George Takei's Response to the Refugee Backlash is Worth Your Applause

In a Sunday interview with MSNBC, actor and activist George Takei continues to publicly speak out against bigoted responses to the Syrian refugee crisis, including the recent statement made by David Bowers (D), the mayor of Roanoke, Virginia.

As a Japanese American who spent four years in an internment camp after Pearl Harbor was bombed during WWII, Takei was critical of Bowers, who advocated for the delay and refusal of Syrian refugee assistance in an official statement released on Nov. 18. Bowers referenced the internment of Japanese Americans as a positive, effective way to deal with refugees in the U.S.

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“When someone like Mayor Bowers can make that kind of... ignorant statement, saying that it was a ‘sequester of Japanese nationals.’ We’re Japanese Americans, American citizens, and it wasn’t being sequestered,” Takei told MSNBC.

Takei denounced the position in a statement on Facebook on Nov. 18.

Earlier today, the mayor of Roanoke, Virginia, Mr. David A. Bowers, in the attached letter, joined several state...

Posted by George Takei on Wednesday, November 18, 2015

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Takei echoed his previous sentiments today on MSNBC, saying:

“We were imprisoned in barb-wired prison camps. Sentry towers, machine guns pointed at us. No question about it. It was a prison camp."

“And political leadership in Congress to be stampeded like this, with a broad brush, [to] characterize all Arab Americans as terrorists, all Muslims as terrorists, we have a very intense vetting process, and that has got to be understood,” Takei added. “Political leadership has to be responsible leadership and enlightened leadership.”

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Editor's Note: This story was corrected to state Sentry towers, instead of Century, were located at the internment camp where Takei was sent.