Lea Salonga, George Takei & Telly Leung (Image via Fathom Events)
George Takei, the out 81-year-old Star Trek icon and social media phenomenon, still gets fired up discussing his family's internment under orders by FDR during WWII.
Speaking from California shortly before the spate of deadly wildfires there, he recounted for me the unconscionable hardship faced by Japanese Americans during this period, which included having their bank accounts frozen and being literally imprisoned without any charges ever being filed, all because the U.S. government decided their ethnicity trumped their citizenship. “The roughly 120,000 Japanese Americans on the West Coast were sent to 10 barbed-wire prison camps in the most godawful places in this country. All desolate, isolated. There were two camps in the blistering-hot desert of Arizona. There was another camp in the swamps of Arkansas. There were camps in the high, windswept, cold plains of Wyoming, Idaho, Utah, Colorado, and two of the most desolate places in California.”
“I mean, can you imagine this?” he asks, still incredulous after over 70 years.