Actor George Takei, who is a survivor of internment, slammed the Trump administration for going a step beyond the cruelty he suffered by separating families.
In an op-ed published in Foreign Policy, Takei, who is best known for his iconic role as Hikaru Sulu on “Star Trek,” recounts the trauma he suffered when his family was forcibly removed and placed in an internment camp after the attack on Pearl Harbor.
But despite the cruelty his family suffered, Takei singles out how Trump’s policy of ripping children away from their families has made things worse.
“In one core, horrifying way this is worse,” he writes, “At least during the internment of Japanese-Americans, I and other children were not stripped from our parents. We were not pulled screaming from our mothers’ arms. We were not left to change the diapers of younger children by ourselves.”
Later in his piece, Takei notes, “At least during the internment, we remained a family, and I credit that alone for keeping the scars of our unjust imprisonment from deepening on my soul.”
The Trump administration chose on its one to begin prosecuting border crossers, triggering the detainment of children.
It has now created a full-blown crisis that has attracted the condemnation of millions of American citizens, as well as organizations like the United Nations.
Takei’s writing puts in stark terms one of the worst injustices in American history and highlights how what Trump has done goes beyond that in violating human rights and decency.
Between 110,000 to 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry were forcibly relocated to camps and placed under armed guard between 1942 and 1946.
It is a dark chapter in American history. President Ronald Reagan formally apologized for the camps in 1988, describing them as “a grave wrong” and a “mistake.”
History looks back unfavorably on internment. It is widely condemned as an example of racism and paranoia gone wild.
For a survivor to single out Trump’s behavior as worse in even one way is a thundering condemnation of his administration’s moral depravity.