In a Spanish-language video posted on Facebook Thursday, Takei — who noted many people probably didn’t know he spoke Spanish — used his Japanese-American background as a warning about what a Trump presidency could potentially bring for all Americans.
Takei explained in the video that when he was a little boy, after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, the U.S. government infamously rounded up more than 100,000 people of Japanese ancestry living in the U.S. and forced them into internment camps. The racially motivated policy used misguided fears to convince the public that anyone of Japanese descent, even U.S. citizens, was a potential threat to national security.
“I still remember the day armed guards marched up our driveway with bayonets, ordering us out of our home,” Takei said. “I remember my mother’s tears as we took with us only what we could carry, and lost all we had worked so hard for.”
He explained that his family was first relocated to a horse stable at a racetrack, and they were later held prisoner at a camp for four years.
Takei draws a parallel between that moment in U.S. history and the remarks that Trump has made about Mexicans today — referring to them as rapists and criminals and promising mass deportations of millions of undocumented immigrants.
And, though, Trump has claimed to that he has no problem with those who’ve immigrated legally, his behavior has indicated that a clear-cut distinction doesn’t exist for him. As Takei pointed out, Trump once insisted that the Mexican-American federal judge, Gonzalo Curiel, who’s handling the Trump University lawsuits was “hostile” and would treat him unfairly, even though Curiel was born in Indiana. He’s also referred to the protestors who flew the Mexican flag at his rallies as “illegals” without evidence to support his claim.
Takei concluded the video urging Latinos to register to vote, and in November to vote against Trump in full force.
And though this video focused on Trump’s attitude towards Mexicans, Takei has previously drawn parallels between WWII U.S. policy towards the Japanese and Trump’s comments on Muslims.
“You (Muslims) are now being vilified,” Takei said at the Muslim Public Affairs Council Media Awards in May. “You are now smelling that stench of irrational fear, and its very important that we all join our voices together as one and particularly for us as Japanese Americans who experienced the horror and devastation of imprisonment in our own countries that we share that experience and speak together with you.”
Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar,rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims ― 1.6 billion members of an entire religion ― from entering the U.S.