Star Trek star George Takei released a statement in response to comments made by a Donald Trump surrogate that Japanese-American internment camp WWII serve as a "precedent" for a national registry of Muslims now. The actor said the comparison was "completely out of bounds" and "morally bankrupt".
"The Japanese-American internment was an egregious violation of our national values and principles, a terrible event for which Congress apologized in 1988," he mentioned in an open editorial for the Daily Beast. "To invoke that dark chapter as a precedent for any action against any minorities today is a morally bankrupt and dangerous step, completely out-of-bounds with contemporary notions of civil and human rights."
His statement was in response to Carl Higbie,a former spokesman for the pro-Trump organisation Great America PAC, statement that a proposed national registry of Muslims holds "constitutional muster," using Japanese internment camps as an example. "We've done it with Iran back a while ago. We did it during World War II with the Japanese," he mentioned during an appearance on Fox's The Kelly File.
"The president needs to protect America first," he added, "and if that means having people that are not protected under our constitution have some sort of registry so we can understand — until we can identify the true threat and where it's coming from, I support it."
Takei warned that such plans could cause history to repeat itself and that America needed to remain "vigilant and mindful of our past mistakes".
"It is more important than ever that the story of the internment be told and heard. Trump's rhetoric and plans to profile Muslims indicate that he has not learned the folly of the internment, nor the forces of fear and prejudice that propelled it," said the actor who played Hikaru Sulu on the TV series.
Between 110,000 and 120,000 Japanese-Americans were forced into internment camps following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor during the Second World War. 62% of the internees were American citizens.