George Takei Has Epic Reply for Anti-Refugee Mayor

David Bowers uses Japanese internment to defend blocking refugees
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 19, 2015 8:17 AM CST
In this April 28, 2015, file photo, George Takei arrives for a state dinner for Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the White House in Washington.   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)
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(Newser) – Twenty-six state governors calling for the US to close its borders to Syrian refugees were joined by the mayor of Roanoke, Va., on Wednesday, who quickly felt the wrath of Khan, er, George Takei. In a letter, per the Roanoke Times, David Bowers wrote that he is "reminded that Franklin D. Roosevelt felt compelled to sequester Japanese foreign nationals after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and it appears that the threat of harm to America from ISIS now is just as real and serious as that from our enemies then." Takei, a Japanese-American who was sent to an internment camp in 1942, fired back on Facebook, per USA Today: "It is my life's mission to never let such a thing happen again in America," adding "you demonstrably have failed to learn the most basic of American civics or history lessons."

Takei—who last year said the camps were "prison camps, really, with sentry towers, machine guns pointed at us"—continued, "The internment (not a 'sequester') was not of Japanese 'foreign nationals,' but of Japanese Americans, two-thirds of whom were US citizens. I was one of them, and my family and I spent four years in prison camps because we happened to look like the people who bombed Pearl Harbor." He added, "There never was any proven incident of espionage or sabotage from the suspected 'enemies' then, just as there has been no act of terrorism from any of the 1,854 Syrian refugees the US already has accepted." He finished by inviting Bowers to see his Broadway show Allegiance, based on his memories from internment. The post, which Vox calls "the perfect response," has thus far been shared 37,000 times. (Read more George Takei stories.)

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