone before. Well — (Applause) — I am the grandson of immigrants from Japan who went to America, boldly going to a strange new world, seeking new opportunities. My mother was born in Sacramento, California. My father was a San Franciscan. They met and married in Los Angeles, and I was born there. I was four years old when Pearl Harbor was bombed on December 7, 1941 by Japan, and overnight, the world was plunged into a world war. America suddenly was swept up by hysteria. Japanese-Americans, American citizens of Japanese ancestry, were looked on with suspicion and fear and with outright hatred simply because we happened to look like the people that bombed Pearl Harbor. And the hysteria grew and grew until in February 1942, the president of the United States, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, ordered all Japanese-Americans on the West Coast of America to be summarily rounded up with no charges, with no trial, with no due process. Due process, this is a core pillar of our justice system. That all disappeared. We were to be rounded up and imprisoned in 10 barbed-wire prison camps in some of the most desolate places in America: the blistering hot desert of Arizona, the sultry swamps of Arkansas, the wastelands of Wyoming, Idaho, Utah, Colorado, and two of the most desolate places in California. On April 20th, I celebrated my fifth birthday, and just a few weeks after my birthday, my parents got my younger brother, my baby sister and me up very early one morning, and they dressed us hurriedly. My brother and I were in the living room looking out the front window, and we saw two soldiers marching up our driveway. They carried bayonets on their rifles. They stomped up the front porch and banged on the door. My father answered it, and the soldiers ordered us out of our home. My father gave my brother and me small luggages to carry, and we walked out and stood on the driveway waiting for our mother to come out, and when my mother finally came out, she had our baby sister in one arm, a huge duffel bag in the other, and tears were streaming down both her cheeks. I will never be able to forget that scene. It is burned into my memory. We were taken from our home and loaded on to train cars with other Japanese-American families. There were guards stationed at both ends of each car, as if we were criminals. We were taken two thirds of
the way across the country, rocking on that train for four days and three nights, to the swamps of Arkansas. I still remember the barbed wire fence that confined me. I remember the tall sentry tower with the machine guns pointed at us. I remember the searchlight that followed me when I made the night runs from my barrack to the latrine. But to five-year-old me, I thought it was kind of nice that they’d lit the way for me to pee. I was a child, too young to understand the circumstances of my being there. Children are amazingly adaptable. What would be grotesquely abnormal became my normality in the prisoner of war camps. It became routine for me to line up three times a day to eat lousy food in a noisy mess hall. It became normal for me to go with my father to bathe in a mass shower. Being in a prison, a barbed-wire prison camp, became my normality. When the war ended, we were released, and given a one-way ticket to anywhere in the United States. My parents decided to go back home to Los Angeles, but Los Angeles was not a welcoming place. We were penniless. Everything had been taken from us, and the hostility was intense. Our first home was on Skid Row in the lowest part of our city, living with derelicts, drunkards and crazy people, the stench of urine all over, on the street, in the alley, in the hallway. It was a horrible experience, and for us kids, it was terrorizing. I remember once a drunkard came staggering down, fell down right in front of us, and threw up. My baby sister said, “Mama, let’s go back home,” because behind barbed wires was for us home. My parents worked hard to get back on their feet. We had lost everything. They were at the middle of their lives and starting all over. They worked their fingers to the bone, and ultimately they were able to get the capital together to buy a three-bedroom home in a nice neighborhood. And I was a teenager, and I became very curious about my childhood imprisonment. I had read civics books that told me about the ideals of American democracy. All men are created equal, we have an inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and I couldn’t quite make that fit with what I knew to be my childhood imprisonment. I read history books, and I couldn’t find anything about it. And so I engaged my father after dinner in long, sometimes heated conversations. We had many, many conversations like that, and what I got from them was my father’s wisdom. He was the one that suffered the most under those conditions of imprisonment, and yet he understood American democracy. He told me that our democracy is a people’s democracy, and it can be as great as the people can be, but it is also as fallible as people are. He told me that American democracy is vitally dependent on good people who cherish the ideals of our system and actively engage in the process of making our democracy work. And he took me to a campaign headquarters — the governor of Illinois was
