Morning Calm Weekly Newspaper Installation Management Command, U.S. Army / Flickr Korean War HD SN 99 03144...
Morning Calm Weekly Newspaper Installation Management Command, U.S. Army / Flickr

We think it can’t happen here. We think “we are better than that”—and yet, here we are.

Former actor and liberal activist George Takei knows what it’s like to be singled out, vilified, dehumanized, feared and hated becuase of his ancestral country of origin. On Friday, he tweeted a warning to Americans—with a hash dose of reality.

“If you think authoritarianism cannot happen here in America, I lived through a time when it already did: to 120,000 Japanese Americans, most of us citizens. It starts by dehumanizing a group, then spreads through fear, ignorance and hate. Recognize the patterns. Remember history.” -George Takei

Here is the original tweet:

For a glimpse into Japanes-American Internment here is a short 3-minute clip from History.com. (Transcript in process)

It can happen—because it did happen.

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.

1 COMMENT

  1. To some extent I can understand the fear that took place after Pearl Harbor. Add in a less integrated society that was still learning to accept it’s Asian neighbors as real Americans.
    Internment camps signified an expedient alternative to going door to door performing investigations of suspects, which were few in number and they could never present any solid evidence on them.
    None of this excuses the indignities, humiliation, and further discrimination that took place.
    Too add insult to injury, when the Japanese-Americans were released after the war, they were to find out that any property that may have owned previously, was confiscated by the United States, never to be returned.

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