Why I love a country that once betrayed me | George Takei

When he was a child, George Takei and his family were forced into an internment camp for Japanese-Americans, as a „security“ measure during World War II. 70 years later, Takei looks back at how the camp shaped his surprising, personal definition of patriotism and democracy.

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Comment (100)

  1. The Empire of Japan aimed to dominate Asia and the Pacific and was already at war with the Republic of China in 1937,[5] but the world war is generally said to have begun on 1 September 1939[6] with the invasion of Poland by Germany and subsequent declarations of war on Germany by France and the United Kingdom. From late 1939 to early 1941, in a series of campaigns and treaties, Germany conquered or controlled much of continental Europe, and formed the Axis alliance with Italy and Japan. Under the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact of August 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union partitioned and annexed territories of their European neighbours, Poland, Finland, Romania and the Baltic states. The war continued primarily between the European Axis powers and the coalition of the United Kingdom and the British Commonwealth, with campaigns including the North Africa and East Africa campaigns, the aerial Battle of Britain, the Blitz bombing campaign, the Balkan Campaign as well as the long-running Battle of the Atlantic. In June 1941, the European Axis powers launched an invasion of the Soviet Union, opening the largest land theatre of war in history, which trapped the major part of the Axis' military forces into a war of attrition. In December 1941, Japan attacked the United States and European territories in the Pacific Ocean, and quickly conquered much of the Western Pacific.
    The Axis advance halted in 1942 when Japan lost the critical Battle of Midway, near Hawaii, and Germany was defeated in North Africa and then, decisively, at Stalingrad in the Soviet Union. In 1943, with a series of German defeats on the Eastern Front, the Allied invasion of Sicily and the Allied invasion of Italy which brought about Italian surrender, and Allied victories in the Pacific, the Axis lost the initiative and undertook strategic retreat on all fronts. In 1944, the Western Allies invaded German-occupied France, while the Soviet Union regained all of its territorial losses and invaded Germany and its allies. During 1944 and 1945 the Japanese suffered major reverses in mainland Asia in South Central China and Burma, while the Allies crippled the Japanese Navy and captured key Western Pacific islands.

  2. And I got here from a cut scene from Red Alert 3:
    A game where George played the emperor of a giant, overly militarized Japanese empire with Gundams, psychic schoolgirls, and soldiers that banzai charge with lightsaber katanas. Did I mention that he really hammed up his performance and accent?

  3. America made a serious mistake by rounding up all Japanese-Americans.  They should have only taken those who had displayed evidence of disloyalty.  What was done was certainly a violation of the constitution.  However, the decision to do it was not based on race but on recognition of a belief system that was almost universally held in Japan.  It guided their thinking and actions, it taught them they were superior to all others, and they were to be unquestionably loyal to their emperor.  An emperor who had already been supporting the horrors that Japan's military leadership had been pouring on its neighbors in Asia for years before Pearl Harbor.  After Pearl Harbor, it was believed that Japanese-Americans may also be influenced by that code and could cause problems here.  The U.S. government did not think it was wise to take the time needed to investigate all of them individually.  It became undisputible in time that Japanese-Americans did not abide by that code in significant numbers.   As bad as interning them all was, it was arguably worse that their property was not protected for them and returned to them after the war.http://www.bookwormroom.com/2010/03/18/tom-hanks-shows-stunning-ignorance-when-he-claims-americans-were-racial-genocidists-against-the-japanese-during-wwii/https://books.google.com/books?id=xc1LBAAAQBAJ&pg=PA211&lpg=PA211&dq=bushido+and+internment+of+japanese+americans&source=bl&ots=Z5iG-nG5eo&sig=Ir2pTN7hRzOLoWZz9xDu0wDyk2U&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjq2IbIkfzPAhVorFQKHeM6DYQQ6AEIOjAE#v=onepage&q=bushido%20and%20internment%20of%20japanese%20americans&f=false

  4. With respect to the sad story, and to all people who were in prison camp. But something does not feel right in his speech, by what i mean and point out to is honesty. To me this sounds like propaganda, do not forget mr. Takei is an actor, and political activist. After war was over, tensions and nuclear strike had to be swept under rug, and what better way tan to include Star trek crew as: Sulu Japanese character, African girl officer, we all know how black people were mistreated, Russian character Cekov also tendencies with cold war, silly as this sounds, it was planed on higher levels. This speech of personal patriotism and democracy would be inspiring, if i believe word of it.

  5. Moving story. However, don't forget who throw you Japanese-Americans into such situations: Japanese government. You may be innocent, but think about American families lost their children in the war, think about the damage Japan did to all the Asian countries: China, Korea, etc. Millions of innocent people were slaughtered by Japanese army even if they were not soldiers. Even worse, in some cases Japanese soldiers butchered civilians just FOR FUN! FOR FUN! They thought they were playing games, and those who got more (civilian) kills would win and be honored! That was terrorism! We won't forget what Japanese-Americans did for this country during WW2, however the crimes Japanese government committed should not be forgotten. They betrayed the world, they betrayed their people, and this country didn't betray you! May peace last forever! NO MORE WARS!