running for the presidency — and introduced me to American electoral politics. And he also told me about young Japanese-Americans during the Second World War. When Pearl Harbor was bombed, young Japanese-Americans,
like all young Americans, rushed to their draft board to volunteer to fight for our country. That act of patriotism was answered with a slap in the face. We were denied service, and categorized as enemy non-alien. It was outrageous to be called an enemy when you’re volunteering to fight for your country, but that was compounded with the word “non-alien,” which is a word that means “citizen” in the negative. They even took the word “citizen” away from us, and imprisoned them for a whole year. And then the government realized that there’s a wartime manpower shortage, and as suddenly as they’d rounded us up, they opened up the military for service by young Japanese-Americans. It was totally irrational, but the amazing thing, the astounding thing, is that thousands of young Japanese-American men and women again went from behind those barbed-wire fences, put on the same uniform as that of our guards, leaving their families in imprisonment, to fight for this country. They said that they were going to fight not only to get their families out from behind those barbed-wire fences, but because they cherished the very ideal of what our government stands for, should stand for, and that was being abrogated by what was being done. All men are created equal. And they went to fight for this country. They were put into a segregated all Japanese-American unit and sent to the battlefields of Europe, and they threw themselves into it. They fought with amazing, incredible courage and valor. They were sent out on the most dangerous missions and they sustained the highest combat casualty rate of any unit proportionally. There is one battle that illustrates that. It was a battle for the Gothic Line. The Germans were embedded in this mountain hillside, rocky hillside, in impregnable caves, and three allied battalions had been pounding away at it for six months, and they were stalemated. The 442nd was called in to add to the fight, but the men of the 442nd came up with a unique but dangerous idea: The backside of the mountain was a sheer rock cliff. The Germans thought an attack from the backside would be impossible. The men of the 442nd decided to do the impossible. On a dark, moonless night, they began scaling that rock wall, a drop of more than 1,000 feet, in full combat gear. They climbed all night long on that sheer cliff. In the darkness, some lost their handhold or their footing and they fell to their deaths in the ravine below. They all fell silently. Not a single one cried out, so as not to give their position away. The men climbed for eight hours straight, and those who made it to the top stayed there until the first break of light, and as soon as light broke, they attacked. The Germans were surprised, and they took the hill and broke the Gothic Line. A six-month stalemate was broken by the 442nd in 32 minutes. It was an amazing act, and when the war ended, the 442nd returned to the United States as the most decorated unit of the entire Second World War. They were greeted back on the White House Lawn by President Truman, who said to them, “You fought not only the enemy but prejudice, and you won.” They are my heroes. They clung to their belief in the shining ideals of this country, and they proved that being an American is not just for some people, that race is not how we define being an American. They expanded what it means to be an American, including Japanese-Americans that were feared and suspected and hated. They were change agents, and they left for me a legacy. They are my heroes and my father is my hero, who understood democracy and guided me through it. They gave me a legacy, and with that legacy comes a responsibility, and I am dedicated to making my country an even better America, to making our government an even truer democracy, and because of the heroes that I have and the struggles that we’ve gone through, I can stand before you as a gay Japanese-American, but even more than that, I am a proud American. Thank you very much. (Applause)

