One would think that activist and former Star Trek actor George Takei would be happy. The Supreme Court ruled last week that same-sex marriage must be allowed in all 50 States. Obergefell v. Hodges went down in the history books exactly as Mr. Takei wanted. Instead of basking in the light of a new day, he used the legislative victory to a.) call Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas a “clown in blackface” while b.) demonstrating that he has serious reading comprehension problems.
News Busters posted the part of Justice Thomas’ commentary that made the actor explode during a recent interview:
“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.” — Clarence Thomas.
This seems pretty straightforward for anyone who doesn’t have partisan goggles strapped on so tight that blood flow to the brain is constricted. In short, dignity is something that all men have because they were created in God’s image. For whatever strange reason, Angry George doesn’t get it.
Here is what the actor told a Fox affiliate in Phoenix:
“He is a clown in blackface sitting on the Supreme Court. He gets me that angry. He doesn’t belong there. And for him to say, slaves have dignity. I mean, doesn’t he know that slaves were in chains? That they were whipped on the back. If he saw the movie 12 Years a Slave, you know, they were raped. And he says they had dignity as slaves or — My parents lost everything that they worked for, in the middle of their lives, in their 30s. His business, my father’s business, our home, our freedom and we’re supposed to call that dignified? Marched out of our homes at gun point. I mean, this man does not belong on the Supreme Court. He is an embarrassment. He is a disgrace to America.”
It seems self-evident that telling a black man who grew up the South prior to the Civil Rights movement that he should watch “12 Years a Slave” is a pretty dumb move, so I’ll ignore that one. Instead, we’ll talk about World War II.
Author Laura Hillenbrand summed up Louis Zamperini thoughts on dignity in her bestselling book “Unbroken.” For those who are unfamiliar with Olympian and World War II hero Mr. Zamperini, I high suggest reading the book. Ms. Hillenbrand’s retelling of the veteran’s fight for survival at sea and in multiple Japanese P.O.W. camps will change the way you see the world.
“Few societies treasured dignity, and feared humiliation, as did the Japanese, for whom loss of honor could merit suicide. This is likely one of the reasons why Japanese soldiers in World War II debased their prisoners with such zeal, seeking to take from them that which was most painful and destructive to lose. On Kwajalein, Louie and Phil learned a dark truth known to the doomed in Hitler’s death camps, the slaves of the American South, and a hundred other generations of betrayed people. Dignity is as essential to human life as water, food, and oxygen. The stubborn retention of it, even in the face of extreme physical hardship, can hold a man’s soul in his body long past the point at which the body should have surrendered it. The loss of it can carry a man off as surely as thirst, hunger, exposure, and asphyxiation, and with greater cruelty. In places like Kwajalein, degradation could be as lethal as a bullet.” (Hillenbrand, Laura. Unbroken. Random House, Inc., 2004. 183)
That late Mr. Zamperini and Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas both demonstrated a deep understanding of human dignity. Given Mr. Takei’s politics, it is no surprise that he would mistake the crystal clear message — all men are born with dignity because they were given life by our Creator — for an insult.
To Mr. Takei, dignity is bestowed upon men when nine judges in black robes essentially invent rights or the federal government doles out benefits to ‘Person A’ paid for by ‘Person B’ (usually without B’s consent). It is no wonder that the Star Trek actor is such an angry man — he’s been waiting his entire life for someone to give him a certain kind of dignity that he always possessed.
Just under the surface of all those Facebook jokes and silly memes is man whose blood boils with red-hot rage. It’s unfortunate, because during a time when he should have just sat back and smiled, Mr. Takei decided to show the world that he — and not Clarence Thomas — is the real clown. A very sad clown.