George Takei Just Gave You a Powerful Reason to Vote

November 3rd 2015

Kyle Jaeger

Actor and activist George Takei has a message for Americans voters: Don't take democracy for granted.

On Election Day, Takei wrote a powerful Facebook post about his experiencing growing up in a country that discriminated against Asian and gay Americans and explained why he considers voting one of the most important tools that citizens have at their disposal to reach equality.

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Takei was partially raised in a Japanese internment camp during the Second World War and learned early on what could happen if "the forces of fear and oppression" took power in the U.S. Today, the actor feels confident that the country can achieve social justice and advance in the fight to equality—as long as voters actively participate in the democratic process.

When I was just a boy, I asked my father how it was that this nation, founded on principles of equality and freedom,...

Posted by George Takei on Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Takei wrote:

"Many today seek to divide us, blaming the helpless and saying America will lose to the forces of fear and oppression. As a child, I grew up behind barbed wire fences of U.S. internment camps because of my race. Seventy years later, I stand with my white, gay spouse to assure you: We will win."

Takei said that he often felt the need to hide parts of his identity—as an Asian American, as a gay man—due to the fact that there was a culture of discrimination and intolerance in America. But he credited the efforts of social activists in the LGBT community and everyday voters for overcoming that culture and allowing the country to progress.

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"We will win when we come together as a nation, rather than divide along our perceived differences," Takei wrote. "We will win when we hold true to our core values and embrace our diversity, rather than scapegoat some. We will win when we engage, learn, and remain open to new ideas and innovations. I am 78 years old, and I am still learning and progressing at each opportunity I can."

"On this Election Day, we take happily for granted what was so hard fought, and what so much of the world is yet denied. I urge you also to participate in this great democracy through your votes, your dialogue, and your love of this society. My family lost everything when this nation lost its way, but that has never stopped me from believing in America's potential or from fighting for its principles. Together, we will win."

You can register to vote here.