Comments 100

  • Very touching 👍

  • Best i ever seen

  • Mr. Takei, thank you for your humble talk. Our family is German and were suffering in much the same way in Canada. History and it's sad scars haunt us all.

  • I rather listen to his interview at the Howard Stern Show..,..

  • Mr Takei wasn't betrayed by America. He was betrayed by his parents native country.

  • Was Roosevelt a Democratic?

  • And this is over 60 years ago dude🤷‍♀️ before the Civil rights movement 👀🤷‍♀️

  • I have heard you speak out against our president Donald Trump and I believe that because you have a platform and Holly weird is trying to promote your platform and the fake news media has been attacking and discriminating against we the people of all races and colors of the United States we elected this president but your party has never gotten over the fact that we did so you’re going to have to get over that back because he’s going to be president in 2020 for four more years and he is making a difference even with the bias prejudice that you all have❗️

  • You can't judge the actions or politics of people 75 years in the past. To do so betrays the validity of the information you're criticizing. Takei is wrong in this respect.

  • Ted loves to have questionable people on.. like this creature that questionably a pedo.

  • Blah blah blah, sob story aside, you still support the political party who threw your family and fellow Japnese American citizens into camps, which is idiocy.
    George Takei is just another ineffective, aging liberal with delusions of grandeur.

    Tell me, is the magical America you think exists going to stop the rising right-wing issue Goerge?
    Is it going to stop the attitude towards and actions against illegal immigrants just wanting to make a better life for themselves and their families?
    Is it going to stop the infrastructural, mental health, mental health services, medical, medical services, education, and poverty problems?
    Is it going to stop the institutional racism problem?
    Is it going to stop the anti LGBTQ+ problem?
    Is it going to stop the BASIC HUMAN FUCKING RIGHTS ISSUES?!

    I could go on, but you get the fucking picture I hope.
    Arm the poor, arm the POC, arm the illegal immigrants, arm the LGBTQ+ individuals, arm the oppressed and let them change the fucking country for the better because it's not happening on its own.

  • I wonder how much he got paid for presenting this blatant show of propaganda?

  • So..you became a progressive socialist society corporation rep…the united nations loves you..

  • God they go on about this whole Japanese internment, but it was entirely justified. The Japanese were nuts at this time, they could not trust any person from Japanese descent straight after one of the worst military attacks in history. They needed to protect the nation's citizens. I feel sorry for them having to start over again, but compared to the soldiers who faught for the US, the suffering, the dying, the families who lost loved ones, the families that had to start over because the breadwinners were killed. The internment camps sound like they were humane. Unfortunately it was a small sacrifice to keep citizens safe.

  • Please: Can all Americans stop talking about our government as a democracy? It's not. It's a constitutional republic. There are differences and they're critical. Please stop with the democracy talk – it's inaccurate.

  • WW 2 is SO much different then today …..We have a lot of terrorists today can not trust em now

  • 3-5 years later, george takei suddenly hates our democracy because we elected donald j trump.
    did he contract dementia during those 2 years? idk. but i respect that he has a opinion thats not common with current american views.

  • Mmm, more like you’re betraying a country that rightfully thought of you as a threat.

  • He's also know for sexual assaulting young men. Talk about taking advantage of the system and environment. Only in Hollywood can you house these types of people.

  • Your lucky ..Natzi's would not even give you your Life" Fortunately you live in America

  • So I guess Sulu hasn't seen everything the Japanese did to prisoners of war and everything the Chinese do, the North Koreans do, the North Vietnamese etc etc etc.

  • "Why I love a country that once betrayed me"
    Because he has stockholm syndrome? He belongs to the party of terrorism, racism and oppression. They are the party that put them in the camps. And no the party didn't switch sides.

  • This is a country run not as a democracy but as an oligarchy, for the benefit of the wealthiest Americans and their corporate sources of wealth. What we learned of our country in school is a mythology. We have been traduced.

  • Executive order 9066 had bipartisan support and was unopposed by any branch of government. The system of checks and balances failed and when it does it is indicative of the will of the people being malignant. Anyone who likes to point out that a Democratic president submitted the order is willfully ignoring the fact that a Republican president would have done exactly the same thing given the political pressures from all sides. I bet they are the same people who go to videos about Lincoln and post boastfully that it was a Republican president who issued the emancipation proclamation despite the political parties of yore being completely unrecognizable today.
    I often think back to Earl Warren, the then Republican chief justice and shortly after governor of California who was one of the foremost advocates of internment and threw his full support towards what would become order 9066. He had an otherwise stellar political career as both governor and justice as both a Republican and later as Democrat post 1962, but the advocacy of the japanese internment was stated in his personal memoirs to have been one of his deepest regrets which was "not in keeping with our American concept of freedom".
    It wasn't the failings of only a few influential men, nor of simple political allegiances, it was our failing as a people. When you look back over the greatest crimes and mistakes our great nation has made, you will often find bipartisan support. As a people we stumble often, but must keep moving forward committed to our ideals.

  • Takei is a great man, and a great American. As we lose more of our Star Trek veterans, I am reminded of the valor of our Greatest Generation.

  • I have never heard of the 442nd , not in school, not anywhere, but what a great story to turn into a movie.

  • US Govt is actually like "A Wolf in Sheep Skin"…… US can only be only powerful country on this globe!!!! They control the world military, economy, finance, who is to be the leader of a country !!!!

