MegaCon 2016 took place this past Memorial Day weekend in Orlando Florida and among the star studded celebrity guests attending the show was every science fiction’s fans fabulous gay uncle, George Takei. Mr. Takei is also well known for his portrayal as the USS Enterprise’s helmsman, Lt. Sulu from the classic and original Star Trek as created by the iconic Gene Roddenberry.
During Mr. Takei’s question and answer panel at this year’s MegaCon, a fan thanked Mr. Takei for his dedication to the LGBTQ community and for bringing awareness to America’s very own Japanese internment camps during WW II. While the distinguished and openly gay actor was clearly appreciative, he very nicely corrected the young woman saying, “Japanese/American.” then pointing towards himself he went on to say, “We’re Americans and we were imprisoned by our own government, in or own country.” Pointing the to himself he said, “Our family was sent to the swamps of Arkansas.”
Then pointed away from himself he said, “Japanese internment camps were run by the government of Japan. Our internment camps were run by the United States government, with US soldiers. So that distinction is very important.”
The young woman acknowledged Mr. Takei’s comment and then went on to say, “Because you’re such a huge role model, I would like to know; of the three candidates who would you be voting for?” With that Takei laughed heartily as the crowd uttered a low and collective moan of caution and wariness before Mr. Takei began to speak.
Looking out over the audience with a calm yet seemingly determined demeanor, the outspoken activist and social media personality smiled broadly before giving a very passionate answer, “Here I am in Florida.” as he looked around the audience before asking an important question, “What color is Florida?”
With members of the audience yelling out different colors, “Is it blue, red or purple?” as he looked around the crowd as the gathered attendees seemingly agreeing that Florida is in fact Purple. Then pointing to a fan who had in fact yelled out purple says, “You think it’s purple?” Shaking his head in agreement he continues, “I think so too.” Said Mr. Takei with a broad and friendly smile.
Then in a very statesmen-like manner and shaking his head affirmatively the legendary George Takei looked at the entire audience with an unflinching spirit and said, “One thing I am definitely sure of and I am vigorously working for is to make sure that Donald Trump is NEVER President of the United States!”
What seemed like the entire crowd then erupted in a roar of approval, cheers and applause as George Takei still shaking his head affirmatively gave the clearly anti-Trump crowd a glorious thumbs up in response. And as Mr. Takei stood on stage looking proudly back at the audience who clearly shared his thoughts on Donald Trump not winning the Presidency of the United States a funny thing happened; the crowd’s cheers and clapping increased in its ferocity for a bit longer before Mr. Takei was able to continue speaking.
With his hand over his heart, George Takei continues to address the crowd, “As a Japanese American, I was chilled when he began his sweeping statements about minorities. Characterizing immigrants from South of the border as rapists and drug dealers and murderers.” Then shifting his stance and looking at another part of the audience continued to say, “Or when he said all Muslims should be banned from entering into the United States.”
Looking out across the audience Mr. Takei seemed sincerely worried as he said “You know, people who are uninformed are swept up by that.” Then gesturing out toward the audience he said, “Yes, the terrorists were and are Muslim. But there are millions and millions of Muslims all around this planet who are not terrorists!” As the crowd once again began to cheer and clap to their wisdom filled and passionate Gay Uncle.
“And to characterize all those millions of people,” as he waved his arms in the air from left to right, “of one faith as terrorists was outrageous. I as a Japanese American immediately got a chill when he made those statements.” Mr. Takei then looked around the audience wide-eyed as if to illustrate the important similarly with his own family’s experience during WW II, “Because the same thing happened to Japanese Americans. When Pearl Harbor was bombed, we happened to look like the people that bombed Pearl Harbor.” Pointing both hands at himself he continued looking out over the center of the crowd as he spoke, “And Japanese Americans were looked at with suspicion and fear and outright hatred.”
Then pointing to the right side of the audience he went on, “And politicians started fanning the flames the flames of that kind of ignorance and fear.” his hands gesturing in a fanning motion. “In California we had an Attorney General who knew the Constitution because he was the Attorney General. But he was ambitious. He wanted to run for Governor of California and he saw that the single most popular issue was the ‘Lock up the Japanese issue.’”
“And so this Attorney General who knew the law, became an outspoken advocate of locking up the Japanese and he made an amazing statement; he said, ‘We have no reports of sabotage or spying or fifth column activities of Japanese Americans.” He then stops and puts up his index finger, attempting to emphasize the point before continuing, “‘And that is obvious. Because the Japanese are” again pauses for effect with his eyebrows raised before saying, “. . . inscrutable.‘”
Pointing his finger in a matter-of-fact kind of manner toward the audience he says, “That’s the stereotype, ‘inscrutable'” as he looks around before continuing, “You don’t know what their thinking, so you better lock them up” as his right arm makes a sweeping motion in front of him, “before they do it!”
Mr. Takei then looked at the audience in such a way as let us know that what he was going to say next was in fact the crime and mistake we should all learn from and never let happen again, “So for this Attorney General the absence of evidence was the evidence and that fanned the flames to the point where the President of the United States ordered all Japanese Americans on the West Coast to be rounded up.”
Then pausing to keep his composure George Takei continued on with his heartfelt history lesson, “That man ran for governor, and he won. Became re-elected twice and then he was appointed to be the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.” He then meekly looked down unto the audience as if everyone in attendance including himself shared in this shame before pointing out across them saying, “Some of you may recognize his name,” again pausing for effect before naming the politician in question, “Earle Warren.”
“The so-called Liberal Chief Justice of the United States.” Said the emotional Takei as he held up a finger. “He never owned up to what he did during the second world war. But in his memoirs published after he died he said, ‘The one regret I’ve had in my career is the internment of Japanese Americans.”
“So people who can do great things are also fallible human beings and I don’t want to say that Donald Trump can’t do great things other than build big hotels,” to which the crowd chuckles. “But he’s a fallible human being and he’s fanning the flames of people who don’t know history.”
“As a matter of fact we happened to be doing Allegiance (A successful play produced by Takei dealing with the internment of Japanese Americans during WWII) on Broadway at that time and I thought Donald could benefit from seeing Allegiance.” Again smiling to the audience. “So I extended an invitation to him both personally as well as publicly on social media and morning talk shows. And I invited him to come see Allegiance. And we found an isle seat that we reserved for him for every performance.”
“We had a sign there.” Mr. Takei gesturing into the air as the audience chuckled at the image, “This Seat reserved for Mr. Donald Trump.” Enjoying the imagery himself Takei repeatedly pointed into the air as he continued, “And with a count down for the number of shows he missed throughout the run.” The distinguished actor was still smiling along with lingering laughter from the audience.
“He never showed up and missed 89 performances. And he never learned” With more laughter coming from the convention attendees, my favorite gay uncle George finished off his thoughts on Donald Trump.
“So a man like that who can advocate such a thing, that chilling racism and fear mongering does not deserve to be President of the United States.” as the crowd once again vigorously clapped and cheered in agreement as Takei finished his thoughts, “And thank you for that applause as we will all make sure that Donald Trump is not the President of the United States.”
With that the crowd rose to its feet in a standing ovation for one of science fiction’s most respected and well loved personalities who has proven time and again that standing up for what you believe in and what is right can be done with class and sophistication, while looking absolutely fabulous!
Live Long and Prosper Uncle George and thank you for being who you are and helping to guide us all through these interesting times we find ourselves living in. We love you!