George Takei responds to RI lawmaker who says she lost ‘a black friend’ to critical race theory

  • Japanese American actor George Takei weighed in on a Rhode Island lawmaker’s tweet about critical race theory with his own experiences of Japanese internment.
  • The lawmaker, State Rep. Patricia Morgan, tweeted that she “had a Black friend” who, because of critical race theory, became “hostile and unpleasant.”
  • Takei adapted the format of Morgan’s tweet to mockingly reframe it, writing “I had a white friend… but then Pearl Harbor happened and whites became hostile and unpleasant.”

Japanese American actor and activist George Takei spoke out against a tweet by Rhode Island State Rep. Patricia Morgan, which criticized critical race theory.

The original tweet, posted by Morgan on Dec. 28, read “I had a Black friend. I liked her and I think she liked me. But now she is hostile and unpleasant. I am sure I didn’t do anything to her, except be white.” Morgan finished the tweet with #CRT, a reference to critical race theory. 

Takei wryly reframed the tweet to reflect his own experiences as a Japanese American survivor of internment, writing “I had a white friend. I liked him and I think he liked me, too. But then Pearl Harbor happened and whites became hostile and unpleasant. I am sure we didn’t do anything but they sent us to camps anyway. And now they don’t want to teach about this because it makes kids feel bad.”

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The 84-year-old actor has been vocal about his experiences as a child during Japanese internment. When Takei was 5 years old, his family was interned following the bombing of Pearl Harbor, first at Camp Rohwer in Arkansas and then at Camp Tule Lake in California until the end of World War II. His family were among the 120,000 Japanese Americans sent to camps during that time period.

Critical race theory refers to an academic framework for analyzing how racial discrimination exists across political and social systems. Early founders of the theory include Japanese American legal scholar Mari Matsuda. Some critics believe that critical race theory discriminates against white people.  

Featured Image via TED

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