George Takei, the actor turned social activist best known for his role on the hit show Star Trek: The Original Series, wrote Tuesday in The Daily Beast about the importance of not succumbing to fear in the wake of Donald Trump's presidential victory. Takei wrote of the Japanese principle of "gaman," which means "to endure, with dignity and fortitude," as he likened his personal experience in Japanese internment camps in the 1940s to the fear some Americans may feel in the face of the coming Trump administration.
"We had legitimate fear of angry mobs," Takei wrote, "but amidst all the unfounded hate and suspicion of us, there were also many good Americans who came to our aid." Takei refers to the people who tended to the homes of their neighbors who had been interned and mentions the "lawyers who filed suits on our behalf and saved tens of thousands of us, including my own mother, from being deported," listing off various ordinary people who went beyond their duties to help their peers in need. Takei then urges Americans who supported Trump to understand that the fear felt by those who opposed him originates from a place of hope and patriotism, and encourages Trump supporters to take the opportunity they have to "blunt the harshest elements of [Trump's] candidacy and now soon his presidency":
The business of governing is a serious one, and if they wish to see their candidate succeed, they can and should decry neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other terror groups who hope to capitalize on fear and division and are a real impediment to their candidate's legitimacy. [George Takei, via The Daily Beast]
Trump supporters must "stand up to any who would take their candidate's election as a license to hate," Takei urges. Read the full essay at The Daily Beast.