With September 8 being the 46th anniversary of the debut of that much loved sci-fi series Star Trek, it seemed only right to take this opportunity as an excuse to talk about the amazing George Takei.
5) He’s a Collector of Memes and Fights Internet Censorship
George Takei is a social media heavyweight, and he is also a voracious collector of memes. As someone who spends quite a lot of time on the Internet, I consider it a rare day should I stumble on something that George Takei has not already posted to his Facebook page.
Here he talks about how he built his social media platform and how he uses it for his causes:
However, when sites like Reddit and Wikipedia “went dark” earlier this year to protest so-called anti-piracy bills like SOPA, Takei joined them, saying, “There are already laws in place to deal with copyright infringement within the U.S., but so far no effective law to deal with overseas sites. The answer, however, is not to impose censorship at home. So that is why I’m going dark, for a day.”
4) He Famously Did This in a Star Trek Episode Called “The Naked Time”:
Takei has called this episode his favorite because it showed a whole different side to Sulu. ( “Oh Myyyy!”)
Here’s what he had to say:
3) Lending his Voice to the Japanese Relief Effort
After the terrible events of the March 11, 2011, Japanese earthquake and tsunami, George Takei lent his voice to a Redcross campaign urging the public to give what they could to help in the relief effort:
Takei has since written on his blog about the relief effort, noting:
“As an actor with ethnic and familial ties to Japan, I joined the international call for aid, for as Hurricane Katrina taught us, even prosperous and strong nations need the world’s help when tragedy of such magnitude strikes. Through a concerted twitter campaign for text donations, to which I added my own hashtag #TodayWeAreAllJapanese, we were able collectively to raise millions of dollars for the people of Japan. [...] In the wake of the tragedy, there was no looting, no violence, and a strong sense of order and selflessness. Elderly Japanese volunteered to help with the gritty task of nuclear clean-up, offering up their shorter expected life spans for the greater good. It is moving to me to see such human spirit, after so much was lost for so many.
2) Teaching Tennessee It’s Okay to be Takei!
Takei, reacting to the Tennessee legislature’s 2011 “Don’t Say Gay” bill, also famously released the following video in which he offered Tennessee lawmakers a solution: Don’t Say Gay, Say Takei!
When later the Tennessee legislature attempted to move the “Don’t Say Gay” bill along with a bill to protect anti-LGBT school bullies, and legislation that would have prohibited trans people from using public accommodations, Takei decided it was time to have a chat with the three lawmakers behind the bills who, he said, reminded him of “certain friends of Dorothy”:
Find out what’s made it to the top spot on the next page (where there’s also a dancing George Takei)…
1) Attempting to Shed Light on America’s Treatment of Japanese Americans
George has thrown his creative power behind a new musical called Allegiance, in which he stars as Sam Kimura. The show is described as “an epic story of love, war and heroism set during the Japanese American internment of World War II, following the story of the Kimura family in the weeks and years following Pearl Harbor, as they are relocated from their farm in Salinas, California to the Heart Mountain internment camp in the rural plains of Wyoming.”
The story, which has many parallels to George’s own life as an American of Japanese heritage, aims to shed light on the internment of Japanese Americans and the prejudices that motivated the act, as well as the barriers American policy put up to naturalizing Asian Americans.
Here is George talking about the day armed soldiers came to his own house and rounded up his family:
This isn’t the extent of George’s work, however. In recent years he has also taken on other causes, including speaking out about companies like Apple exploiting Asian workers, brokering peace between Star Wars and Star Trek, decrying North Carolina’s anti-gay constitutional amendment, and leading calls for the Boy Scouts of America, of which he was once a proud member, to drop its openly hostile stance against gay people.
Thanks, George Takei. Your advocacy makes us all want to do your happy dance: