George Takei Lived to See The Day
"Growing up in California, it was illegal for Asians to marry whites. How times have changed. I married a white DUDE."
George Takei posted on Facebook, “70 years ago, my whole family (shown here, yes that’s me) was put into an internment camp in Arkansas. LIKE and SHARE this to make sure this never happens again, and listen to my NPR interview about that experience–and my new show ‘Allegiance’ that was inspired by it.”
In response, Doug Mataconis tweeted, “George Takei deserves a ton of credit for bringing attention to a story most Americans had forgotten about.” No doubt. While one hopes every American schoolboy is vaguely aware of the national shame of our putting American citizens in detention for the crime of being Japanese, it’s a chapter of our history that gets short shrift. (Plus, you’ve got to hand it to Takei for calling attention to the fact that he’s older than dirt in service of a greater calling.)
But what really struck me was this note in Takei’s self-description: “Growing up in California, it was illegal for Asians to marry whites. How times have changed. I married a white DUDE.”
We called attention to Takei’s coming out back in 2005 and his hilarious gay activism campaigns involving Tim Hardaway and the Tennessee legislature (“It’s okay to be Takei!”). While we’ve noted his his marriage to long-time partner Brad Altman in passing, we apparently didn’t bother posting on it. And I dismissed the fact that Zachary Quinto, the new Spock, has come out as gay as hardly worth mentioning.
But Takei’s Facebook quip is as eloquent as it is funny. It’s simply unfathomable at this point that an Asian was legally forbidden from marrying a Caucasian within living memory—in California, no less! Even in the Deep South, where even today there’s not insignificant resistance to black-white relationships, hardly anybody bats an eye to white men marrying Asians women.
I wonder how long it’ll be before we view the opposition to gay marriage in the same way? If I live to be Takei’s age—another 28 years—will I see it? Or is the biological and cultural hard wiring against same sex relations even greater than it was on race?