Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Scott Whitlock was apparently in a particularly foul mood and felt like attacking George Takei for having opined about President Trump's immigration policy. Under the headline "George Takei Sneers: Trump’s America First Policy Is Like Interning Japanese," Whitlock huffed:
USA Today on Thursday gave liberal actor/activist George Takei a platform to compare Donald Trump’s immigration policies to that of interning the Japanese during World War II. In a column, Takei slammed, “Our president has trumpeted an ‘America First’ policy, vowing to prioritize the well-being of the United States. But ‘America’ doesn’t seem to include the brown-skinned, foreign-sounding or non-Christian people affected by his travel ban, his Mexico border wall or his immigration raids.”
The actor continued, “Keeping America safe means shutting out Middle Eastern refugees and deporting ‘rapists’ and ‘murderers.’ Keeping American jobs means keeping out Mexicans who cross the border to take them.” In 2015, the activist used racist language to mock Clarence Thomas as a “clown in black face.”
Takei compared Trump’s plans to the mass internment of Japanese:
Seventy-five years ago, on Feb. 19, 1942, President Roosevelt launched his own version of “us vs. them,” authorizing the military to designate military zones and exclude any person from those zones as it saw fit. That order, like Trump’s travel ban, was on its face neutral. But it bore a clear intent.
Nearly 120,000 innocent people of Japanese ancestry were incarcerated simply because we looked like “them” — the enemy. Two-thirds of us were U.S. citizens. We lost our homes, our jobs and our businesses and were held for years without charge.
The government had put “America First,” and we suffered for it.
USA Today obviously was pleased with the piece as the paper put a preview of it on the top of the front page. It included a picture of the actor and the headline: "George Takei: Immigration Ban Divisive. Trump's 'us vs. them' stance reminds actor of Japanese internment."
Whitlock apparently skipped over the part of Takei's column in which he wrote of his personal experience with internment, for he utterly fails to mention Takei's personal history with the issue:
I remember that day when American soldiers came to our home, carrying rifles with shiny bayonets, and ordered our family out. I was 5 years old. We were put on a train with armed soldiers at both ends of each car, as if we were criminals, and transported to Arkansas.
I remember the barbed wire fence of the internment camp, the tall sentry towers with machine guns pointed down at us. I remember the searchlight that followed me when I made the night runs from our barrack to the latrine. It became routine for me to line up three times a day to eat lousy food in a noisy mess hall. To go with my father to bathe in a mass shower. I could see the barbed wire fence and the sentry tower right outside my schoolhouse window as I recited the words “with liberty and justice for all”— too young to feel the stinging irony in those words.
In other words, Takei knows from where he speaks -- unlike Whitlock, who is simply lashing out at Takei for failing to fall in line with the new right-wing orthodoxy.