  • Should have been killed in a transporter accident

  • God is watching US, embrace diversity, not enrage it for better lives, real big Americans, hahahah.

  • This country did not betray you. FDR with a executive decree betrayed you.

  • You love the country because the country did you no wrong. You made million's of dollars, the internment for Japanese citizens was a Sunday picnic compared to internment in Germany or other nations. In short, you life was never threatened. And after the war, America never truly held prejudice against Japanese people, in fact, we rebuilt the nation and granted them Most Favored Nation trading status. What's to hate?

  • George we are not a Democracy, we are a Democratic Republic, a completely different animal and amazing to me I have to keep repeating myself and telling this to people…

  • He is embellishing, I agree there was wrong done to American Japanese ,

    What holdings and property's where returned to the American Japanese.

    If they where renting , they where given more then a one way ticket.

    They did not live in prison type conditions.

    It was not the greatest housing mind you.

    Now ,I no way do I condone, how the American Japanese where treated.

    Gorge Tiki has his issues with white people in general.

    However that dose not lessen the actual treatment of American Japanese during ww2.

    There was more going on with the American Japanese community's, and many did not disagree with the actions taken by the government.

    There was a large number of Japanese in America who where Loyal to Japan's Emperor , however there was a large network who where in America and Japan that where organized and many in that faction where even working on seizing power from the emperor, they wanted war and did not wish to surrender to the allied forces.

    Again , many of the radical Japanese where here in America and on the west cost who had American Japanese families that they had proliferated the community's.

    That's why the final decision was made to place the American Japanese in guarded locations.

    Its Was not decided by Racist motivation.

    Fact

  • It should be remembered that the United States is not, never has been, and was never intended to be a democracy. The United States is a Constitutional Republic. A democracy is rule by majority vote. A republic is rule by law, the Constitution being the highest law of the land.
    It is an unfortunate historical fact that Japanese Americans were illegally stripped of their rights and imprisoned during World War 2. In a period of mass emotional hysteria, the rule of law was cast aside, abridged in violation of our founding principles, imprisoning thousands if not millions of citizens of Japanese heritage illegally. Two points should be noted.
    1. This type of emotional mob rule is the very reason our founding fathers rejected democracy, which is all too susceptible to it, especially when electing a president.
    2. Franklin D. Roosevelt, the president at that time, was a Democrat, but I doubt in that war time scenario many Republicans would have acted much differently. However, traditionally Republicans have held the Constitution and the rule of law in higher regard than the Democrats, so we will never know.
    Speaking of history, did you know…
    – the Republican party was founded in 1853 on an abolitionist (anti slavery) platform
    – the Democrat party was the pro slavery party
    – this conflict led to the Civil War
    – General Beauregard, who fired the opening cannon barrage on Fort Sumter starting the Civil War was a Democrat (and one of my best friend's great-great-great uncle)
    – President Woodrow Wilson, who helped found the League of Nations (forerunner to the United Nations) showed the first motion picture ever in the White House, titled "Birth of a Nation" (changed from "The Clansman" which glorified the KKK)… oh, and he was a Democrat.
    Today we are facing more civil strife, and people need to put their minds in gear and act rationally and logically and NOT emotionally when considering social and political issues. It would mot hurt to study some American History college level texts written at least 30 years ago, and before the current push in academia to alter the views and perception of the values, goals, and culture of the United States. I grew up about the same time as George, being about 10 years younger than him. I recently returned to college to complete an old degree left hanging long ago, graduating in 2011, and I was amazed at the twisted misrepresentation of not only US history, traditional values, and culture, but also how openly the anti-American doctrines were taught. I now better understand the growing conflict, and it would not surprise me if we did have another civil war.

  • this man is a degenerate pedophile!

  • Please send this to Trumptard….

  • Stockholm Syndrome!

  • Those rights were for written only if you're white in América… That's still believed today. Result: Donald Trump is President.

  • He loves this country but would love it more if the same party and ideology that imprisoned him were running it?