  6. This message needs to be shared with the Hispano-Americans and Muslim-Americans of today. If the Japanese-Americans made it from being hated to incorrectly associated with karate, karaoke, manga and anime, then who's to say the same won't happen for us. Takei is right in hanging on to our ideals for the nation we grew up in and love. The 442nd showed us the way, so let's follow.

  7. It is a message like this that even if a demagouge and alleged racist, sexist person like Trump is now our president and he will have control of all three branches of government that there is hope that we will make it through this. Now I just hope that we won't become the dictatorship that the founding fathers hoped would never happen. That is what keeps me up at night.

  8. So… his family and his people got fucked up multiple times, then they sacrificed themselves in a war, and when the war was over, the 'Muricans stopped their suppression and fuckery. Now you think it is great to be 'Murican. Sounds like one of these absurd horror tales Germans tell their kids with twisted morality – which they however do not even understand, but once you are adult you just think WTF are these tales man, they are just messed up.

    Anyway, nice storytelling though, that voice is fabulous. But I disagree with the conclusion.

  9. I'm here because Trump has allegedly said that he's now unwilling to nominate Supreme Court justices with the intention of overturning gay marriage. I feel betrayed. The Supreme Court nominations are the reasons why I voted for him.

  10. 'overnight the world was plunged in a world war' you mean the USA was… The world had been at war for 3 years already. But a young 4 year old's world perception may have been different. His world was changed. Just like Raymond Moriyama (A Japanese Canadian who went through about the same thing) famous for other things. Both loving the country that betrayed them.

  11. Hopefully, we can learn from our past mistakes in the present day and avoid future government betrayals of our citizens. I'd hope, by now, as human beings we'd even be beyond personal betrayals of our fellow men and women. A task for each of us: to boldly propel our families forward to where everyone should already be.

  12. Inspiring. Let's hope the same mistakes are not allowed to be made if it ever comes to war with China. As a Chinese American, I am gravely concerned that this is a possibility.

  13. pat morita was also in the camps. he told a story that he was in the hospital as a teen and when he came out of the hospital he had no idea that his family had been shipped to one of these camps and he was taken directly there. can you imagine? how horrifying. i hope history does not repeat itself.

  14. The USA was doing the same thing the Nazi's did except they were not "cleaning" the US from Japanese like Nazi's to Jews. But They did do it to the REAL Americans native Americans. And contribute to Africans massacres and enslaving the survivors then exploiting Irish, Italians and Chinese. Now Muslims and Mexicans are next. I see a trend each suffering discrimination and prejudice and each enduring and contributing to US even more then their grandchildren. And then the grandchildren feel entitled when if it was up to them the nation would probably be gone by now but none the less treat new comers with the same prejudice they would have gotten if they arrived a few generations ago.

  15. It was not until McCarthy was President that an apology was officially issued to Japanese Americans for what they've went thru.  From the time of Japanese American Interment, and MCCarthy, that was over 40 years of living in poverty, and in fear of the general American population. Who knows how many of these Americans were murdered by hate crimes after interment .

  16. Could anybody teach me why only Japanese Americans were forced to live in internment camps and their properties were confiscated by the U.S.government while Americans of German and Italian origins were immune to such harsh treatment?

  17. Mr. Takei, I think this is nothing compared to what the babaric Japanese did to millions of innocent civilians during WW2. How much did you suffer during those years and how much did millions of innocent people around Asia suffer at the hands of the Japanese? Millions who were senselessly slaughtered by the Japanese were defenceless women and children. Putting you behind these camps actually saved your life! If you are left outside of these camps, you would be lynched in public. I do agree with you that Democracy needs good people to make it work, unfortunately good people the Japanese are not! So Japanese could not be a part of the Great American Democracy journey. During WW2,, the only good Japanese was a dead Japanese .

  18. 3:404:30 sounds a bit like red dawn movie except from paratroopers (not being nasty) but it does sound like it if you listen carefully
    (Reply if it is a nasty/racist comment and I will apologise and delete it or like if you agree) you don't have to though that is your choice.

  19. I'm not certain how anyone's security is protected when you take entire categories of people, all American citizens, with no documented security threat (as the American military established before, during and after internment, which was nothing more than a political palliative that had nothing to do with national security.) A policy that attacks particular classes and categories of people needs the strictest scrutiny. targeting all japanese-Americans was useless, it was ineffective, and it was racist. While a few foreign nationals in the Italian and german communities in the US also were interned, it is useful to note that almost no german-American or Italian American US citizens were interned. It was a colossally stupid, racist policy and Pipes is wrong to defend it.

  20. Good god all these fucking losers complaining about trump. Seriously he can't turn the country into a dictatorship or do what ever he wants. Being president doesn't mean absolute power. stfu and listen to George's story. Ty.

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