After shocking fans and foes, alike, with his harsh comments about Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, actor and activist George Takei took to Facebook on Thursday night to defend his use of the word "blackface," while further rebuking the African American judicial leader.
"A few fans have written wondering whether I intended to utter a racist remark by referring to Justice Thomas as a 'clown in blackface,'" he wrote. "'Blackface' is a lesser known theatrical term for a white actor who blackens his face to play a black buffoon. In traditional theater lingo, and in my view and intent, that is not racist. It is instead part of a racist history in this country."
Takei, 78, a gay activist who is known for his role as Hikaru Sulu in “Star Trek,” also went on to claim that he believes Thomas has "abdicated and abandoned his African American heritage by claiming slavery did not strip dignity from human beings," expressing frustration over the justice's dissent, which also mentioned Japanese internment.
As TheBlaze previously reported, Takei captured a fair amount of attention this week when lambasted Thomas while railing against the justice's statements about same-sex nuptials.
“He is a clown in blackface sitting on the Supreme Court. He gets me that angry,” Takei told KSAZ-TV, visibly flustered as he railed against the African American justice. ”For him to say slaves had dignity … I mean, doesn’t he know slaves were chained? That they were whipped on the back?”
The actor was responding to a portion of Thomas’ dissent that discussed human dignity:
“Human dignity has long been understood in this country to be innate. When the Framers proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence that ‘all men are created equal’ and ‘endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,’ they referred to a vision of mankind in which all humans are created in the image of God and therefore of inherent worth. That vision is the foundation upon which this Nation was built.
The corollary of that principle is that human dignity cannot be taken away by the government. Slaves did not lose their dignity (any more than they lost their humanity) because the government allowed them to be enslaved. Those held in internment camps did not lose their dignity because the government confined them. And those denied governmental benefits certainly do not lose their dignity because the government denies them those benefits. The government cannot bestow dignity, and it cannot take it away.”
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