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The verified Twitter account of Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu — better known as actor George Takei — called for an end to “white terrorism” following the killing of six Asian massage workers in Georgia.
He also said Wednesday’s massacre should put an end to national leaders using derogatory terms like “Kung Flu” and “The China Virus.”
“I don’t ever want to hear another damned racist trope about this virus from any elected official,” the “Star Trek” star tweeted in response to Wednesday’s killing spree at three massage clinics in Atlanta.
Takei didn’t directly blame politicians who have promoted racist rhetoric for the actions of alleged gunman Robert Aaron Long, nor did he say they weren’t responsible for contributing to a toxic environment.
“They are complicit,” Takei tweeted.
The 21-year-old suspect reportedly told police it was sex addiction, not race, that led him to the Wednesday crime spree that killed eight people — two of whom weren’t Asian. Skeptics argue that his alleged objectification of Asian women as sexual beings is a form of bigotry.
Prominent politicians — most notably former President Donald Trump — have routinely used insensitive Chinese terms as nicknames for the deadly COVID-19 pandemic, which is believed to have started in Wuhan, China.
Takei, 83, has tweeted multiple times since Wednesday’s massacre asking non-Asians to speak up for their Asian countrymen and retweeting a suggestion that people reporting on the crimes learn to correctly pronounce the victims’ names. Takei also argued that despite the alleged gunman’s claims that his actions weren’t politically motivated, his actions had racist undertones and consequences.
“Whether the killer went in with intent to kill Asian women or he just happened to go to three different Asian establishments, miles apart, with intent to kill those inside doesn’t change the racial nature of these murders,” Takei tweeted.
A Los Angeles native born to Japanese-Amercian parents, Takei speaks from experience when he calls out the dangers of anti-Asian sentiment. In 1942, during World War II, he and his family were detained in internment camps on account of their race. They were released in 1945 at the end of the war with nowhere to go and spent five years living on skid row, Takei recalled in a his 2019 memoir “They Called Us Enemy.” He also wrote that what was done to Japanese-Americans 70 years ago wasn’t reversible, but hoped it would serve as a learning experience for the nation.