Mr. Sulu in racist rant against Clarence Thomas
George Takei, better known as Star Trek's Mr. Sulu, has been a gay activist for many years. Apparently, he's a sore winner as well.
Responding to a thoughtful dissent by Justice Clarence Thomas to the gay marriage case, Takei called the associate justice to the Supreme Court a "clown in blackface."
"He is a clown in blackface sitting on the Supreme Court. He gets me that angry," the former "Star Trek" star said in an interview with Fox 10 this week in Phoenix, standing alongside his longtime partner and husband.
"For him to say slaves had dignity ... I mean, doesn't he know slaves were chained? That they were whipped on the back?" Takei asked.
Dissenting in the 5-4 Supreme Court same-sex marriage case, Thomas, an African-American, reflected on the origins of human dignity within society, invoking the belief that humans have God-given "inherent worth."
"That vision is the foundation upon which this Nation was built. The corollary of that principle is that human dignity cannot be taken away by the government. Slaves did not lose their dignity (any more than they lost their humanity) because the government allowed them to be enslaved,"Thomas wrote.
"Those held in internment camps did not lose their dignity because the government confined them," Thomas wrote. "And those denied governmental benefits certainly do not lose their dignity because the government denies them those benefits. The government cannot bestow dignity, and it cannot take it away."
Takei responded to Thomas' remarks in the case, Obergefell v. Hodges, reflecting in an MSNBC op-ed on his time in a Japanese-American internment camp as a young boy.
"I was only a child when soldiers with bayonetted rifles marched up our driveway in Los Angeles, banged on our door, and ordered us out," Takei wrote.
"I remember my mothers’ tears as we gathered what little we could carry, and then were sent to live for many weeks in a single cramped horse stall at the Santa Anita racetracks."
Takei reflected on his family's assets being frozen and their family being shipped by railcar a few months later to Arkansas where they "slept inside bug-infested barracks, ate in a noisy mess hall, and relieved ourselves in common latrines that had no walls between the stalls."
"To say that the government does not bestow or grant dignity does not mean it cannot succeed in stripping it away through the imposition of unequal laws and deprivation of due process. At the very least, the government must treat all its subjects with equal human dignity," he wrote.
What happened to Takei's family was inexcusable, but he never explains how the government "took" their dignity. How can government take your dignity unless you give it away? Thomas made the same point about slavery. Even the most vicious mistreatment by white masters could not steal the human dignity that all people possess if they choose not to lose it.
Dignity shines the brightest when it is challenged the most. Takei is not just wrong. He is a racist. What did Thomas's color have to do with his legal thinking? Judging an individual by the group like Takei has done is ignorant, and referring to Thomas as a fake black is beyond the pale. Like all liberals, he won't apologize or back down.
But he should.