  • All the lies of famouse people and their dirty lives please people listen to this
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=105&v=AJYb0Yom5UQ

  • Think we fa to realize,if the government is corrupt…it is probably a sign that the people have already become distracted with all the good things given…for the most part…and America has made so many distractions…and we fail to realise,that most small wars,are most likely to plunder the recources in which,yes…the politicians gain money,riches…but we get the recources,or the work if their hands … Because we do get much of the recources that those corrupt ppl bring from bartering with those countries leaders or business ppl that oppress their own ppl,my point is…this is something that spiraled and manifested from our distractions…which by the way,the things of our distractions,also take recources to be even possie…who and what can guarantee that what we enjoy doesn't come from the oppression … There's no telling anymore,but all in all…it is our own fault…all we needed,was food to eat,a else,was simply going to comicqte things inevitay,and these are the consequences…I don't blame goverment like I did at one point…Ive come to the realization that it starts from below…the top,is simply the effect of what came…after all…they are spiritual beings also…prone to getting lost like we are…we both bleed,we both suffer…we both get lonely ,to the point that we don't know what is surging I side of us,changing,needing and searching for something we can not find…but do need it,but so lost to the point where the soul can't and no longer knows what it needs,so it seeks what's most accessable…we say power corrupts…there's a logic to that…I doubt most powerful ppl go in knowing the stuges they will endure…the time consumption,I do think the I tention is good in the beginning for the most part,the the battle that they're faces with,the realization that having to bring in and be rwaponsie for the needs and wants of the masses,that and which by the way,don't make things any easier,because at the same time,we say,were simple people,we're good,were godly…we want want want,expect,and demand…forgetting,God says,ask…and we shall receive…not,demand…and we shall receive… We seem to think civilians are the only people with problems,and think goverment is not prone to feel the same loneliness within their family,the same struggles,that were faced with out here…but I think they have it worst,because their lives are put on the spotlight,probay making it worst for their spirit…we tend to think of them as God,whe we say we don't…our actions,and demands for them to be held accountable,which they shod,but the power of how strong our condemnation towards their mistakes can't be good … Probably making things worst. They say words are power,but unfortunately,I think we've probably without realizing made more monsters than good people,and from what it seems,those monsters it seems are biting back at their makers,us…

  • One of the many reasons FDR was terrible

  • mental illness nothing more!

  • Yeah and your country rounded up all the whites and never fed them

  • i am not saying it is right but i can understand why it was done.

  • Unfortunately, I can no longer take Takei seriously. I was a fan of him as Sulu; I chuckled to his sense of humor on Facebook; and I was an ally when he came out. But over the past few years, his once epic sense of humor and once perceptive take on life have been replaced by the same type of hyperbolic pseudo-outrage that has infested a good number of celebrities. He's now just the generic geriatric unhinged radical.

  • Yes to democracy and No to socialism and communism for which they go hand in hand. The Japanese people fled Japan because of communism and still flee when they can today. Socialism starts out small but grow to be big government take over. The first step is small programs that seem to work the next step is to remove guns because of crime but it really is because big government fear the society that is armed. Once you are disarmed the government starts taking over everything and you can't stop them because they and the criminals are the only ones with guns. Basically they are the criminals at that point and you want be able to stop them. If you give the government all the power then they stop caring about what you want and only about what they want. Venezuela is a prime example and they are dying right now because of it.

  • Outstanding. This does not seem to be the same person that is on Twitter in 2019 — I will remember that this is also George Takei, and that this is the foundation of his beliefs.

  • George I am sorry for the way American Japanise where treated.

  • if he loves the country why don't he wear the uniform of the service

  • Someone needs to tell George that the United States has not had a democracy in at least 50 years.

  • A prisoner of war camp? Were you all worked too death? Like the Japanese did to the allied pow's?

  • Hey zulu nobody cares….

  • He's a loser. I'd say he's butthurt but he might consider that homophobic.

  • Hey TED…it's very unfortunate that you put quotes around the word "security" measure in this video's description. Just because you didn't like or approve of the internment camps, doesn't mean they weren't established for security. While I also feel that the situation with the camps was a shocking blow to those US citizens, I do understand why our country did it. It's very easy for us now, especially millennial socialists who have no idea of the full picture, to decry this action as some kind of atrocity against humanity. The bigger issue to contemplate is what would have happened back in the 1940's had we NOT taken these precautions and somehow the events of the war changed. The internment camps would have been a forgotten memory because the Axis powers would not have allowed any information about it to be shared. It was a security measure because we did not know who we could and could not trust. We did not know which of them might attempt to subvert the country because of a stronger allegiance to Japan than their adopted homeland. Does anyone remember that after the 9/11 attacks, all American aircraft were grounded, and for the same reason? We didn't know if a continued threat existed in the skies, so we cleared them of all aircraft. Even though this action produced no further evidence of aircraft enabled to carry out terrorist missions, should we have not played it "better safe than sorry"?

