Before Tom welcomes today's guest, he shares a few thoughts about President Trump's decision this past weekend to single out Baltimore and Representative Elijah Cummings -- the Democratic Chair of the House Oversight Committee -- with a series of scornful and racist Tweets. We've included the full text of Tom's comments at the bottom of this post.
As Tom notes in his commentary, "one of the things we can do to understand and address the problem of racial intolerance is to make an effort to understand history." Tom's guest today has made an important contribution to that history.
The Japanese American actor and activist George Takei has pursued a career that spans 60 years, including his iconic role as "Hikaru Sulu" in the Star Trek television series and the hit movie sequels. He has also become an influential and powerful voice for social justice, marriage equality and LGBTQ rights.
Earlier this month, Mr. Takei published an illustrated memoir recounting how he and his family were incarcerated by the U.S. government in internment camps during the Second World War. Mr. Takei, his parents, and his two younger siblings were among 120,000 people of Japanese descent who were imprisoned during the war, and his memoir deftly illuminates the effect of the stress and hardship of that experience.
Mr. Takei's new book is They Called Us Enemy, written with Justin Eisinger and Steven Scott. The art is by Harmony Becker, with letters by George Lazcano.
George Takei joins us from the studios of NPR West in Culver City, California.