PIONEERS OF TELEVISION | George Takei’s life in an internment camp | PBS
That stereotype of Asian Americans as the enemy was all too real for George Takei from his very youngest days growing up in Los Angeles I remember that morning, in fact I can never forget that morning it was a terrifying morning I was in the living room, looking out of the front window and I saw two soldiers come… marching up our driveway I saw the ends of their rifles shiny… bayonets they stomped up to our front door our two bedroom home on Yarnet Street in Los Angeles and banged on the front door. It was terrifying. My father answered and we were ordered out of our home. George Takei’s family had committed no crime. Along with thousands of other law-abiding Japanese-Americans, They were taken from their home in California in 1942 and forced to relocate to an internment camp The reason was this. On December 7, 1941 Japan bombed the US navy base at Pearl Harbor Overnight America was at war with Japan The US government became suspicious of anyone of Japanese heritage As a group, these US citizens were labeled by their governments as enemy non-aliens What is non-alien? That is a citizen. They couldn’t even call us citizen. We were enemy non-aliens. Why? Because of this. We were taken to the horse stables and thinking back now I can’t imagine how degrading and humiliating it must have been for my parents. To take their three children, one a baby from a two bedroom home and told to sleep in that narrow, smelling horse stall I remember the barbed-wire fences and the sentry tower, the search light that followed me when I made the night runs from our barrack to the latrine It was a racist act. Pure and simple. And it was an unconstitutional act. I mean, you can’t imprison people for their race. That’s what we were imprisoned for.