  • 9:20 Yet 33000 Japanese Americans served in WW2 for the US Army and other branches and retains incredible respect in the armed forces to this day. Please stop this religion of victimhood! We are all victims of something at some point, but heroes and winners embrace it and move on to success. Look at Japan today, it is probably one of the top 5 most stunning and greatest places/countries to visit or live in today! And Japanese Americans are some of the most successful demographics in the US today!

  • This just illustrates that we don't really have any rights. As George Carlin had said, The first 10 amendments should be called the Bill of Privileges, because rights cannot be revoked. Lincoln revoked Habeas Corpus during the Civil War. Wilson jailed journalists during WW1 who criticized the war. And of course, FDR, imprisoned japanese americans during WW2. You think you're safe and secure in your rights? If you do, you're naive.

  • Seagoville, TX there is a Japanese Prisión Camp there.

  • The treatment of the Japanese Americans after Pearl Harbor was shameful..But it may have saved the lives of many .. Hatred for the Japanese was high and those that lost family & friends may have taken revenge on the Nisei. …The 442nd regiment was the most decorated in the U.S. Army…Comprised of Nisei Americans…For many reasons they served in Europe..Like many minorities they served a nation that treated them as substandard..

  • And Americans need to remember that it was the Democrats that committed this atrocities! Just like most of the atrocities from slavery to Jim Crow. What Mr Takei needs to also understand is that after Pearl Harbor America had just lost most of it pacific fleet and the Japanese were on the move, unbeatable in the pacific and Hitler was likewise in Europe and N. Africa. In a way having people of unknown loyalties unchecked was a security nightmare. And the news highlighting the rape of Nanking and other atrocities by the Japanese, one can hardly blame the reaction. Also I understand that Germans , Italians, Hungarians and other Europeans were also interned in great numbers. And the world sucks and littered with injustice!

  • Most powerful TED talk I've ever listened to.

    Much more powerful than KNEELING.

  • The government of the day is not your country . Betrayal from official in power shouldn't sway your love for your country no matter how painful it is. The ability to see the differences will set you free of hatred.

  • Nothing wrong with loving a country that lets you in, it's when you hate where you come from that is wrong.

  • I disagree politically with Sulu most of the time, but not here. This is a stain on our history & should have been taught in our history classes. Agree or disagree, I respect him. This was a great speech.

  • Did I miss anything? I was hoping for clear elucidation on why George loves the USA but I found none. He just described his experiences and his loyalty. Or did I miss loyalty is it?

  • Wow this is so touching I’m so happy I didn’t scroll past this.

  • Isn't it funny when a white man does something, their evil? When someone else does something horrible, white people are still evil.

  • The Democratic Party that you now support, is the very same party that put you and your family in concentration camp. You sir, are a dumbass liberal.

  • All you folks who replied negatively to my post. I stand on moral grounds and think that all this experimental social change in the last several years is bad for the country. People who are like minded wonder when the stupidity will end. I stand with Mr. Trump our first decent President in a long while. I will never endorse any of this deviant behavior. If a civil war starts I know who some of the target groups are.

  • So how did you turn into a traitorous, left wing communist nutjob then!? LOL

  • Good on u george but we arent a democracy. We are a constitutional republic

  • No one betrayed you, at the time they were trying to make everyone safe. It was a world war.

  • YOUR LOVE IS NOT RETURNED GEORGE…AMERICA IS A SELFISH LOVER

  • Wow why don't I know about this story? It's kind of upsetting that this wasn't taught to me. Everyone should know this story.

  • Pearl Harbor: Some people did something.

