They Called Us Enemy
George Takei with Justin Eisinger & Steven Scott and Harmony Becker
TopShelf Comic Productions
Amongst all of the D-Day hullabaloo in June... Well I don't know what to call it. Neither celebration nor remembrance seem precisely appropriate, the gravity one of most significant days in European history proved virtually weightless for the media verses the pull of floating around waiting for a gotcha moment from the visiting president Trump.
Anyway, the only reason surely to keep the celebrations of these events going is to remind the political leaders of any era to do absolutely everything everytime to make sure not one more kid ever sees combat. Is that what happened back in June? I'm not sure. The violence was virtually airbrushed out by all, except those who lived through it.
And so to the darkside of domestic politics. The less heroic past. In the UK, there's currently an evocation of a return of some mid-century we're supposedly in it together spirit - the same spirit I read somewhere that killed three-quarters of a million dogs, cats, bunnies and other pets at the outset of the old war. Afterall, no one is saying pet food high on the list of priority imports after we leave the EU... It'll be dog eat dog or something. At least before, people knew what they were fighting for.
George Takei played the character of Mr. Sulu, the helmsman and physicist, on the bridge of the original Starship Enterprise in Gene Roddenberry's 60s TV sci fi show, Star Trek. Even Star Trek has, oddly become a show about everything the UK as a nation has grown to hate. Empathetic philosophy and an unapologetic embrace of ethnic diversity, science and futurism, of pan-globalism where those globes are stratospheric locales.
In his post space career, Takei has become even more beloved as an outspoken advocate for civil rights.
In 1942, every American of Japanese descent, by order of President Roosevelt, was subject to internment. Many sold their homes or businesses for a fraction of their true value before being transported to the interior. 120,000 people were imprisoned without trial and locked up under armed guard for years. Roosevelt had mistakenly succumbed to an internal paranoid racist drumbeat.
As a four year old, George Takei was taken from his home in San Francisco and imprisoned at the Rohwer War Relocation Center in Arkansas. He has said recently, "I know what concentration camps are. I was inside two of them, in America. And yes, we are operating such camps again." His new comic book, They Called Us Enemy, co-written and conceived with renowned comic book figures, Justin Eisinger & Steven Scott and artist Harmony Becker is an account of those days, through his eyes as a child, as he, and his parents and so many others experienced racism enshrined by law.
They Called Us Enemy has been described as "Emotionally staggering... Inspires readers to engage through democracy to insist that we treat fellow human beings with fairness and dignity."
Brought to you by Topshelf, (publishers of the fab Johnny Boo series...) They Called Us Enemy is an important addition to any bookshelf.