George Takei Gives TED Talk On Why He Loves The Country That Betrayed Him: VIDEO


George Takei recently gave a TEDx talk in Kyoto Japan about being sent to an internment camp for Japanese-Americans as a child during World War II and how that experience shaped his perception of democracy and led him to be the outspoken activist and patriot he is today. Takei said his father was his greatest teacher when it came to understanding the contradictions inherent in the American democracy:

He told me that our democracy is a people’s democracy and it can be as great as a a people can be but is also as fallible as people are. He told me that American democracy is vitally dependent on good people who cherish the ideals of our system and actively engage in the process of making our democracy work. 

For Takei, it was his father along with the decorated Japanese-American servicemen who risked their lives for their country in World War II that left him with a specific legacy and a responsibility: 

I am dedicated to making my country an even better America, to making our government an even truer democracy and because of the heroes that I have and the struggles that we've gone through I can stand before you as a gay Japanese American but even more than that I am a proud American. 

Watch Takei's talk, AFTER THE JUMP…


  1. snork says

    I love the Joe Brainard references.

    “living with derelicts, drunkards, and crazy people” Please help me, fair wise folks of Towleroad, did Takei just contradict himself or real some truth?

  2. simon says

    There is a difference here. Drunkards who behave badly and throw up in public and crazy people who go crazy in public or post crazy comments are not the same as people of a certain race who did nothing wrong and punished simply because of their race.

  3. snowisfunreturns says

    George Takei is a Japanese homosexual who molests children. Well, straight men must defend themselves against homosexuals and we can fight you gays. With gay bashing cases, I have found that gays often harass & or commit assault/battery on teenage boys to men in early 20s & the men react by bashing the gay. Most men and boys who are victims of gays usu. won’t call cops to report that a gay is committing indecent exposure, harassment or in worst cases molestation until some1 reacts violently and bashes the gay. Most gay bashings I have found are men reacting to crimes which the homosexual first did such as after a homosexual committed indecent exposure, assault & battery or other crime.

  4. dorishin says

    wonderful Ted Talk. I related to this so much as my father and family were interned during WWII. It is an important part of our history that George lived through not that long ago and I am thankful that he reminds us all of it. Andy, thanks for posting.

  5. UFFDA says

    Gee SNOWISFUN just lost his temper and every grain of sense and reason flew right out the window. Try to think straight straight man…and get a life.

  6. MaryM says

    I love George Takei but he is delusional in this speech.

    Who on earth actually believes that US is a democracy? It’s not. It’s an oligarchy.

    Oh we go through the motions of voting using our outrageously primitive and undemocratic electoral system (which is designed to ensure that only 2 parties are allowed to exist – which is undemocratic to the core).

    The 2 parties do not represent the people. They represent the 1% and the bamks and the corporations.

    Voting is a waste of time until we replace our current system.

    And that’s not going to happen.

  7. simon says

    It precisely is what he is trying to say. On all the documents at the founding of the nation, there was an ideal of a perfect democracy. Takei said the actual implementation is only as good as people can make it to be. That’s why he referred to his won experience as an example of its failure.

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