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.


  1. One of the greatest stains on American history and its character hasn't even really outgrown it very much if at all

  2. Pioneers of Television “Breaking Barriers” airs TONIGHT at 8/7c: In this clip, “Star Trek” actor George Takei recalls the day his family was taken to live in Japanese American internment camps: 

  3. How about a feature presentation about Ronald Reagan making a name for himself by turning in dozens of 'friends', reporting them as Communists, because he 'thought' they were Communists. Reagan was a Leader of one of the most Ignorant Witch-Hunts in American History.

  4. Obviously there was very little difference between American racism and German racism, other than the Americans didn't gas their inmates.

  5. The "enemy non alien" part was terrible, and the fact that you lived in horse stables was just as bad. However, I can understand where they are coming from with the need to imprison the Japanese Americans in case they were conducting covert operations. However, the conditions must of been atrocious. Perhaps basic structures would of been better. I know that many of the POW camps in other countries were generally shacks or other wooden structures. 

  6. America makes me want to cry for the way so many people are ultimately treated in our country. Even when we claim to be united, we flourish on divisiveness, apparently. We carve up our population according to our hates, greed and mistrust, instead of according to our so-called ideals.

  7. My relatives were in internment camps and they never talk about it. Ever. Japanese work hard and never complain. So what if they were treated unfairly. They got over it. I really respect that. I do. But it's so refreshing to hear someone telling this story. This is a part of American history and I think people should know about it. 

    I'm sure that this whole ISIL/ISIS/IS situation will be an excuse as to American citizens being rounded into those camps. Since some Americans want to join the Islamic State, there won't be any other choice but to put American citizens into the camps because the government won't know who to trust… Anyone in this country could have the desire to join that group of spawns.  It's just like what happened to the Japanese Americans in World War II. They were all rounded up into concentration camps. Why? Because the government didn't know who to trust. It didn't matter how old they were, how innocent they were, or how rich they were. It was a holocaust. History is repeating itself, every one … just in a different way. This time it will be all races, all ethnic groups, all religions, and the thing that is different is that the rich people don't have to go…  all of this is going to make the higher class go even higher. People can say that this is a conspiracy theory all they want, because whether or not they believe it, it's still going to happen. Because like I said, the government won't know who to trust, and also, they can round us up simply because they can… 

    I'm not saying I'm right or anything, but think about it… 

  9. I feel like America is lying to us that they have the most freedom compared to other countries. Due to this terrible incident. And i feel like none of us is right or wrong. America set up these horrible cabins for japenese people. But when Japenese people bomb pearl harbor wasnt right either why is there so much bad things happening in this world. I guess Humans are smart but some are dumb and some are just cruel evil

  10. God Bless Ronald Regan for being the first American President to say "No, this was unjust and wrong, and these people should be compensated for their ordeal."

  11. Yeah George what the fuck are you doing voting for Democrats???? When democratic President came up with this shit to begin with.

  12. George Takei bitches about the internment camps but forgets it was Democrat Franklin Delano Roosevelt who put him there. What party are you affiliated with George? Yeah, thought so.

    Let's not discuss the Japanese that were tossing Filipino babies in the air and catching them on pitch forks. What about unit 731? What about dipping American soldiers in acid to see it's effects? The random kidnapping just to throw a grenade at them to see the effectiveness? All we hear about is Germany, but the Japanese were the far crueler and depraved of the two until we hand delivered a couple of presents. Fuck off George!

  13. I hope these atrocities stop, as the victims grow up it seems to increase the chance of them suffering from the mental disease known as "Liberalism". The inability to function as a logical adult who can comprehend facts, it's a serious illness. I have no problem with George Takei, but, his Liberalism is a serious issue. Together we can find a cure.

  14. George Takei said:"You cannot imprison people for their races."
    But, the Japan Empire bombed Pearl Harbour without declaring a war.
    At that time, there were many Japanese ancestors
    working for the Japan Empire as spys.

  15. 1. An east-coast Democrat elitist and his evil coterie did that to you, Georgie Boy.
    2. Remember the victims of Unit 731 (部隊 Nana-san-ichi Butai)! May they never be forgotten!

  16. strange this guy would be a democrat. I guess he never read the part where it was a DEMOCRAT president who put him in the camps. whats with these people Japanese internment victims Black americans supporting the party that did such horrible things to them. whats next jews for nazi's? why not? seems to be a big thing today support your oppressor's keep the racist party in power why? because they love/hate us ??? lemmings is all i can say.

  17. I don’t get why he’s considered a pioneer do United States give him tremendous opportunities and he was able to do well but why is your pioneer sexuality is defined by his DNA I don’t get what the big deal is

  18. Hundreds of German nationals and Germans who had become Americans spied on America for Germany and eventually were executed I see no difference other than maybe the Japanese internment camps save the lives of many many Japanese

  19. This is gone sound bad but i originally learned about this by way of a marvel movie where one of the characters was Japanese and made a comment with such vitriol I looked up the history of the place they said he was from and found this I don’t know what to say

  20. I had the pleasure of meeting George Takei. He was a guest speaker at my old Unitarian church. I find it so strange that he could forgive a government that didn’t care about him

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