  • #REDFLAG GEORGE TAKEI THE DEMOCRAT / INSANE (BUT I REPEAT MYSELF)

  • DEMOCRACY IS A 100% DICTATORSHIP. THATS WHY OUR FOUNDING FATHERS INVENTED A REPULIC. THE REPUBLICAN FORM OF GOVERNMENT REPRESENTS 100% OF THE PEOPLE. EVEN THE ONE GAY GUY THAT NOBODY LIKES. BUT DEMOCRACY IS ALLOWING A MAJORITY VOTE TO DICTATE WHAT EVERYONE SHALL DO. SO IF YOU ARE IN THE 49% WHO DO NOT WANT TO LET THE GOVERNMENT ABORT YOUR SON OR DAUGHTER, TOO BAD.

  • why does Takei get a Ted talk? He hasn't done anything noteworthy in his entire life.

  • can we stop saying we are a democracy ….get it right

  • America today is actually more worse than it was 50 years ago. I feel sorry for this guy. Americans can be proud making people suffer. Which is Bullshit.

  • Just to point out the obvious: 1. It was the Democrats that locked up the Japanese. 2. Why can't blacks do what the Japanese have done? They were literally locked up by the government and treated like criminals. Nobody looks at the Japanese Americans like that now. Why is that?

  • How can you stop and hear this story and support this man in the WH and the frightened people around him? America, STAND UP.

  • Powerful and very educated speech thank you.

  • He's now a crazy leftist full of hate for conservatives.

  • God Bless George Takei! He stood up, and speaks American truths!

  • Fear of Japanese was not because of looks. Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, etc. etc. are indistinguishable to Americans yet only those with Japanese ancestry were interred. The fear was due to cultural separatism or what we call diversity today.

  • Well I'm glad to hear it all ended happily for you there George, but did anyone ever tell you that the reason for being treated with such caution was because photo's and eye witnessed accounts were obtained during the time of Japanese soldiers using captured babies as bayonet practice, by actually throwing them in the air to practice!!! and WERE all laughing during it too!!!!! …..just saying okay!!!

  • Considering what both Hitler and the Japanese did during the second world war, I'd say you got off pretty lucky…you've had a well paid career being a pretender (actor) probably for most of it, if not all of it! during your main working life old chap….all thanks to America.

  • This is what makes America strong!

  • Would it happen again? Yes and that I said to those HK protestors so enamored with US 'liberty'. HK belongs to China and if can't accept that fact, can always migrate to US & western countries. But remember, US is waging trade war with China and this may escalate into military war considering inbred violent bigot nature of white Americans. Just be mentally prepared to be locked behind barbed wire when that happens!

  • wisdom from the sexual predator George Takei

  • Shameful what White people did to Japanese Americans

  • George is a captivating speaker/storyteller… another dark chapter in U.S. history that has a (somewhat) silver lining. 3:)

  • E.O. 9066 was not of our greatest moments in history.

  • I fully support the absolute right of everyone to be whatever makes them happy. I reject political philosophies of people who turn around and try to tell me to do what makes THEM happy. Fair play works both ways. Try it. You might like it. BTW the internment of the Japanese is a national disgrace we can never live down. It is a violation of the American principle of individualism. I be me. You be you. Innocent until proven guilty. No deprivation of civil rights, liberties, life or property without due process of law. All persons and all rights deserve equal protection. Today's so-called liberals are nothing but socio-fascists shoving their vision upon others and destroying the individuality of others. The horrific things we did to the Japanese were inexcusable. The liberals of today seek to bring us full circle to their my way of the highway, and if you are not compliant you are a blasphemous heretic. An enemy non-alien. Get it? George Takei gets it. Do you?

  • oh please georgie was 4 years old when the sneak attack occured yet talks like he knew everything about what was going on… stop crying queer!

  • If he wants to make the US a "truer democracy," then he will first have to turn it from being a republic. It is not a democracy, no matter how many times they beat people over the head with the term.

    As for his story, it was indeed moving and unfortunate, but I would say that the American people themselves were the big let-downs during that time, and not the government. It's only natural for a government to oppress people because that's what they do. However, what excuse can be given for the people who not only allowed the oppression but also responded in hatred against their fellow man?

    There truly is only one race and all men and women are part of it.

  • 听了这个香蕉人的演说,我更加确信了美国政府的洗脑能力有多恐怖。

  • if he loves the country why don't he wear the uniform of the armed forces

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