by Robert Bell
Actor George Takei recently took to the Huffington Post to write about his trip to the site of the Rohwer Japanese internment camp and the dedication of the Jerome-Rohwer Interpretive Museum and Visitor Center in McGehee. Takei and his family were taken from their home in California during World War II and sent to Rohwer.
"I was just five years old, and would spend much of my childhood behind barbed wire in that camp and, later, another in California called Tule Lake," Takei wrote. "One hundred twenty thousand other Japanese Americans from the West Coast suffered a similar fate."
Takei was the keynote speaker at the dedication. He later visited artist Wendy Maruyama's installation and exhibit on Japanese American internment during World War II, "Tag Project/Executive Order 9066.”
In the wake of the bombings in Boston, Takei offers a reminder about indicting entire groups of people. "As I write this, once again the national dialogue turns to defining our enemies, the impulse to smear whole communities or people with the actions of others still too familiar and raw. Places like the museum and Rohwer camp exist to remind us of the dangers and fallibility of our democracy, which is only as strong as the adherence to our constitutional principles renders it."
Here's our interview from last year with Takei, in case you missed it.